Vasi Urs-Juffa’s review of “One Nigh in Miami”

One night after Cassius Clay’s fight against Sonny Liston, Cassius met up with Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X in a hotel room to talk about the civil rights movement and the importance/responsibility of being a prosperous black person at that time. “One Night in Miami”, released on Dec. 25, 2020, captured this meeting. 

This film was based on a true story although a few things were changed here and there, such as the dialect between the men in the hotel room. No one knows exactly what the men said to one another so director Regina King based it off a play written by Kemp Powers. Powers also wrote the screenplay for this movie.

The movie got a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.6 audience rating. Eli Goree stars Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, and Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X. It received many nominations and awards, such as Golden Globe nominations for the best-supporting actor, best director, and best original song. It won Black Film Critics Circle Awards for best director, best supporting actor, and best ensemble.

At the beginning of the movie, Clay is shown fighting Henry Cooper, Cooke singing to a group of white folks at the Copacabana and Brown talking to Mr. Carlton, who praises his skills on the football field but won’t let him in the house, and Malcolm X gave a speech on the TV. As black men, they all fought very hard to get to where they are. 

In the movie, many arguments break out between the men. They all have their own idea of what they want to do in life but Malcolm has other ideas. He believes that they could be doing more for the civil rights movement. He wants Cooke to use his voice to sing about the movement, Brown to bring it to more people’s attention and Clay to convert to a new form of Islam.

I really enjoyed this movie even though it had a lot of dialogue and less action. Most of the movie felt like a play but it was very interesting to watch these famous characters interact. I highly recommend watching this movie if you have an interest in the civil rights movement.