Reviews for BlacKkKlansman ( 2018 ) 1080p

Changing major facts for no reason

By: aagoneeightnine
We are living in extremely polarizing times when it comes to race relations. This film is based on a true story about a white man and black man working together to tackle a hate group, and that would have sent such a powerful message. Instead, the white guy's race was changed. And as a fan of the original book, I'm just left scratching my head. And it helps to nullify the dynamic between a white and black person working together; in other words it explains why the first two thirds of the film seems a little boring and almost like filler.

Boring

By: shiri662
I was sooo excited for this movie, but left the theater disappointed.Super long (why??) and yet I didn't feel any connection or compasion towards any of the characters.The only minutes worth watching were the last ones, those clips were hard to watch and actually made me feel something.

Meh

By: conormcgrath-32436
I kept waiting for this film to really get going but it never did. Wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a comedy or a drama but I can't remember laughing much. I did like Adam Driver in it and Topher Grace is quite funny (you're darn tootin'). But that was about it.

Sadly over-the-top

By: DrD3
Spike Lee must be cash-strapped to make a movie these days as he obviously had to pander to certain elements to get this farcical adaptation onto the screen. The over-the-top representation of the differing elements in the story made it farcical and unfortunately laughable; whereas a more serious approach to the issues and the people involved would have made viewing this film more legitimate and a reasonable approach to a troubled history.

Horrible

By: andrethomsen-66437
Horrible acting, and it just seemed like it was leftist propaganda, really could have made a great movie without making black panthers seem like some ok brothers...and the movie was just band and boring

Started good, then fizzled out

By: bberge007
I'm pulling the plug at 1 hour 48 minutes. When I started it yesterday I was really excited about the film. Thought it was going to be great throughout. About an hour in there was some bad acting with some of the characters that was disengaging. It was headed for greatness but took the wrong turn at the fork in the road. Deserves a remake, seems like a historical interesting story.

Yawn

By: nigelmacdonald
Surprisingly dull, predictable and full of the stereotypes it should be dispelling.

False advertisement, propaganda

By: jezats
First of all, I went to a movie theater to watch a comedy, to wash out the taste of a horror movie from the day before. This movie, even though it was tagged as a comedy, it was nothing but a political campaign and propaganda against current president of USA. That does not concern me in the least, and last thing I needed was to see anotherbiased rasistic movie, when all I wanted was to have a good laugh and see a comedy. My subjective feelings, and ugly deceptive tags aside (cause this is not a comedy);the movie was quite unconnected, and characters lacked motive and depth. It tried to speak against racism, while all it did was approaching characters in a rasistic way. For example, all blacks should be chanting African paroles and teachings, and most whites are racists and hateful (unless they are jews). We can see the two conflicting sides being exactly the same, but yet the movie decides to proclaim white supremacy as the evil, while black supremacy is totally alright. Also, the story about the rapist blackman who got tortured to death was one of the main inspirations to encourage the hate of the white people, and to inspire guilt. To me, that is entirely wrong, because any rapist, regardless of skin color deserves such treatment. All crimes are equal and should be equally punished. Why didn't the movie deal with the topic of 4 black students kidnaping a white boy and torturing him for days? Because, the point of this movie is entirely political and it serves to justify many acts of stupid people all around the world. People manipulated with simple things like this movies, manipulated into believing that their race defines them, and that being black = being a victim, while being white = being an opressor. In conclusion, we are all humans, in charge of our own actions, our religion, race and ethnicity don't define us, but our actions do. All evil and harmful actionsh should be punished no matter the herritage.This movie promotes the victim culture, instead of inspiring people to reflect on themselves; and that in itself is enough of a reason why it never needed to exist, there is nothing to learn from it

Great idea, poor delivery

By: enricoN7
A black guy infiltrating the KKK? I have to watch it, will be so much fun! That's the spirit with which I approached this movie. Unfortunately that's also the only comment I can give after watching it because there is really not much about this movie a part what's written on the tin. Do yourself a favour: watch the trailer (great, awesome) and save 90 minutes of your life. Few funny moments still deserve it a 5 score.

