Malcolm X

1992, Drama/History, 3h 21m

63 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Anchored by a powerful performance from Denzel Washington, Spike Lee's biopic of legendary civil rights leader Malcolm X brings his autobiography to life with an epic sweep and a nuanced message. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the '50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.

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Critic Reviews for Malcolm X

Audience Reviews for Malcolm X

  • Feb 07, 2021
    One of the great American epics and perhaps one of a handful of biopics where covering most of the subject's life works to its advantage. Washington gives the performance of his career here.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2016
    I have no idea why Denzel Washington didn't get an award for his performance here. A superb movie from Spike Lee that makes you think about the revered civil rights leader. A superb biopic.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2012
    Now that is how you make a biopic. Spike Lee's monument to one of the most controversial figures in American history is bold, comprehensive, & unflinching. Lee uses X's autobiography, penned by Alex Haley, as the source material. While this renders the film an easy target for critics who want a more objective look at this historical figure, I believe Lee, walking in step with the subject of the film, smartly becomes the provocateur. Malcolm X was not an easy figure to wrap your head around. With seemingly equal capacity for both love and vitriol, a film that tried to focus on one facet of his personality, while consequently ignoring the many other ones that made this man so enigmatic, would feel dishonest. Lets face it, this film was bound to rustle some feathers, and I think it was a smart move to let the man speak for himself. And how could you review the film without mentioning the great Denzel? How he manages to pull off such a complex character with such ease is absolutely stunning. That he lost the Oscar to Pacino is still one of the most egregious crimes the academy has ever committed. While Lee's career may be wading in troubled water as of now, Malcolm X gives me hope that he will soon rebound.
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2012
    Malcolm X was interesting, but way too long. At a certain point, I just tuned out. Fortunately, Denzel Washington was amazing and his acting along kept me somewhat involved.
    Sam E Super Reviewer

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