I Am Not Your Negro (PG-13)
Peck chooses as his jumping-off point Baldwin's Remember This House, an unfinished work in which the author sought to discuss the assassinations of three prominent Black leaders of the civil rights era: Medgar Evers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Baldwin knew all of them, and their deaths "devastated his universe." The daunting task of documenting their lives eventually took its toll on the writer, who had only completed 30 pages of this project before his death in 1987. I Am Not Your Negro presents a good chunk of this on its soundtrack, masterfully syncing Baldwin's words to images binding past and present.
Samuel L. Jackson brings Baldwin's words to life, nailing the cadences in his speech, punctuating his words with humor, anger, exasperation and hope. At times, there's an almost feminine quality to Jackson's delivery, a softness that carries surprising power. This isn't just narration -- it's a full-blooded, lived-in performance, one of Jackson's best.