Exciting mash-up of dangerous lies and important truth about racism

By: freeds
"Black KKKlansman" is based on the memoir of a black former cop. The job of police (black and white alike) is to keep workers and the oppressed in line on behalf of the owning class, with blacks at the bottom as a special target of state brutality from slavery on. While spying on the Klan in the '70s with the help of a white colleague, the black cop also infiltrated the multiracial, worker-oriented Progressive Labor group. Police historically disrupt progressive organizations, while generally protecting those of racists and fascists -- the rulers' reserve army. Over and over they cover for individual cop acts of racist brutality. How does Spike Lee handle these facts? He ignores his hero's work against PL and invents an episode in which the police department opposes a racist in its ranks.

The movie does show racism (still) rampaging, stoked by the rulers' present front man. Against this unavoidable truth, the filmmaker counterposes messages and protests rejecting hate. Their wishful moralizing is about as useful as a silk shirt against a bullet. Our defense depends not on cops, or mockery of the racists, or "love," but on the power of the multiracial working class.

A new rating is in order: This exciting entertainment for anti-racists should be viewed through class-reality lenses. Rita Freed

Pure Propaganda

By: llamaxxii-55237
This movie is an anti government, anti police, anti white motive. Pure propaganda. It's just another tool in the liberal Hollywood tool belt to drive wedges in our society to make certain groups of people hate each other because they say you should. The movie mixes real clips of footage (select portions of course. Only the most emotionally driven pieces) with intense music and voice overs to really drive their hate filled message home. If you already hate police, government and white folks; this movie is for you. If you think you might hate these groups; this movie could give you that nudge to hate filled side you have been looking for. If you are not a hate filled mess of a person looking for more fuel for your hate filled life; do not watch this movie because it will just make you sad and angry. No one should go through life filled with this much anger and hate.

Good start, then a lot of nothing and horrible ending

By: joepvdo
Starts out strong and funny but really doesnt go anywhere after half an hour. Shallow story and the end footage of Charlottsville actuately made me mad. The movie first is "funny" and makes jokes about racists and racism, and then ends with ACTUAL people getting killed in the streets by neo-nazis? Horribly inappropriate.

An entertaining ride through some harrowing material

By: secondtake
BlacKkKlansman (2018)

The problem with this movie is exactly why Spike Lee made it: it is political activism. It's well made and a decent bit of storytelling with good acting and a strong underlying story. But it overtly pushes its message, and makes no effort to hide that. But this isn't a Michael Moore documentary. This is a film based on a true story, with actors and some embellishments. And it pushes the obvious, clich├ęs and all. It does this not only in the end and beginning, which are bookends that announce their message, but also in the story itself, by keeping it simple to the point of simplistic. So if you get the story, and even if you empathize completely with the message, the effect as a movie, as a feature film out to create drama and move and shape you, this effect is flimsy and false. Yes, false even, because you know a grittier, more complicated truth must be there. You do end up thinking of director Spike Lee's other films here, like the brilliant "Malcolm X" and its own historical reconstruction, or "Do the Right Thing" with its more fictional immersion and conviction. And this one, "BlacKkKlansman," is less lyrical even though it is quite well filmed, and less moving even though built on compelling facts. The conventional core of the movie is good (and sometimes fun and funny), with the infiltration of some KKK types (made generally caricatures to the point of being almost comic, which is a shame). However, the last scenes with all the high fives might drive you crazy, and the documentary footage will make you realize there are more penetrating things out there than the movie you just watched. It's good, I'm glad I saw it, but it's half of what it could have been. And half of what Lee has pulled off in the past.

Trumploitation

By: Cineanalyst
Spike Lee has an engaging dramatic-license-taken, based-on-a-true-story with "BlacKkKlansman," of an undercover operation led by a black police officer to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, and it's ripe for making into a subtle critique of the current Trump presidency and continued violence, including by law enforcement, against African Americans, but subtle Lee is not and, instead, the blunt polemic is hammered into our heads. There's also a nice concurrent theme concerning the mainstream Hollywood white-supremacist epics "The Birth of a Nation" (1915) and "Gone with the Wind" (1939) contrasted with early-1970s blaxploitation films, of which Lee's film aptly borrows much of its style.

