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Malcolm X
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Malcolm X

1992
Drama
History
3h 22m
Biography of Malcolm X, the famous African American leader. Born Malcolm Little, his father (a minister) was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. He became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings when let out of jail, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, there he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim. (imdb)
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Malcolm X

1992
Drama
History
3h 22m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 64.9% from 2609 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

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Rated 11 May 2021
91
85th
Spike's love of classic cinema comes across in this epic biopic influenced by Gandhi & Lawrence of Arabia. From the former he borrows a hero battling an oppressive caste system. From the latter he shows us an eye-opening experience that forces a man to question his own ethical code. It also works as a picture! The best movie star of the time gives an awe-inspiring performance. And Al Freeman is a wonderful villain who tempts a lead with an offer the audience understands. Inspiring & educational.
Rated 06 Jun 2009
90
79th
Denzel Washington gives his most irresistibly transcendent and opulent yet committed and dedicated role ever as activist Malcolm X, while Lee himself does a very golden and dexterous job behind the appartus camera. One of the most direputably opprobious and lurid biopics ever, and also one Lee's best by far.
Rated 03 Oct 2010
93
97th
Stunning work. Most biopics tend to feel like a greatest hits parade of anecdotes, but Lee describes X's life as a true journey of discovery: emotional, political and spiritual. Only in the final minutes does the film come dangerously close to hagiography. Needless to say, Washington is magnificent, the man has a commanding screen presence like few others. Most importantly, I found the narrative exceedingly compelling, and I was never bored. Very engrossing film with terrific camerawork.
Rated 13 Oct 2011
95
96th
One of the greatest biopics due to the powerhouse performance of Denzel Washington; he embodies the man he is portraying in every sense of the word. Spike Lee's direction is dazzling, balanced and fair. Though the modern day ending is a little heavy-handed, it is not a disservice to the rest of the film. Malcolm's experiences and subsequent transformations are fully realized and Lee pulls no punches in recognizing both his resolute strengths and fatal flaws. Necessary viewing for all Americans.
Rated 05 Nov 2009
95
99th
It's incredibly powerful to see a naturally bright young man, held down by labeling and turned into a scoundrel, rise back up and become a man of purpose. Spike Lee was on his game here.
Rated 30 Mar 2013
80
89th
Denzel couldn't have done better here. Malcolm X is one of the more fascinating figures in modern American history and this biopic does him more than justice.
Rated 10 May 2011
91
82nd
The only bad reviews seem to come from people who didn't finish the biopic. Why rate a movie you've never seen? Go fuck yourselves.
Rated 19 Feb 2018
6
95th
A sprawling epic that Spike Lee directs perfectly. His shot construction is great. Some of his best work (DTRT might be slightly better). The staging of the scene where Malcolm is shot seems so loose but is just expertly crafted. And of course you have to say something about Denzel here. One of the greatest performances I've ever seen.
Rated 07 Aug 2022
90
92nd
If you're going to do a biopic, may as well try to stretch the film's runtime. This fit so much stuff in here, and is a complicated portrayal of the man. Plus, it's Denzel for over three hours. What more do you need?
Rated 30 Jul 2018
100
94th
Denzel Washington's finest performance to date Powerful, Moving, Epic Film !
Rated 20 Mar 2007
95
94th
Brilliant performance from Denzel Washington portraying one of the most brilliant men in American history. This outstanding biopic ages gracefully and speaks to the magnitude of social woes still facing this country. It is a testament not only to the great talent of Spike Lee, but a monument for future generations to remember the great Malcolm X. Indeed, this film is a worthy addition to any library and a must-see for anyone interested in American history, culture, or cinema.
Rated 23 Sep 2018
95
89th
Malcolm rest in peace brother
Rated 06 Feb 2019
90
96th
The vibrant colors of Do the Right Thing, the melancholy coolness of Mo' Better Blues, even the intimate closeup shots of She's Gotta Have It all come together for what can only be called Spike Lee's opus. The intricately woven match cuts in the montages are some of the most powerful I've ever seen.
Rated 08 Feb 2010
8
88th
kill whitey
Rated 06 Jul 2011
76
70th
For the first half, I wasn't really feeling it. The characters, style of filming, editing; it failed to really engage me. But the second half definitely improved things, including stylistic touches and presenting the material in a much more interesting way. Denzel carries the film wonderfully. Still, it's a long-ass ride to the finish.
