One Night in Miami (2020) Review

One Night in Miami is a fictional account of what happened on the incredible night that Muhammad Ali became the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World and we see him gather with friend Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.


Directorial debut from Regina King which is certainly with a very impressive and powerful film. The acting is phenomenal to go along with it and that is something that is very impressive from start to finish. Written by Kemp Powers and based on his own stage play.

Cassius Clay was not expected to win his boxing match against Sonny Liston in Miami that night. But we then got to a hotel room after this with the four incredible men talking and challenging one another. This creates not only good tension but that all four men were very passionate about making changes and realising that Cassius’ title win can really use forward the civil rights movement and eventually make the changes that America needs.

While this is a fictional account of the night it did really happen, with Cassius Clay on the verge of becoming Muhammad Ali. Controversial Islam leader and mentor Malcolm X. Singer-Songwriter Sam Cooke and his struggles within the music industry of getting his songs successful with black singers. Jim Brown, star NFL footballer who has the chance to star in films. I will be brutally honest but the latter two I did not know very much about at all, and even Malcolm X is a figure that I do not really know too much about. So entering into this night was certainly an amazing experience.

The performances as I mentioned are truly phenomenal and the four leads really are all incredible. Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X has an outstanding presence and manages to steal so many moments within the scenes. Something that was not even given the level of performance from all of the actors involved. Eli Goree as Cassius Clay certainly manages to capture so many good moments and how he could have been after that first major win. Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke was a joy to watch especially after seeing him in Hamilton as Aaron Burr which makes for a very good crossover from a Broadway star to a film like this. Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown was a performance I was looking forward to a lot, he is an actor that I have really enjoyed watching in recent years and always find myself enjoying his performance. This was no different in this film as he fits in so well with the rest of the cast.

The source material from play to screen is always something that I throughly enjoy. I love the dialogue as it always comes across as being on another level, when something is on stage you cannot rely on as many visuals as you can use within film. Therefore I love that when being transformed to the screen that the dialogue stays!

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