I thought "The Post" (2017) was too obvious in its paralleling a Nixon-era narrative with current events, but "BlacKkKlansman" could've benefited from even that level of understatedness. On one hand, the opening sequence is rather good at connecting all of the threads, with clips from the aforementioned 1915 and 1939 films being projected during the making of Klan propaganda-- the hate speech being delivered by none other than "Saturday Night Live" Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin. But, then, the film continues to make certain no member of the audience is left behind in understanding the message. There's the joke that America would never elect a David Duke type, although that was the only part of this rather satirically-approached picture that received a laugh from the audience I was in. The historical events are pushed back to coincide with Nixon's 1972 Southern strategy. And, finally, there's the epilogue of real footage from the 2017 Charlottesville protests and car attack and President Trump's much-criticized remarks thereafter. It's too much.

The cinematic allusions aren't exactly subtle, either, but I think they're sometimes executed better. Although there's a conversation between the lovers debating their favorite blaxploitation flicks, this film also incorporates the genre into its style, including by actually being a film photographed on film. I especially like the brief disco scene, which is energetically compiled. I haven't seen much blaxploitation fare, but of the ones I've seen, they tend to include musical nightclub interruptions to the plot. They also contain scenes where the characters debate opposing sides of the approaches of African Americans to white-dominated America, whether to fight injustices from outside or to reform from within, especially regarding law enforcement. This one does the same thing, including one man becoming a city's first black cop, who, then, poses as white to expose the Klan and another cop, who's Jewish, "passing" in predominantly-Christian white America and acting anti-Semitic to infiltrate the same Organization. Similarly, they earlier go undercover at a Black Panther speech by Stokely Carmichael.

Unfortunately, Lee's anti-racist polemic can't entirely escape the kind of filmic rhetoric that has underpinned so much of Hollywood cinema all the way back to the racist pomposity of "The Birth of a Nation." Just as in the film, the black student union's "black power" slogan forms a sound bridge with the "white power" chant of the Klan. While surely not hoping for the sort of hooting and hollering of the Klansmen at the racist caricatures of white actors in blackface of the screening of the 1915 film within this film, it may be expected that supporters cheer the message of "BlacKkKlansman" just as audiences once roared for the KKK racing to the rescue in the climax of its predecessor. More interesting and likely more successfully than whether this affects the political and racial issues in America is whether Lee has changed the course from within of the white-dominated movie business. It's the Organization he's been infiltrating for some time now.

BlacKkKlansman doesn't hold back addressing the current political/racial climate.

By: TheMovieDiorama
Truth be told, I've not been looking forward to reviewing this. Much like Spike Lee, I have much to say regarding the apparent racial clash in America's modern-like society that feels more archaic than ever. However, I shall be discarding my political views from this review and strictly taking the time to critique Lee's boisterously powerful drama. Chronicling the true story of a black detective infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan to prevent any attacks that may result in a race war. An absolutely fascinating case that metaphorically represents a variety of multi-dimensional themes. A black individual joining an all-white clan, without them identifying him, shows that all races are able to integrate and reside peacefully in cohabitation. We are all law-abiding citizens. We are all integral components in society. We are all the same, regardless of skin colour. The KKK contrasts with former Black Panther Party members in the method they choose to rally up support. The former are likened to a terrorist organisation where actions speak louder than words, whereas the latter utilise the power of words to incite their followers, not to provoke them, but to motivate them in expressing themselves for a revolution. That's not a biased representation from Lee, it's fact. This is not a subtle depiction of a minority dealing with the remaining racists of society. This is a message. A message of power, liberation and revolution. The several screenwriters, including Lee, remove all expletive barriers. Nearly every offensive, racial and derogatory word is embedded within the sharp screenplay. It irrefutably has bite, and immediately absorbs you into the visceral environment of 70s America. Illustrating the racial ideology of white supremacism for both political and socioeconomic systems against a contemptuous backdrop. It's provocative, making your inner activism rise as the narrative progresses.

