Black Panther is an Afrofuturistic superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Ryan Coogler, is co-written by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown, and Andy Serkis. Black Panther picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War and follows Prince T’Challa as he returns home to be crowned King of Wakanda. However, he soon finds his sovereignty challenged by the enigmatic Erik “Killmonger” Stevens and long-time adversary Ulysses Klaue in a conflict that may have global consequences. Ryan Coogler does an amazing job directing this film. It’s hard to imagine it’s only his third feature-length film, with how well it is done. He manages to fuse elements of a superhero film, a spy flick, and a social commentary. Black Panther touches on elements of disenfranchisement and oppression that other MCU films do not address. It does so in an organic and natural way that doesn’t feel forced or overbearing. The costume design in the film is beautiful! The use of colors, designs, and fabric is vibrant and unique. Ruth E. Carter should definitely take home the Academy Award for Best Costume Design next year. Another great aspect of the film is the score and soundtrack. Ludwig Göransson composed the film’s score and Kendrick Lamar produced the film’s soundtrack. What we hear is a beautiful mix of urban rap, hip-hop and African sounds with eccentric bars and drums which flawlessly integrates into the film to match the scenes. Another great thing about the film is its ensemble cast. Chadwick Boseman, once again, turns in a great performance as T’Challa. The character has doubts about accepting the mantle of King as he doesn’t know if he will live up to his father’s reputation. He also struggles with the legacy of former kings and forging his own path. T’Challa shows growth from the events of Captain America: Civil War but is presented with an entirely new set of issues that affect him on a deeper emotional level. It’s this inner turmoil that makes him such an intriguing character. Speaking of intriguing characters, Michael B. Jordan is phenomenal as Erik “Killmonger” Stevens. He has a past connection with T’Challa that spurs on the events of the film. He is the epitome of the rage that certain Black people feel about their current representation in society and the treatment of their ancestors. He sees Wakanda as a lost people since they have had the power to help people of color all over the world and have done nothing. The great thing about Jordan’s villainous performance is that you clearly understand where he is coming from with his plan, even though he is accomplishing it by dishonorable means (similar to Magneto from the X-Men franchise). The film has tremendous supporting talents in Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Sterling K. Brown, and Andy Serkis of which listing the highlights would add great length to this review. There are a few things in the film that could have been done better. Some of the pacing was it bit off with some scenes moving quicker than necessary and others lagging a bit. A couple of the fight scenes, while great, were badly lit and had choppy editing. The quick cuts and close-ups make it difficult to keep up with what is going on. Some of the CGI looks unpolished and is easily noticeable, especially during the finale. I give Black Panther an Excellent 9.5/10! This is a truly wonderful film that marks a bold new age for the MCU.