BlacKKKlansman Movie Review

Carolyn McAndrews, Reviewer



Box office: 89.7 million USD

Release date: August 10, 2018 (USA)

Director: Spike Lee

Budget: 15 million USD

Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Legendary Entertainment, Monkeypaw Productions, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, & Perfect World Pictures

Genre: Drama/Crime

Rating: Restricted (R)

Length of Film: 2h 16m


Film Description:

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream. Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out.


My Review:


When you first saw advertisements for BlacKKKlansman and noticed that it was related to the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) in any way, shape, or form, a red flag probably immediately went up. “Danger, danger!” and you must now be thinking “What is this girl going to write about if this movie has anything to do with the KKK?” Well, I’m going to tell you that it is a phenomenal and one of the best movies I have ever seen. Now you’re probably thinking “she says that about literally every single movie she writes a review on”. While that is true, I don’t know if I have ever meant it as much as I mean it now.

This movie is about a man named Rob Stallworth.  Rob Stallworth was “kind of like a Jackie Robinson of the Colorado Springs police department”(quote from movie), meaning he was the first African American to become a police officer at this particular department. Here’s the twist though, that will make you understand why a movie about the KKK is so phenomenal. Rob Stallworth managed to infiltrate the Klu Klux Klan. Now you might be saying, “Carolyn, are you saying an African American became a member of the KKK? A group that is known for being racist against African Americans?” The answer is yes, and the crazy thing is… this is based on a TRUE STORY!

The story line is absolutely amazing and the characters well-played so give a hand to John David Washington, who plays Rob Stallworth. Washington did an outstanding job with his part, and like any great actor, he really brought the story to life. Laura Harrier and Adam Driver are two other actors that help Washington really make the movie as meaningful as it was. I recommend this movie, but would not recommend this for a younger audience. There is swearing, which is one reason it’s rated R, but the content is also very mature and would be hard for a younger audience who doesn’t yet know the history. For the appropriate audience, you’ll be missing out if you don’t watch this movie.  It’s no wonder it’s nominated for so many Oscars!

There are some final thoughts that director Spike Lee showed at the end of the film. This movie could have been a major flop, he [Spike Lee] was walking on a very delicate line with the comment about Trump. “Lee was successful, though, with his tightrope skills by juxtaposing the discrimination against black people in the ’70s with the racist behavior exhibited by some Americans since Trump was elected into office.” The movie also ends with the American Flag upside down, and if you know anything about that it is a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. The BlacKKKlansman was a wake up call, we need to get our act together if we really care about everyone as equals.

In 2017, there were a series of white supremacists and Neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. At one of these events a woman named, Heather Heyer, a 32 year-old woman was hit and killed by a car attack at a peaceful counter-protest. Some of these final thoughts are clips of these protest and of President Trump stating how the reason these riots ended terribly was because “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.” Now you’re probably thinking, “well if this movie is just about bashing Trump, then I don’t want to see it.” If you are saying that then you are completely missing the point of what director Spike Lee was trying to get across to you. In an interview Spike Lee says that the reason he put these scenes in is because “He said those things. And people need to be reminded that the current president of the United States says things like that.”

“The film starts with a shot of the Civil War and it ends with Charlottesville. There’s only one filmmaker who can draw that line,” (said by Topher Grace).