Malcolm X Reviews

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Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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
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.
Jim Chastain
Norman Transcript
August 23, 2002
| Original Score: 1/5
Tony Toscano
Talking Pictures (U.S.)
August 14, 2003
| Original Score: 2/5
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
Insightful and well-rounded portrait of Malcolm X.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 31, 2002
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
This is an extraordinary life, and Spike Lee has told it in an extraordinary film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Michael A. Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
January 1, 2005
Denzel brings the legend to life.
| Original Score: 4/5
Scott Weinberg
eFilmCritic.com
July 27, 2002
Just a bit on the looong side, but it's also one of Lee's most complete and commanding films.
| Original Score: 4/5
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
January 11, 2003
Unfocused and too long by half, but Washington's performance is hypnotic.
| Original Score: 3/5
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
The film does say a lot about Malcolm, both positive and negative, but not nearly as much as one would expect for a film almost twice the length of most feature films.
Full Review | Original Score: +1 out of -4..+4
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
January 1, 2000
The point of Lee's engrossing, scathing epic ... is that as long as racism lives, the spirit of Malcolm will -- must -- live.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
December 8, 2006
| Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
March 4, 2011
The perfect combination of epic and personal, intimate and spectacular.
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
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.
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.
Christopher Smith
Bangor Daily News (Maine)
March 20, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
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