‘Shirley’ Review: Regina King’s Passion Project Is Solid, But Never Reaches a Fever Pitch

Writer/director John Ridley holds too much back

"Shirley" (Credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Mere months after dropping “Rustin,” chronicling the life of unsung and openly gay March on Washington organizer Bayard Rustin, and weeks after the culmination of star Colman Domingo’s Oscar run, Netflix is back in familiar territory with “Shirley,” starring Regina King and produced by her and her sister Reina, taking 15 years to come to fruition.

Like “Rustin,” Shirley Chisholm’s huge presence and contributions have largely gone unacknowledged. Yes, there was Shola Lynch’s remarkable 2004 doc “Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed” back in 2004, and Uzo Aduba’s Emmy-winning depiction of her in FX on Hulu’s 2020 limited series “Mrs. America” about the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.


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