Rated 25 Nov 2009
63
39th
I really liked Malcolm X's autobiography, and I think that's why this film disappointed me. OK, perhaps that's not fair, but there it is.
Rated 25 Apr 2012
95
95th
There's a lot I could say about a film that attempts to squeeze an incredibly interesting person's life in to a mere 3 hours of screen time but I think I need to focus on Denzel Washington. An excellent performance by any metric, the film is obviously anchored by his work and his ability is put to good use. Excellent editing and camerawork too. If anything I wish there was more focus on Malcolm's relationship with Betty but I can't pick anything to cut out to make room. An excellent biopic.
Rated 17 Aug 2016
90
95th
A beautiful, moving, necessary picture of a man that's so often demonized and pitted against the philosophies of MLK. Lee's film is still potent, especially now, and every scene is so full of life and energy that the running time never drags the film down. It's a spiritual movement that embraces Malcolm X as both a man and something more.
Rated 02 Apr 2012
96
97th
The best biopic I have ever seen. This is the role Denzel Washington was made for. Brilliant, captivating, powerful.
Rated 11 Apr 2012
77
71st
I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. Denzel Washington turns Malcolm X intro a man you may not have much love for, but by the end of this movie you will feel like you understand him, for better or worse.
Rated 14 Feb 2016
72
80th
Doesn't completely avoid the typical problems that make most biopics such a drag (EG: Malcolm's prison conversion is little more than a lengthy exposition by an assigned father figure about what his beliefs should be). Still, this tracks the development of its subject better than the vast majority of the genre and maintains a good pace despite a nearly 3.5 hour runtime. Lee's visual style is the icing on the cake and elevates it even further.
Rated 24 Mar 2019
50
44th
Like most biopics, aims to tell too much story, the price of which is superficiality of treatment. Despite a lot of dumbing down, the filmmakers still try to introduce a bit of complexity, but seem unsure of their view of the figure they are portraying. Crane shots indicate a wish for grandeur, but this director seemingly cannot avoid clunkiness. For my money, a more focused, thoughtful and intimate film on Little's prison transformation could be very interesting, but who's capable of making it?
Rated 03 May 2012
40
19th
Spike Lee really annoys me. What the fuck was he doing for the first hour of the movie? What was that? New York in the 1940s via Musical Theater? Horrible costumes, dancing, looking right into the camera, "daddy-o" flying left and right, unnecessary first person narration. The worst. Blasphemy, but I find Do The Right Thing un-watchable for similar reasons. Also, the ending had me covering my face in embarrassment. Nelson Mandela directly addressing the audience. Ugh.
Rated 25 Feb 2013
87
87th
It's long, I'm not sure I agree with all the directorial choices and the ending is overblown. And still it's an amazing film with an astounding performance from Washington. I was really impressed with how smooth the pacing was for the length, building up the character well and creating very compelling mini-narratives. Despite my issues with some of Lee's choices, and Malcolm X's, he does a great job of presenting genuine perspectives about issues that still linger and are worth thinking about.
Rated 31 Mar 2013
82
70th
The first section is tonally at odds with the rest of the film (albeit purposefully), but quick editing keeps the pace up. The film definitely falls into some typical biopic trenches, but it's remarkably focused on showing Malcolm as a man with growth. Denzel has never been more impressive, and he absolutely carries the film on his back, but it's a very good biopic regardless.
Rated 29 Jun 2013
76
62nd
It is my favourite biopic up to now, as it sweeps through the whole life of a man without pulling any punches. Also, as someone who was born in a Muslim country, The Nation of Islam's take on Islam was very interesting for me. But the way it turns into a machine of corruption was all too familiar. How good D. Washington was in his role was evident when they started to show real life footages.
Rated 03 Jan 2014
100
88th
It's a bold portrait, and it's a great movie that isn't afraid of looking at the issues head on, and attacking them without hesitation. Very much like it's protagonist.
Rated 11 Apr 2014
82
84th
Denzel Washington is outstanding in the lead role in the this film. His character changes a lot over the course of the movie and Washington is excellent the entire way. His performance holds the entire film together. Spike Lee does an excellent job at bringing the Malcolm X story to life.
