Just Mercy: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Just Mercy: Movie Review

Powerful and moving, "Just Mercy" presents how pride, bias, and the sheer blindness to find a solution can ruin the lives of people all in one little neat dramatic package.
Young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michaael B. Jordan) heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation. He gets the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and racism as he fights for Walter's rights and life.
We have always loved court drama and "Just Mercy" has become one of the heavy-hitters on our list. Not only was it gripping but it was also a film that had a lot to say about the injustices that happened and are still happening to this day. The context may be different but its advocacy and overall message is universal - we cannot judge someone in the vein of guilty until proven innocent and worse, condemn them just because they look the part. It comes as no surprise that the film's strongest point were its actors. Michael B. Jordan has proven once again his capability to provide a well-rounded performance and why he is such a big thing nowadays while Jamie Foxx had one of his best and moving performances ever. Another strong point for "Just Mercy" was its strong direction and perfect pacing. Destin Daniel Cretton was able to portray the harrowing and disturbing nature of death row. In particular, the scene featuring a death sentence being conducted was a really horrifying experience that shook us to the core. The film also never slows down even with its various discussions on the legalities and inner workings of the American justice system. If there's one thing the film has an issue with, it was probably the sense of it being formulaic and conventional. While it was based in real life, the film felt predictable with how it unravels its dramatic elements. We also found that the heavy investment of other death row convict characters beyond Walter McMillian and the forced insertion of a particular prison guard only bogged down the film's narrative without much benefit. Ultimately, "Just Mercy" is a powerful, emotional, and thought-provoking experience. It's a film that everyone should experience and see.
Rating: 4 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- strong performances from Foxx and Jordan
- has a strong message not only to the U S Justice System but humanity as a whole

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film delves into other convicts that didn't add much to the story


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