The ultimate civil rights–era biopic

We really like the rapper Common’s new Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, “I Have a Dream” (see the link below), an improbably catchy, jazzy slow jam. But since the song is from the soundtrack of the new movie Freedom Writers, its video serves as something of an ad, which means images of King swirl by alongside those of Hilary Swank, whose courageous struggle (to win another Oscar by starring in yet another earnest movie) we’re somewhat less interested in.

All this has us thinking: Why hasn’t there been a film about King as good as Malcolm X? Spike Lee’s 1992 masterwork — an exuberant, moving, and ultimately very entertaining epic with a brilliant performance by Denzel Washington — is available on DVD in a digitally remastered edition. Today we’re designating it a VSL Classic — and the best civil rights–era biopic. At least until someone makes an MLK film that’s worthy of the man.

“>WATCH the music video for Common’s “I Have a Dream” on YouTube

“>WATCH the trailer for Malcolm X

“>BUY Malcolm X

“>RENT Malcolm X on Netflix

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