The Stream: A little long and the acting a little so-so at times
The Big Screen: Inspirational and motivational story told very well
The Final Bill: An emotional rollercoaster and civil rights advocate’s gem for 2020 and beyond.
-Trip Fontaine and S2S: Movie ReviewsDirector: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx
Rating: PG-13 (strong language and use of the N-word)
Runtime: 2 hours and 8 minutes
Movie Trailers: Respect, Soul, In the Heights, The Woman in the Window, The Lovebirds, The Photograph, Tenet
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! Wrong movie…. Well this week we are able to review another surefire legal drama classic movie, Just Mercy. Based on a memoir by the real-life Bryan Stevenson, this film stars Michael B. Jordan as the young, justice-seeking, Stevenson, Brie Larson as Eva Ansley and Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillian. Just Mercy is a film that depicts part of how Bryan Stevenson became the widely respected and renown civil rights defense attorney, who has fought for wrongly convicted death row prisoners.
Let’s get to it. As a person who dabbles in the legal arts myself, this movie is extremely inspirational and motivational. The social commentary of this movie is almost more important than the actual movie. This movie highlights the disparate treatment in the justice system that certain races and those in poverty have faced since probably the beginning of time but especially since the creation of this country. Just Mercy seeks to remind those who are more privileged, if they care, that those who are impoverished and disenfranchised deserve the same rights, dignity and access to just as they have easy access to. People cannot be summed up by simply their race, their income, where they are from or even one mistake they make. Compassion is a necessity and empathy is a must. Such idealism courses through this film and what led Bryan Stevenson to live this life.
Michael B. Jordan, while making his typical face, was solid as the main character throughout the movie. Bryan Stevenson is kind of a thankless role. Jordan just has to be noble, steadfast and empathetic enough to portray the advocate for the inmates in need; and he does an admirable job playing that. The supporting actors really bring this film home. From Jamie Foxx, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Rob Morgan to Karan Kendrick the supporting cast were heartfelt and convincing. In fact, they make the movie what it is. Without these strong supporting performances, this movie would have lack the soul needed to grab the audience.
The only slight negatives of this movie are akin to many movies, too long and the acting is a little touch-and-go at times. On the time front, I do believe there were a few scenes that either lingered too long or could’ve been cut. Interestingly enough, I’m sure there are moments from real life that were left out of the movie that might have been just as fitting. Now, on the acting front, as much as the poignant moments hit hard the most basic moments a couple times were lame. I think they could’ve used Brie Larson a lot better. Of course, I’m not sure what her character did in real life, but I’m sure she was more pivotal to the story than displayed. The producers may have missed using her “Room” acting but at least she didn’t go full Capt. Marvel on us.
Without a doubt, this movie needs to be watched in a theater. Focusing on prison reform, the death penalty and the justice system as a whole is very relevant to today even as the core of this film was set 30 years ago. In fact, I hope this movie could be someone’s inspiration like Philadelphia was for me. Hopefully, after watching this movie with a big box of popcorn, those in positions of power will view this movie and start being the solution to the historical injustices occurring in this country.