Fortunately, the script's focus is still on the plot, and it remains enthralling throughout. Balancing astute contemporary humour with uncompromising speeches where we cling onto every spoken word, witnessing Lee's illustrious perspective on black power through the medium of film. I'm not overtly familiar with his filmography, but there is no denying that his ability to address important issues without conforming to melodrama is nothing short of genius. His precise directing allows the cast to integrate themselves as part of the story. Washington portraying naivety through sarcastic wit and energetic bodily movements enabled him to be a likeable character amongst a sea of societal regression. But, yet again, Driver steals the screen. His acting is effortless and still remains one of the most credible actors working today. His comedic timing, calm demeanour and emotional conviction all amalgamate to create an authentic character portrayal. There is no denying that this is a timely film that is more important than ever given current situations, which are highlighted in the final five minute sequence. Yet, I do have some issues.

Regardless of my political and social views, I find injecting one's opinion into a film so forcibly, considering the basis of the film is the depiction of a true story, to be distasteful. Understandably, Lee utilises the case to compare the similarities of today's society with that of 70s America. But in doing so, the consistent sly remarks against the Trump administration tainted the tone of the film and instead started to become a personal attack. It is a personal statement, I get that. And Lee clearly wanted to share his viewpoint with the rest of the world. It just needed less lambaste in order to maintain the professionalism that was nested throughout the rest of the film. It didn't help that those particular scenes were embedded within the clunky narrative, furthering its own dispensability. However, the unique prowess of BlacKkKlansman should not go unnoticed. Both important and entertaining, Spike Lee is back on top form, and he has something to say.

Can I put bad review and not be labeled as racist?

By: kasparslabais
NO SPOILERS!

But seriously can I put bad review and not be labeled as racist? FIRST! I did like acting power from most of the cast (really good job), it was filmed in appealing style, and it had its funny moments.

So why 5 stars?

1. Biggest reason is how this movie was adverted. I went to cinema with absolute different vibe and expectations and because of that I could not enjoy movie right after 15-20 min when I felt it isn't what it tried to sell me. 2. Movie did not bring anything new to the table. It has solid (really good) acting, but it seemed like I'm watching cut-scenes from different movies and put together.3. It has bad mix between comedy and serious parts. Maybe jokes are too rare or to plain, but it makes you struggle to understand what was directors intentions? 4. End scenes (this is kinda spoiler, so will not say what was in it) felt really biased and ruined last bits of movie, because it felt too much out of place. It made me feel like all what trailers wanted is me to spend my money and see end scenes of directors views.

I don't mind more political movies, but I felt tricked and movie itself wasn't that good.

I don't want to spoil movie, so I would have more to say, but then it goes in discussion of certain scenes.

A Powerful Message that Gets Unfortunately Forced on the Audience

By: ThomasDrufke
Spike Lee's films have never really resonated with me for whatever reason. BlacKkKlansman is a fascinating story with an average execution at best. Lee brings some solid performances out of Adam Driver and John David Washington, but I'm not sure those characters are fleshed out as much as they should be. But my problem doesn't come with the actors or story per say, but more so with the message that is shoved down your throat. The very beginning and end of this movie present a particular message that is prevalent throughout the film on its own, without the book end scenes. It's a powerful message and reminder for our country, which is still going through its own version of the racism shown in the movie. Perhaps more subtle directing and a better 3rd act would have given this a higher score.

6.4/10

Really bad movie, directed by a racist himself

By: thebricks
Terrible movie directed by a biased, racist director who only tells one side of the story and gives a pass to the people he favors, racially and politically.

I'm a person of mixed descent who immigrated to America from a mostly black nation. Many people think I'm Arab when they see me. If you are a kid or a foreigner, this movie's portrayal of race relations in the US is absolutely one-sided and fictional. I would like to go into more detail, but I will get censored, All you have to do is read American news and go on Youtube and you will see the true story on there.

Absolutely hated this film. The juvenile moments where Stallworth calls David Duke surrounded by his fellow cops laughing got obnoxious after a while. I might have liked this movie when I was younger, but after my work experience in some of the roughest parts of America, I think it's revolting and doesn't help anybody. I think Spike Lee is a still a child himself and nothing but an enabler of a toxic culture. He is in a position to get his people to do better and all he does is trash America and encourage anti-social, anti-intellectual, anti-productive behavior.

This will be the last movie of his I ever see. Bye Spike.

Spike Lee at his best

By: Jared_Andrews
Spike Lee's talent never left. As is the case with great filmmakers, his perspective, his style and his vision have been present in all his work. As is also the case with great filmmakers, some of his work simply towers above the rest. 'Blackkklansman' is one of those towering achievements.

