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Showing 1-10 of 22 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on July 5, 1999
This is an incredible production. Lee reconstructs neighborhoods and places that have been gone for years, and he deserves an awful lot of credit. The film, as a film, works very well. However, if anyone has read about the Nation of Islam and the life of Malcom X, there is a fair amount of information about the role Boston Minister, Louis Farrakhan played in the killing. Of course, if Lee had included Louis X in the movie, he'd end up like Malcom.
Before I get myself killed, please allow me to recommend a great book that covers the assassination better than any other book I've read: "Pillar of Fire, America in the King Years, 1963-64" by Taylor Branch. Although the book is primarily about King, it covers the events leading up to the killing of Malcolm X, including an amazing assassination attempt of one of Malcom X's colleagues during a high speed car chase through the streets of Boston.
After I read Branch's book, I saw Lee's film as a great movie, but historically, a missed opportunity. I think Lee is too close to the subject matter to include all of the details in an objective manner. So despite all the great performances, costumes, sets, and photography, I am left a bit disappointed. I'm waiting for a courageous filmmaker to do justice to Malcom X's life and legacy.
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on July 28, 2013
I decided to watch this movie once again after more than 10 years. The reason was because I had to read the book in school. This movie was basically made to glamorize this enigmatic and powerful figure in Spike Lee style. You want the real story? Read the book.
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on August 20, 2012
Good, initially impressive film but it is dwarfed by the attached powerful documentary DVD, narrated by James Earl Jones, that is a thousand times more effective than the film, Denzel Washington, and Spike Lee, who is notorious for having a problem with objective observation, as the film proves after watching the documentary on this great American. I already had this film on DVD and I gladly would have just paid for the documentary instead, it was just that good, if good is an appropriate synonym for a searing historical document. BTW, this blu-ray book is about $10 at Costco.
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on June 11, 2013
I was hoping for an exciting history lesson and I got a blah history lesson. I do now know more about Malcolm X and his importance, but the entire first disc was pretty boring. Things picked up a bit in the second disc. I also liked that Spike Lee didn't glorify X, nor did he disparage him. The story seemed to be just the story of a man, not a super-hero (as some bios tend to skew).
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on March 1, 2011
I enjoyed this movie a great deal, and I think Denzel Washington performed excellently.

However, I am afraid that many young people will take this movie as an accurate portrayal of Malcolm X, his life, and what he believed in. It is not.

I am afraid that many will come away from this movie with the idea that Malcolm was a militant pro-black racist of sorts. Although he may have began his journey through life with many of those ideas, his quest and life experiences "tuned" his views dramatically. The end result was a much wiser and humble yet strong individual, who believed in good people of all "races". I believe he was very good at heart, and his life was a journey that taught him many things. Those who want a better picture of this man should see the 1972 documentary "Malcolm X: His Own Story as it Really Happened". THAT is the best movie I have seen of him to date!
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When I watched Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" on TV, it was a pleasurable surprise. Despite the film's three-hour-plus length, it was never boring and it managed to keep me interested until the last five minutes or so.
It tells the story of Malcolm X and shows the enormous changes he went through in his remarkable life. Though the film often fails to take a really intimate look at Malcolm X, Denzel Washington's superlative performance successfully counters this weakness. He keeps us interested in this man, despite the fact, that Lee's film, though it is exquisitely filmed, lacks the courage to explorethe person Malcolm X. The film rather deals with the historical figure of Malcolm and the key events of his life. This makes his picture sometimes seem more dutiful than dramatic. Still, "Malcolm X" is one of the best biopics, not only because of Denzel Washington and the other very good actors. I also liked the cinematography by Ernest Dickerson, the music and the production design which added to the authentic mood of the movie.
If Lee had ended his movie five minutes earlier, I would have given it four stars, but unfortunately, he made the disastrous decision to add a closing coda that one can only call embarrasing. It's nothing else but clumsy propaganda and nowhere near the subtlety that the rest of the film displayed. It even features Nelson Mandela who seems to feel uncomfortable in front of a film camera. Maybe Lee was afraid of the subtlety of his picture and feared that someone couldn't get the message. I know that this is just speculation. Whatever his motives were, he didn't do his film a favour.
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on September 9, 2013
kind of long and took forever to get to the malcom x part. It was more about his life before he became muslim. the book was better
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on October 4, 2012
It does not follow what the book says. I was disappointed. Leaves the viewer with the wrong idea of what his life really was like.
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on August 28, 2015
Not the real story of malcome x but there were some truths within this movie.
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on July 15, 2016
I loved the book. The movie leaves too much out.
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