Rated 10 May 2014
75
81st
I've never known much about Malcolm X, so this was pretty interesting. It seemed like a pretty fair portrayal of him. That being said, it did get very heavy-handed and preachy at the end, but I did expect that from Lee. I wasn't convinced by his direction, I gotta say. It felt a bit contrived and even pandering, at times. Washington was good, but not phenomenal, like so many claim. Still, I enjoyed the film and I was never bored, which is impressive considering the more-than-3-hour running time.
Rated 10 Jul 2014
95
91st
Spike Lee has crafted a truly masterful biopic with enough of his own unique visual style as an independent filmmaker to elevate this film past any of its standard biopic conventions highlighted by Denzel's perfect portrayal of a human being and martyred legend. Through its epic running time the film remains very entertaining as Malcolm's life includes numerous different and colorfully captured key phases that Lee handles with care and passion.
Rated 21 Sep 2015
75
84th
Epic biopic that portrays a complex vision of a fascinatingly contradictory man, Lee's most ambitious film zeroes in on 3 main phases of Malcolm's life: his early criminal years, his prison years (where he converted to Islam) and his rise to prominence as a distinguished and fearsome spokesman for the Nation of Islam. The sprawl of the project is impressive, and Denzel Washington's performance captures Malcolm's passionate gift for oratory and his intense physical magnetism.
Rated 13 Jan 2015
80
78th
Exhilarating, important filmmaking. Some scenes don't entirely work, but mostly it's Lee at his best.
Rated 19 May 2015
9
89th
Scarcely subtle and definitely long-winded, "Malcolm X" is nonetheless a powerful depiction of the late eponymous civil rights hero that's made all the more effective thanks to an outstanding performance by Denzel Washington.
Rated 14 Apr 2015
8
80th
From what I've seen, easily Denzel Washington's best role. Gets off on unsure footing, has a few dead areas, but mostly hits cruising altitude somewhere past the halfway point - the scenes with the speeches are generally the highlight. An unfortunate shift towards hagiography during the final moments knocks it back down a little. Still, Spike Lee did a solid job.
Rated 09 Apr 2021
83
83rd
Watched in three sittings
Rated 12 Feb 2007
80
95th
Denzel washington is outstanding in this film.Brilliant.
Rated 01 Apr 2007
100
95th
Fantastic movie in every sense of the word. Spike is one of my favorite directors.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
94
95th
It's a little too long, but Malcolm X is one of those movies that sticks with you forever, even if you don't agree with his philosophy.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
96th
Look, I don't like Spike Lee's politics. But this film is a masterpiece and should be required viewing. This movie shows the growth of Malcom X from an activist to a radical to a man of peace. Denzel Washington's portrail shows so much power, it was incredible. This is Spike Lee's best work.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
99
98th
Compelling, brilliant biography. Required viewing.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
93rd
Tremendous. Plus, Peter Boyle doesn't yell or anything.
Rated 22 Dec 2007
82
76th
Washington is pretty good in the lead role but Spike Lee's directing is pure gold. The movie is worthy of the man.
Rated 22 Jan 2008
80
95th
My favorite Spike Lee film and my favorite Denzel film.
Rated 04 Dec 2008
85
80th
Excellent.
Rated 02 Jan 2009
86
93rd
While both fought for Civil Rights, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were polar opposites as far as methodology is concerned. While many people may aspire to be like King, the inclination for most would be to pursue justice in a manner similar to Malcolm X...by seizing it! Washington gives his best peformance (far superior to Training Day) and was robbed of an Oscar.
Rated 29 Jul 2009
90
83rd
a very objective look on Malcolm X
Rated 12 Feb 2009
95
95th
Rated 17 Apr 2009
8
79th
One of Spike Lee's best.
Rated 16 Jun 2020
91
88th
In light of recent events, Spike Lee's biopic about Malcolm X rings much different. It becomes clear even in the opening minutes that Malcolm's ideals held later in life still have not been realized, but this film seeks to tear down the false image held in the minds of many Americans in an effort to portray Malcolm as a man who changed many times throughout his life and whose final stances were much more in concert with the mainstream civil rights movement than some might think.
Rated 31 Dec 2019
100
97th
Spike Lee is a great filmmaker. Denzel Washington delivered a phenomenal performance. The movie not only tells the story of Malcolm X, but also the history of the Nation of Islam and the history of blacks in America. Very impressive!
