Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Movie Review: "Mud" (2012)

Mud can arguably be labeled as Matthew McConaughey's breakthrough performance as this is the first movie in quite a long time where he really shows how strong of an actor he is after muddling in silly/rom-com acting hell. Mud was written & directed by Jeff Nichols and stars McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon.

Mud is based in Arkansas and two young boys, Ellis (played by Sheridan) & Neckbone (played by Jacob Lofland), find a boat stuck up in a tree on a small island in the middle of the Mississippi River. They want this boat for themselves, but then discover that someone is actually living in it. They meet this strange man named Mud (McConaughey) who they then form a friendship with and help him to obtain food & do other favors for him. But Mud has a dark past. He is wanted by the police and is being hunted down by the family of a man (and some bounty hunters) who impregnated his ex-girlfriend Juniper (played by Witherspoon) who Mud killed because of what this man did to Juniper. None of this stops the boys from helping Mud as they do like him, he is nice to them, and all Mud wants to do is reunite with Juniper & escape with her. While helping Mud, Ellis also falls for an older girl named May Pearl (played by Bonnie Sturdivant) who he also starts spending time with. Mud may be a questionable character, but his loyalty to these boys cannot be questioned as he comes to Ellis' rescue while putting his life at stake in a wild & powerful climactic end of the movie.

Mud is can be summarized as a thrilling Southern gothic coming-of-age film. The man Mud is also just trying to escape his past, be with the woman he loves, and get on with his life. This movie does an excellent job of showing how much of a struggle that can be for someone who has had such a troubled past and McConaughey portrays Mud perfectly. This movie is the first in a trifecta of awesome performances that he turns in (his performance in the movie Dallas Buyer's Club and the TV show True Detective round out the trifecta). I also enjoyed watching Sheridan's performance as the quiet, thoughtful Ellis and it's he who "comes of age" in this movie and you could say this movie is about him as much as it is about Mud. This movie is very authentic and feels real rather than contrived.

I definitely liked Mud...8.0/10 stars

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