Lacks the sensuality in movement, attention to detail, and thus, level of insight held by its influences. I respect it’s principles, but good principles alone don’t make for good execution. Ball speaks a lot about breaking new emotional ground with performances in his Manifesto, but the acting here is entirely too calculated and concerned with telegraphic gesture than moment to moment listening—which can kind of sink a film like this. Still, I respect it.
Judas and the Black Messiah is not, nor was it intended to be, primarily the story of Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers. Those elements essentially serve as background noise to the story that King & the Lucas Bros are actually trying to tell here: a 'sprawling crime epic' about William O'Neal (the Judas in question), Roy Mitchell (his FBI agent), and the white power structure itself in the form of the FBI.
If you have any qualms with those statements,…