Thursday, June 23, 2016

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Matthew McConaughey stars in Free State of Jones

Real Company

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross and starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight (McConaughey) and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.

Newt declares, "What a man grows with his own two hands, should belong to him." Fairness plays a big role in Free State of Jones, a movie that opens with a bang (emotional, gritty) before slipping into a Robin Hood-esque tale, that skews heavy and long (139 minutes.) McConaughey delivers yet another rousing performance (Gugu Mbatha-Raw too) but the rest of the cast fails to register. Once Newt & co. step out of the swamp, all we're left with is a string of dull skirmishes (eerily reminiscent of 2000's The Patriot) and a convoluted history lesson. Close, but no cigar.

Grade: B-