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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 (R) winning Get Out.
Richard Roeper / Chicago Sun-Times
Sometimes it doesn’t matter all that much if a movie is based on a true story or has sprung fully from the imagination of the screenwriter.
But in the case of Spike Lee’s searing, electric and sometimes flat-out funny “BlacKkKlansman,” knowing we’re seeing a dramatization of real-life events definitely helps — because if this were pure fiction, it would just seem too unbelievable. Given the red-hot raging hate rhetoric spewed by members of the Klan (and in some cases, their spouses), and their plans to commit a terrorist act against innocent civilians, “BlacKkKlansman” is filled with tense, gut-churning moments. We’d like to say it’s hard to believe certain people were so ignorant and so monstrous back in the 1970s — if there wasn’t so much evidence nothing has changed in the 2010s.
Washington and Driver are razor-sharp playing off one another. Topher Grace, as likable an actor as you’ll find, is brilliant playing a guy who is handsome and charming (in certain circles) but is an absolute garbage human being with no soul.
Lee keeps the multiple storylines humming at a brisk pace, while the soundtrack pops with great period-piece tunes such as “Ball of Confusion” by the Temptations and “Too Late to Turn Back Now” by the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose.
The film is bookended by two sequences that are not directly connected and yet are deeply bound to the main story. One segment is set decades ago; the other is raw and fresh, and we’ll leave it at that.
“BlacKkKlansman” is one of Spike Lee’s most accomplished films in recent memory, and one of the best films of 2018.
An understated and wonderful St. Louis gem, the Hi-Pointe Theatre was built in 1922 at the incredible intersection of Interstate 64, Clayton Road, Clayton Avenue, McCausland Avenue, Forest Avenue, Oakland Avenue and Skinker Boulevard, today also the home of the world’s largest Amoco sign and just at the southwest corner of Forest Park. Continue Reading