Steve McQueen’s film series Small Axe is an intimate experience

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Steve McQueen’s Widows was one of the best movies to come out in 2018: it was a smart, slick crime thriller that showed the acclaimed filmmaker could follow up a challenging drama like Shame and 12 Years a Slave with tremendous crowd-pleasers. Two years later, he’s back with his follow-up effort: Small Axe, which is five whole movies now streaming on Amazon Prime. We knew McQueen was good, and now it’s undeniable that he has the range.

While it presents as a TV series — and that’s how the BBC is airing it across the pond — it’s best to think of Small Axe as five full-on movies, with a new one premiering every Friday. (My suggestion: watch it right after The Mandalorian.) Each film / episode features an entirely new story with a…

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