Star Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, Mahershala Ali, Jacob Lofland and Brad Carter
Director: Gary Ross
Producer: Jon Kilik, Scott Stuber and Gary Ross
Claps For: Performances and Direction
Slaps For: Everything else!
What’s New: Helps the audience achieve a new level of boredom
Popcorn Refill: Anytime
Plot: 1863. Mississippi farmer Newt Knight, who serves as a medic for the Confederate Army, opposes to slavery and opts for helping than fighting the Union. After his nephew’s death in battle, Newt returns home to Jones County to safeguard his family but is soon branded as an outlaw deserter. Forced to flee, he finds refuge with a group of runaway slaves hiding out in the swamps. Forging an alliance with the slaves and other farmers, Knight leads a rebellion that changes the history forever.
Performances: The movie belongs to Matthew McConaughey who is there in almost every scene. He is at his intense best as the outlaw who knows how to put forth his point, manage people and win their hearts. He is the saving grace of the movie.
The rest of the cast is good and lends a good support, especially Mahershala Ali who literally steals the show every time he is on-screen.
Direction: What I have always liked about director Gary Ross is his gamble with different kind of genres and experimenting with his style of filmmaking. And the same works in this one too. His style of storytelling for the period during and after the Civil War in Mississippi is a rather a very…very bland one. And sadly, that is also the reason why this movie fails to be an exciting one.
Despite Ross putting in his best efforts along with apt cinematography, intense drama with strong political backdrop and worthy performances, the movie is a complete bore – thanks to the screenplay and the not-so-fast pace of the film.
It may excite the ones who have been too keen to know about the history or to see it on the big screen but for the other section of audience- well let’s just I was the only one sitting in the theatre and watching this movie.
Combo-On-Offer: Drama + Action
Verdict: We give ‘Free State of Jones’ SLAPS for being a complete bore and wasting the talent of Matthew McConaughey.