• PG-13, 3 hr. 21 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Spike Lee
  • In Theaters:    Nov 18, 1992 Wide
  • On DVD:    Jan 18, 2000
  • Warner Bros.

Malcolm X Reviews

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
June 4, 2012

Spike Lee called 1992's Malcolm X "the picture I was born to make," and star Denzel Washington referred to the titular civil-rights leader as "the role of a lifetime." They're both right...[Blu-ray]

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
March 4, 2011

The perfect combination of epic and personal, intimate and spectacular.

Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011

Insightful and well-rounded portrait of Malcolm X.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Tom Hibbert
Empire Magazine
January 6, 2010

Lee's film suffers from message over substance and is slightly tedious as a result.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic
January 6, 2010

Spike Lee has made a disappointingly conventional and sluggish film in Malcolm X.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
January 6, 2010

Benefits from a lively lead performance by the miscast Denzel Washington but doesn't come within light years of the book, one of the greatest American autobiographies.

David Ansen
Newsweek
Top Critic
October 18, 2008

Lee and company have performed a powerful service: they have brought Malcolm X very much to life again, both as man and myth.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
September 23, 2008

Lee sketches Malcolm's life colorfully, if by the numbers. But he falls victim to the danger of movie biography: he elevates Malcolm's importance until the vital historical context is obscured.

Jon Fortgang
Film4
September 23, 2008

Visually and dramatically, Lee pulls out all the stops, but it's Washington's performance that really energizes the film, and he's an exhilarating presence throughout.

Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
December 25, 2006

Lamoclm X may seem conventional by Spike Lee's standards, but as a biopic of a controversial historical figure, it's superior to the nobility of spirit of a movie like Gandhi, for example, and Attenborough's high-mindedness.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

It plays surprisingly safe as a solidly crafted trawl through the didactic/hagiographic conventions of the mainstream biopic.

John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews
March 5, 2005

a thoughtful and insightful rendering that promises to educate generations about the real Malcolm X

Full Review | Original Score: B
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
February 24, 2005

In the leading man category, Denzel Washington in Malcolm X managed to deliver the best performance of the decade.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
February 14, 2005

This is undoubtedly the way Spike Lee should have done it; nothing flashy. He lets the main character's life speak for itself.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
February 8, 2005

Finds Lee's tendencies towards gadflyish social outrage folded into the fabric of the typically reactionary biopic genre.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan
January 2, 2005

Controversial, compelling story...Spike Lee in good form.

| Original Score: 5/5
Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
January 1, 2005

Denzel brings the legend to life.

| Original Score: 4/5
Eric Meyerson
Filmcritic.com
November 22, 2004

richly layered

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Michael Dequina
TheMovieReport.com
January 1, 2004

Not a mere movie but a cinematic event.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

TV Guide's Movie Guide
July 30, 2003

Lee's biography of the slain civil rights leader treats Malcolm, not as a political rallying point, but as a fully rounded individual whose life defies reduction to symbolic status.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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