Malcolm X - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
January 6, 2010
Spike Lee has made a disappointingly conventional and sluggish film in Malcolm X.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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.
Top Critic
David Ansen
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.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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
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
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+
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
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
November 22, 2004
richly layered
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Michael Dequina
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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