Small Axe: Alex Wheatle - Rotten Tomatoes

Small Axe: Alex Wheatle (2020)




Critic Consensus: Sheyi Cole shines in Alex Wheatle, a harrowing biopic that barely scratches the surface of a complex life, but does so with empathy and finesse.


Tv Season Info

Alex Wheatle follows the true story of award-winning writer, Alex Wheatle (Sheyi Cole), from a young boy through his early adult years. Having spent his childhood in a mostly white institutional care home with no love or family, he finally finds not only a sense of community for the first time in Brixton, but his identity and ability to grow his passion for music and DJ'ing. When he is thrown in prison during the Brixton Uprising of 1981, he confronts his past and sees a path to healing. Sheyi Cole stars opposite Jonathan Jules, with Robbie Gee (Snatch), Elliot Edusah (1917), Cecilia Noble (Black Mirror) and Johann Myers (The Lost City of Z). Alex Wheatle was co-written by Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen.


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Critic Reviews for Small Axe: Alex Wheatle

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (17)

Of the five films in McQueen's opus, Alex Wheatle is the one I liked least.

December 11, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's not on a par with the previous Small Axe films but it is quite good.

December 10, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

As a biopic in miniature, Alex Wheatle begs for more chapters; as a footnote to the broader purpose of Small Axe to celebrate the resilience of its subjects, it's another rousing snapshot.

December 1, 2020 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

The most conventionally structured of the 'Small Axe' cycle, but nonetheless powerful.

September 13, 2021 | Full Review…

There's plenty to admire, but with only 66 minutes to work with, the 'Small Axe' director can't get flesh out the details...

April 22, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

What's left me completely flabbergasted when considering Small Axe, Steve McQueen's magnum opus about the West Indies expatriate community in Britain is that normally it would take years for art to reflect world events in any magnanimous way.

April 13, 2021 | Full Review…

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