The film is difficult to classify because it transcends a single genre. At various times it's funny, dramatic, suspenseful, provocative. Often, it's many things at once. The one consistency of this heterogenous mixture, is excellence.

The story revolves around a college graduate, Ron Stallworth, who becomes the first black person to work for the Colorado Springs Police Department. Playing Ron is John David Washington, who, like his father, Denzel, carries himself and speaks with composure and power. He has a way of calmly making his presence felt without ever posing a threat, which is why the police chief believes he can command respect and handle the abuse he will surely take from the racist civilians (and fellow officers).

Ron quickly wins a chance to go undercover at a speaking event for a former black panther leader. His task to learn if the speaker is looking to incite violence (he's not). After a successful first mission, Ron is assigned to undercover work, and, one a whim, calls the number for the local KKK that he read in the paper. Buttering up the Klan-or as they call themselves, the organization-with fake white supremacist talk, he arranges a meeting. Since he's black, he teams up with a white officer, Flip (Adam Driver, who is spectacular in his role), to form the combined Ron Stallworth. It works like a charm because, as the real Ron says, "with the right white man, we can do anything."

Spike Lee is fair in his portrayal of everyone. Within some of the Klansman, there exists a puzzling contradiction-they're polite, courteous, and charismatic, but they're also despicable racists. Klan national director, David Duke, gracious to all the people all the white people he meets, but also says things like, "blacks are an in inferior race. It's a fact." Topher Grace plays Duke, a challenging role, with nuance and something that resembles likability (aside from the racism, obviously). Duke and a couple other Klansman are the kind of people that you could meet without knowing anything about them, and you might describe them as gentlemen. That is, until they slip a racist comment into conversation.

Other members of the Klan are slobbering, disgusting overt racists. Both types of people feel real, because they both are.

The police are portrayed fairly too. Some are evolved, others are trying but not quite there, and others are just as appalling as the slobbering, disgusting overt racist Klansman.

Spike Lee is at his best, as he typically is when working with material about race in America. Subtlety isn't always his strength or his intention, hence the mix of over-the-top and subtle racism. He opts to hammer home his message at the film's closing with some footage of last year's march in Charlottesville and the sound bites from a certain political figure that followed. Some viewers may argue that this footage wasn't needed. I think the film would work fine without it, but it certainly adds an extra punch.

The film's narrative is so utterly fascinating as a crime story that the elements of race could be removed and the movie would still work. But, it's the poignant social commentary that elevates the project to best picture contention.

There's so much going on that it's definitely a movie that needs to be watched twice. As great as it is the first time, I imagine that it's even better on the second viewing.

In any case, 'Blackkklansman' is one of the best movies of the year and one we will likely be thinking about for a long time.

Incredible true story comes with a lot of fictional baggage

By: tkmcc-08780
There's much good about this movie, starting with Ron Stallworth's incredible deception of the Klu Klux Klan. Racism in all its ugliness is powerfully shown. There's a lot of humor at the expense of some really dumb people. Unfortunately, there's a lot wrong with the movie too. Most of this is because the director embellished the true story. I'm not a big fan of directors tinkering with what really happened in order to add their own touch, and then still claim "based on a true story".The result of the tinkering is a very uneven movie, particularly in the apparently "easy" parts of infiltrating the KKK and the "hard" parts where things go wrong. The "easy" parts are, remarkably, mostly the true story. Apparently this wasn't dramatic enough, so a lot of fictional "hard" parts were added to build tension including whole characters and situations. That's bad enough, but the added parts often made no sense, such as having no real origin (like one character's intense suspicions) and no resolution to the dilemma presented - they just seem to go away, are forgotten or have no effect on the inevitable story arc. Many seem to have been thrown in only to make already duped people look even more ridiculous. The characters themselves are, with a few exceptions, just caricatures. It's not hard to figure out what's next since they do exactly what you expect.Eventually the movie just got boring since it all moved to an inevitable and very easy to see end. Ultimately, the movie is maybe an hour of an amazing true and humorous story marred by over an hour of superfluous and poorly executed fiction.
Hilary Castaneda | The Middle 7.6 | HardhopK