Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Spike Lee directs Denzel Washington in the role of African-American leader Malcolm X in this epic biographical drama.

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 100
    The film is inspirational and educational - and it is also entertaining, as movies must be before they can be anything else.
  2. Mr. Lee means for Malcolm X to be an epic, and it is in its concerns and its physical scope. In Denzel Washington it also has a fine actor who does for Malcolm X what Ben Kingsley did for “Gandhi.” [18 November 1992]
  3. 90
    A spiritually enriching testament to the human capacity for change -- and surely Spike Lee's most universally appealing film.
  4. Lee's finest, most unabashed labor of love.
  5. A mortal movie about an immortal subject and the very fact that it succeeds as well as it does is a testament to Lee's skills as a filmmaker.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    The picture comes up short in several departments, notably in pacing and in giving a strong sense of why this man became such a legend.
  7. Lee has tried hard to give this shapeless picture some visual patterning though the cluttered effect created by his mistrust of silence is even more harmful than in the past.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Apr 7, 2014
    A fascinating illumination of one of American history's most influential, charismatic and complex individuals, "Malcolm X" has a raw, passionate power steeped in Spike Lee's sweeping, evocative direction and the towering performance of Denzel Washington in the lead, who throws himself into the role of Malcolm X so completely it's incomprehensible any other actor could do a better job. Expand
  2. Mar 25, 2012
    Spike Lee has brought one of the best biopics in american history with a performance from Washington that brings out the angry intensity his controversial character was known for. Expand
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    In Spike Lee's epic tale of legendary civil rights leader Malcolm X, he successfully creates one of the most provocative, disturbing, but enlightening biographical dramas I've ever gotten the chance to watch. A film that is not only a way for African-Americans everywhere to rightfully embrace their heritage, but a film that gives people of all creeds, races, and ethnicities a chance to realize that we can live in perpetual harmony with one another. The movie is anchored by arguably one of the most moving, dynamic, and emotional biographical performances thus far - Denzel Washington's Malcolm X. Washington gives such a diverse and vivid portrayal of the man. From his troubling days as a misunderstood youth, to his successful moments as a rising voice within the Nation of Islam, to his final days as an enlightened, reformed human being, Washington depicts every moment to a sharp and polished degree. Every technical aspect of the movie is executed to a near perfect degree. Whether it's the camerawork, the lighting, the sets, or the score, Spike Lee successfully manages to use every one of the aforementioned factors to add to the film's thick mood. "Malcolm X" is a drama that is long, yes, but it is necessary for everyone to see. For the rise and fall of this young man is not only complex and tragic, but it's unbelievably inspiring. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews