JUST MERCY – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 16 mins. 

Just Mercy

“JUST MERCY is one of those rare films, that everyone must see!                              Kathy Kaiser

 

JUST MERCY – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 16 mins. 

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Destin Daniel Cretton

WRITER:  Andrew Lanham, Based on the book by Bryan Stevenson 

STARRING:  Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Rafe Spall, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Tim Blake Nelson and Rob Morgan

Based on true life story of public defender, and Harvard grad Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), Just Mercy takes us deep into Bryan’s fight for justice for those wrongly condemned, and sitting on death row in Alabama, circa 1987.  And when local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) decides to work by his side, it seems there is no stopping them in their quest for justice, and to aid those wrongly accused…

Now, as Bryan starts to meet with numerous inmates sitting on death row, he comes across one Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of an 18-year old girl, despite tons of evidence, proving otherwise.  Stevenson is so moved by this case, and the overwhelming amount of evidence proving McMillian’s innocence, that he sets out on a quest to free him from death row.  But as the years fly by, Stevenson becomes entangled in the web of racism in Alabama, while he continues to uncover even more lies,  including the provoked and coerced statement by convict Ralph Myers (Tim Blake Nelson), as the determining factor for his conviction.  And as Bryan and Eva try desperately to keep the faith in hopes that justice will prevail,  they continue to find that the ways of justice in Alabama, seem to be completely one-sided…

I give JUST MERCY a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!:  Powerful, moving, and yes, it brought me to tears… Just Mercy is one of those incredible films that you just have to see, to believe.  Bryan Stevenson’s real life-story is a testament to those incredible individuals who seek nothing more in this life, than to help their fellow man, as they manage to change the world, the best way they know how.  Michael B. Jordan is superb playing the Harvard graduate, who, much to his mother’s dismay, finds himself seeking to be a public defender for those sitting on death row, as opposed to taking one of the high-paying jobs, his education from Harvard afforded him.  Brie Larson is exceptional too, playing local advocate, and supporter of Stevenson’s work, Eva Ansley.  Foxx is also amazing, playing wrongly convicted felon Walter McMillian.  And very few times do you find that even the supporting actors are perfectly cast, but that is exactly what you will find with Just Mercy, as O’Shea Jackson Jr, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rob Morgan’s performances are exceptional throughout as well, and how closely they truly resemble the real-life individuals they are playing, is astounding!  It’s been a while too, since I have had the privilege to see an advanced screening where the audience was so moved throughout, that they showed their adoration for the subject matter numerous times throughout the film, but that is exactly what happened this week with Just Mercy, making this film even more special in my eyes.  And the fact that Director and Writer Destin Daniel Cretton saw fit to keep this film within the parameters of a PG-13 rating, is perfection in my mind as well, as now, even the youngsters can get a glimpse this powerful film as well, and as they should.  And if I haven’t convinced you yet, that Just Mercy is a total MUST SEE, then maybe the fact that the general public who attended this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival voted Just Mercy the “BEST FILM of the YEAR”, might also sway you to head out to a theater near you, to catch Jordan, Foxx, Larson, and the rest of the incredible cast, in this  extraordinary film!

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