Prime Video has just added one of the best dramas of the last decade
97% on Rotten Tomatoes, it is a properly thrilling true-story.
Released in cinemas in February 2021, so another victim of people avoiding going to the movies thanks to the pandemic, Judas and the Black Messiah was a bit of a box office flop. With a production budget of $26 million, the movie made just $7.4 million at the worldwide box office.
However, the movie was immediately recognised for its powerful retelling of the story of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya), the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s Chicago, and how he was betrayed by William O'Neal (played by LaKeith Stanfield), an FBI informant. Having successfully infiltrated the Black Panther Party, O'Neal had to report directly to his FBI handler Roy Mitchell (played by Jesse Plemons), or face severe jail time himself.
The movie went on to be nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, and took one award home; Best Supporting Actor for Kaluuya.
Having landed with 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews were absolutely glowing:
Consequence - "Filled with Oscar-worthy performances, Judas and the Black Messiah puts a nostalgic lens on a modern-day struggle."
The Hollywood Reporter - "Led by sensational performances from Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as William O'Neal, the FBI informant who infiltrated his inner circle, this is a scalding account of oppression and revolution, coercion and betrayal, rendered more shocking by the undiminished currency of its themes."
Total Film - "Between its genre know-how and furious anger, King’s biopic makes damn sure you feel the weight of Hampton’s loss - and the need for his legacy to be honoured."
The New York Times - "Judas and the Black Messiah represents a disciplined, impassioned effort to bring clarity to a volatile moment, to dispense with the sentimentality and revisionism that too often cloud movies about the ’60s and about the politics of race. It’s fascinating in its own right, and even more so when looked at alongside other recent movies."
Judas and the Black Messiah is available to watch on Prime Video in Ireland and the UK, on HBO Max in the States, on Netflix in Canada, and on PVOD platforms in Australia.