Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white surrogate, who eventually becomes head of the local branch.
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Director Spike Lee's drama was produced by the team behind Get Out and offers another provocative exploration of American race relations. In the midst of the 1970s civil rights movement, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first black detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department. He sets out to prove his worth by infiltrating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and convinces his Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) to go undercover as a white supremacist.
This film contains clips from D. W. Griffith's silent movie The Birth of a Nation. While Spike Lee was a student at NYU Film School, he was so outraged that his NYU Film School professors taught The Birth of a Nation (1915) with no mention of its racist message or role in the Klan's twentieth-century rebirth that he made a student short film titled The Answer (1980) as a response. The film so offended many of his professors that Lee was nearly expelled from NYU. He was ultimately saved by a faculty vote. After Lee's film industry successes, he became a professor at NYU Film School, serving as the Artistic Director of the Graduate Film Department. See more »
Sergeant Trapp is wearing sergeant's stripes on his sleeves, but also wearing captain's bars on his epaulets. See more »
Mary Don't You Weep
Arranged By Prince (as Prince Rogers Nelson)
Performed By Prince
Courtesy Of NPG Records, Inc. Under Exclusive License To Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement With Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more »
Spike Lee has created an almost unimaginably uneven career in films, but it has never been in doubt, that he is one of the most talented American filmmakers of his generation. And should you have forgotten that, now you can remind yourself by watching the amazing "BlacKkKlansman", which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in May.
"BlacKkKlansman" tells the true story of a rookie African American police officer who in the 70's infiltrated in the KKK, but that's certainly not what the movie is about. Lee tackles head-on the contemporary hot topics of racism, the police killing black Americans, and white supremacy to create an overwhelming pamphlet about the American identity - which has been hurled into a state of great confusion after the last presidential election.
Movies don't come much more political as this one. In a way, "BlacKkKlansman" is a companion piece to "The Post" - a movie that similarly discussed the current political climate in a 70's setting - but with loads more of blackness, humour, anger and attitude. It's a better movie, too.
Though not perfect. Form-wise, "BlacKkKlansman" is sometimes paced oddly and feels needlessly long: not overlong, exactly, because you're not going to be bored for a minute. Visually it could have used a little more of the delicious textures typical of those 70's blacksploitations it makes references to.
But Lee is such a virile storyteller, that you can't help but get sucked in it all. And he has SO much to say. "BlacKkKlansman" is at its savage best when putting in perspective the official holier-than-thou image of the white Americans: Harry Belafonte cameos as an eye-witness of the beastly lynching of Jesse Washington in 1916.
Actors in "BlacKkKlansman" are great. John David Washington excels in the lead role. Adam Driver signs what is arguably his best role to date. Ryan Eggold is terrific as the local boss of the KKK, and the Finnish Jasper Pääkkönen impresses as his right hand man. The biggest surprise of all is Topher Grace, who is near-ingenious as David Duke, a well-mannered bag of sleaze in a three-piece.
"BlacKkKlansman" is an incredibly rich and stirring piece of contemporary cinema with enough stuff to fuel a conversation for hours. Or days. You can get a lot less with a price of a movie ticket these days.
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