Rated 24 Jun 2009
85
75th
The honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that ALL white men are devils. And it's so true.
Rated 09 Mar 2019
77
3rd
77.00
Rated 02 Jan 2007
90
87th
Malcolm X estreava há 30 anos nos EUA. Não via esse filme desde os anos 90 e não lembrava de sua magnitude, teria que rever Faça a Coisa Certa, mas é possível que Malcolm X seja o magnum opus do Spike Lee. Na Mubi.
Rated 03 Dec 2023
4
74th
As American as apple pie. Fantastic performances, editing, and montage. A few transcendent sequences, especially later in the film, help to justify its gargantuan runtime and cement the feeling of development.
Rated 27 Nov 2015
77
56th
A full and comprehensive biography, the film passes its airy start and gets better as it goes, becoming more conflict-driven, riveting, and even a little tense. I feel, apart from the overblown ending, this is a stylistically sensationalised, yet fairly even-handed portrayal of this man who seemed to constantly shift his already controversial opinions.
Rated 02 Jul 2023
77
42nd
Denzel is great as always. Spike is a good director who adds a little flair here and there to showcase his own unique style. And this story showed me sides of Malcolm X that I was not familiar with, including a sense that he was influenced or perhaps "used" (for lack of a better term) by certain people around him. He was a complex character that evolved as his life went on. At least, that was the portrayal here. I enjoyed but but damn was it long. Solid film but nothing that draws me back.
Rated 13 Jan 2023
73
34th
spike lee bir kürt sinemacı gibi gaza gelip ne var ne yok anlatmaya calışırken aslında malcolm xi anlatmayı unutmuş filmde. ilgisi olan alex haleyin kitabını okusun bence film oldukça kötüydü. su an cekilse netflixe 10 bölümler tertemiz dizi olurmuş aslında. misss hadi cekelim mekanın uçmaaa olsun malcolm baba el hac malik el shahbaz adamsın seviyoruz seni
Rated 08 Dec 2022
4
42nd
Score is for the 3 hour 21 minute 53 second version.
Rated 24 Oct 2021
30
24th
An important story clumsily told and trivialised by a collection of distracting filmmaking gimmicks.
Rated 05 Jul 2018
70
54th
Excellent and mostly fair portrayal of Malcom X. But its critical flaw is it failed to deliver the punch line. He criticized blacks for being chumps for supporting the Democrat Party, and giving them 80% of their votes with nothing to show for it. He was killed 2 days later. The Nation of Islam was blamed, and they probably did carry it out, but who saw him as the greatest threat? None of that was covered.
Rated 20 Jun 2024
70
22nd
Really like the scene where his followers turn in unison at his command in a police station. Where Biopics fail is historical context is lost in favor of relatability for modern audiences - this film is not guilty of that.
Rated 30 Dec 2020
85
80th
At worst, Malcolm X falls victim to things I've seen in other Lee movies; soap operaish shlock, awkward insertions and dialogue ("I'M A MAN!"). Heavy-handedness that occasionally hurts it. But despite the weaknesses, I really dug this one. It was a fair examination of an interesting man, had some really inspired and memorable scenes where Lee cuts the crap and shines, and of course Denzel was masterful. My undying love for Washington probably helped here. Didn't feel as long as it is.
Rated 08 Jul 2020
50
44th
Overlong, overindulgent, unfocused at times, and heavy-handed. Lee has a supreme connection to this material, and the movie can be powerful, but its ability to absorb me in its world is lacking.
Rated 24 Jun 2020
70
30th
Boy... What were those first 45 minutes? And why turn X's contradictions into a banal hero's journey. (Really, he learns about his own ignorance because he sees a white boy in Mecca?! Give me a break.) And what is this cheesy montage doing in the end? As I said, boy. I don't know. It's kind of an achievement to turn such a fascinating figure like Malcolm X into an action figure for virtue.
Rated 22 Jun 2020
75
20th
interesting to learn about malcolm x. kind of boring/spotty as a film
Rated 30 May 2009
80
67th
Well done biopic.
Rated 21 Feb 2007
90
76th
A slow first act and a terrible performance from Al Freeman Jr. as Elijah Muhammed bring this down, but the rest is stylish and powerful - Denzel is brilliant as Malcom X.
Rated 26 May 2007
45
24th
Overrated.
