- Anvilicious: The end, in which Ossie Davis flat-out tells us what to think about Malcolm X.
- Award Snub: The film received a whopping two Oscar nominations for Best Actor (Washington) and Best Costume Design. It won neither.
- Misaimed Marketing: "X Brand" potato chips. Yes, they were
Kosher Halal. Yes, all the proceeds went to charity. Still...
- Narm: As moving as the ending montage is, the sequence immediately after it, with the schoolchildren shouting "I am Malcolm X!" in succession, comes across as a bit forced and over-dramatic.
- Oscar Bait: An epic biopic about an icon of the civil rights movement featuring a cameo by fucking Nelson Mandela?? Seems like an Oscar grab if ever there was one... and yet, the film managed to be overlooked spectacularly when awards season rolled around.
- Retroactive Recognition: Frank, Detective Nick Falco, Tigh, just to name a few.
- Tear Jerker: The ending montage.
- Vindicated by History: ...kind of. Despite its unexceptional critical reception around the time of its release and its relatively obscure status in the present day, several big-name fans (including Roger Ebert and Martin Scorsese) have proclaimed it to be one of the best films of The Nineties.