Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014) David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Even if you think you know what’s coming, Selma hums with suspense and surprise. Packed with incident and overflowing with fascinating characters, it is a triumph of efficient, emphatic cinematic storytelling. A.O. Scott, NYT.

One of Selma’s central strengths is its insistence on presenting a three-dimensional version of King. He is a figure too often blandly sanctified (like Gandhi) in public discourse, or posited as a peaceful, neatly binary alternative to the firebrand Malcolm X. He’s complex and alive here, and incarnated wonderfully by Oyelowo, who gives a resolutely unflashy performance: serene but capable of fear, doubt and even anger, most thrillingly in the animated speech following the police murder of protester Jimmie Lee Jackson. Ashley Clark, Sight and Sound.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 26 July, 2018 | Now: 1 April, 2020