Rated 17 Jun 2007
90
86th
Doing a straight biography is just what Spike Lee needed to get his films away from all feeling the same, due to his improvisatory way of making films. It turns out he'd be pretty damn good at making musicals, too
Rated 14 Aug 2007
65
28th
Just okay for me. Seems like it could be much better; there are so many more biographical films that top this.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
0th
Every American should see this movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
89
77th
R.I.P. Malcolm X ..
Rated 23 Aug 2007
85
86th
Very good
Rated 13 Nov 2007
91
76th
Though frayed slightly by fibs and cutarounds (not to mention Lee's trademark pick-your-own-marshmallow ending), this riveting three-hour ride is still one of the best biopics ever made. Or maybe it's the best. Think of it as an epic about twentieth century black America (the well-armed, self-reliant bits especially), and you'll feel a special glow. Think of it as a tragedy about organizational coherence, message control, and rigid separatism, and you'll want to watch it again.
Rated 25 Feb 2008
70
61st
Boring and long. And I hate Spike Lee and you speech. It is worth only, like historical register of Malcom, that is very well done.
Rated 28 Feb 2008
77
60th
Too long. Its a good biopic but just too long. Funny story when I went to see this movie with my friend Chris in the theatre I started laughing (for no apparent reason). It was during a really serious part and I don't think it looked good to the rest of the audience. The two of us ended up having to walk out of the theatre to compose myself (twice).
Rated 10 Sep 2008
68
48th
Powerhouse directing and acting from Bassett and Washington. Whatever you think about X's philosophy, the film shows above all else he was a product of America, and the life the man lived was truly remarkable.
Rated 02 Oct 2008
75
72nd
denzel Washington is SUPERB in the title role, but the camera work in this is so annoying I almost put my foot through the screen. This shoulda been a documentary...
Rated 10 Nov 2008
11
3rd
Brilliantly acted, but.... The problem was that, from what I could see, the movie portrayed Malcolm X as a truly unlikeable person. I came to dislike him so much I turned the film off, and any film I turn off I cannot give a good rating to. It left me wondering "Why does anyone revere this guy and why would they make a movie about him?" And that's odd because I went in expecting to like the film and learn something. I guess I did learn, but not what I expected.
Rated 14 Feb 2015
75
74th
Very moving story about a person who almost became as big as Martin Luther King. Unfortunately Malcolm made some wrong choices and died way too young. Still, he had a huge impact on the debate for equality. Denzel's performance was masterful and electrifying. Thanks for this movie. I wont forget it.
Rated 31 May 2009
91
85th
Spike Lee amazing as usual. Denzel was fabulous. Well done all around. When can I buy bonds in 40 acres and a mule productions?
Rated 18 Aug 2009
84
39th
Excellent story, very well told and very moving.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
77
33rd
Flashy, occasionally impressive, but lacking a coherent structure and disciplined pacing. My favorite part: the beginning, with the zoot suits and the process.
Rated 26 Jul 2010
2
5th
Infuriatingly even-handed biopic of American's fiercest white supremacist. It's an intriguing film that poses many questions, the one that occurred to me was "What does the X stand for?"
Rated 09 Sep 2010
54
70th
#90s(e)#, story.
Rated 24 Sep 2010
84
78th
Great acting, great story, edge-of-your-seat. Not sure how historically accurate the film was, but it was very believable.
Rated 25 Nov 2010
25
61st
"Finds Lee's tendencies towards gadflyish social outrage folded into the fabric of the typically reactionary biopic genre." - Eric Henderson
Rated 24 Dec 2010
79
60th
Excellent performance by Denzel, however the movie itself wasn't completely enthralling. There were quite a few shoddy performances aswell. However, ,pretty good movie altogether.
Rated 05 Feb 2012
75
83rd
Act 1: Let's be like a dark flavor of white people! Act 2: All white people are the devil! Act 3: Some white people are okay and black people are going to kill me!
Rated 23 Apr 2012
87
85th
86.750
Rated 20 Jul 2014
75
62nd
I've never known much about Malcolm X, but Spike Lee's biopic reaffirmed that he was a polarizing figure. Denzel Washington is quite good.
Rated 08 Aug 2014
90
82nd
Incredibly stylish and confident. Soundtrack so good it will make you cry. Bassett and Washington come off like royalty.

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