MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Just Mercy” stars Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Creed), Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Collateral), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel, Room), Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother Where Art Thou? , The Incredible Hulk), Rafe Spall (The Big Short, Life of Pi), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton, Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Rob Morgan (Mudbound, Stranger Things [TV series]), Hayes Mercure (New Girl [TV series], The Red Road), Karan Kendrick (The Hate U Give, Family), and Michael Harding (Triple 9, Captive). It is directed by Dentin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, The Glass Castle), who also wrote it with Andrew Lanham (The Shack, The Kid). Civil right attorney Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) arrives to Alabama to help convicts avoid the death penalty, one in particular being an innocent man named Walter McMillian (Foxx). However, he will be met with strife by the state, as most civilians see McMillian as a guilty con deserving of death.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a good cry. Not that I was balling or anything, just the usual few streams of tears. Who would’ve thought “Just Mercy” had this much of an impact? Crazy thing is, the director of this feature attended the same film program I am here in Los Angeles. What a small world. Anyway, let’s get into this movie. As you all may or may not know, this is your usual racial tension flick centered around justice and doing what’s right (showing “mercy” as you will). However, “Just Mercy” takes it a step further, offering insight into the psyche of these wrongfully done inmates, as well as a study into the unethical concept of the death penalty. It’s an entertaining watch, filled with solid performances, great cinematography, and some wickedly written sequences. Sure, it has your usual flavor of cardboard bad guys and a theme we are all aware of, but “Just Mercy” oozes with heart, and attempts to speak from both sides of the coin rather than be one-sided. I was engaged throughout most of the feature. Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan do it again, holding good chemistry and fulfilling the roles given to them. There were even some powerhouse performances from the supporting side, some of the more mentionable being Rob Morgan and Tim Blake Nelson. They killed it, leading to some intense moments that’ll stick in my mind (the electrocution scene being the most powerful). In all honesty, “Just Mercy” offered more than I would’ve expected from it. Granted, the trailers were not too shabby, but this certainly isn’t a picture on people’s radars; I believe it should be. It holds a strong message that affects its audience (judging by the whole room of sobbing people I saw this with). I don’t want to raise your hopes to high by saying it’s one of the most profound films I’ve ever seen; it’s not. We’ve been around this loop before and there will be moments where the story is weak, but in the end it’s a powerful experience that makes you walk away thinking. I’m sure that was the director’s intention. If you’re looking for something good to see amidst all the sequels and action/adventures filling up the box office, “Just Mercy” is worth the recommendation. FINAL SCORE: 91%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: