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


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Malcolm X Reviews

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

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 Source: Groucho Reviews | Original Score: 4/4

June 4, 2012
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

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

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

March 4, 2011
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media

Insightful and well-rounded portrait of Malcolm X.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

January 2, 2011
Tom Hibbert
Empire Magazine

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

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

January 6, 2010
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Variety

January 6, 2010
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 6, 2010
David Ansen
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Newsweek

October 18, 2008
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

September 23, 2008
Jon Fortgang

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.

Full Review Source: Film4

September 23, 2008
Emanuel Levy

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 Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B+

December 25, 2006
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
John A. Nesbit
Old School Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Old School Reviews | Original Score: B

March 5, 2005
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

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

Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 24, 2005
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

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 Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 8/10

February 14, 2005
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

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

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 8, 2005
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

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

| Original Score: 5/5

January 2, 2005
Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Denzel brings the legend to life.

| Original Score: 4/5

January 1, 2005
Eric Meyerson

richly layered

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

November 22, 2004
Michael Dequina

Not a mere movie but a cinematic event.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2004

TV Guide's Movie Guide

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 Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4/4

July 30, 2003
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