Director: Spike Lee Run Time: 201 min. Format: 35mm Rating: PG 13 Release Year: 1992
Starring: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., Delroy Lindo, Theresa Randle
Who better to direct and adapt Alex Haley’s THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X for the big screen than Spike Lee, and who better to play Malcolm himself than the endless well of talent that is Denzel Washington?
MALCOLM X surpasses the average biopic in almost every way, from Washington’s famously engrossing and transformative performance (that also famously did not win the Oscar that year), to its three and a half hour runtime that seems to fly by with Lee at the helm. Spike not only immerses us into Malcolm X’s life and legacy, but he also deeply immerses us into the life of Harlem in the 50’s and 60’s with the help of Ruth E. Carter and her Oscar nominated costume design, Wynn Thomas’ production design and Malcolm’s widow, Dr. Betty Shabazz (played in the film with gravitas by Angela Bassett) who served as a consultant on the film.
All at once informative, engaging, and deeply tragic, MALCOLM X is a loving tribute from Spike Lee to the man who changed his life, and the lives of many others, who was taken from us entirely too soon.