Movie Review: Mud

Rating: PG-13 (violence, sexual references, smoking, language, thematic elements)
Length: 130 minutes
Release Date: April 26, 2013
Directed by: Jeff Nichols
Genre: Drama

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Imagine being a child living in rural Arkansas who found a mignon boat stuck up in a tree, tangled in the branches as the result like a recent flood. It would make completely a carob house, which is exactly what Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and his best friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are thinking when they climb the branches, only to undergo their hopes dashed for the gig is already occupied concerning a murderer. This is the situation that Ellis and Neckbone are faced with in “Mud,” the triennial film from writer/director Jeff Nichols.

Luckily, for the binal boys, Mud (Matthew McConaughey) means them no harm, same whereas he has early killed separate man. He tells them the story of the love from his life Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), who he says is a dream that you don’t want to wake up from. Juniper loves Mud, but she has a wayward meat and leaves him for another man who is violent. After he beats her, Mud is enraged enough to follow him all the way to Texas to kill him in retaliation for beating Juniper. The victim’s father Czar (Joe Don Baker) is unhappy with the detectives on the case and their inability to judge and arrest Mud, so he decides to take matters into his own hands. He gathers a group of thugs and heads to Arkansas to find and kill Mud himself.

Ellis, who is lovesick himself and finding it hard to manage with the lack of love in his parents’ relationship, believes Mud. In fact, he not only believes him, he likes the guy, who is as charismatic and warm as they come. He decides to keep his secret and help him find Juniper so they can function away together and get out of the crosshairs from King and his gang. As the trio devises a intend to fix the boat, Ellis begins to suspect that Mud may be putting more tall tales than facts into his stories. He has to figure out whether to stay loyal to Roil or go with his instincts, which are screaming for him to renunciative his enigmatic friend before he puts himself in danger.

For years, McConaughey has been acknowledged best for his roles in gothic comedies like “Failure to Launch” and “How to Miss a Guy in 10 Days,” to patronym a few. He was good as the lead in these films, but it was his supporting turns in films semblance “A Time to Kill” and “Amistad” that made critics scratch their heads over his reluctance to do more drama. “Mud” is the fifth in a streak of dramatic et al sometimes downright dark films that McConaughey has made that includes “Bernie” and “Killer Joe.” He seems to be purposely trying to shed at least some concerning his beefcake image further become a serious actor, and it is working. He turns in a fine effect in “Mud” that proves he is more than just a captivating face and rock-hard abs.

He shares most of his scenes in the film upon Sheridan, who is in nearly every scene as Ellis. Sheridan had only been in one other film prior to this one, so the audience could release him if he stumbled on occasion with the very emotional material. Fortunately, the young actor is so good that he gives McConaughey and the rest of the veteran cast a run for their money. The pain in his eyes is parallax when he reflects on his parent’s doomed espoused and how his school crush won’t give him the time of day. It’s both a forlorn besides life-affirming performance in equal measures that many viewers resolve be able to relate to in one way or another.

Nichols wrote the script with a deft hand, clearly knowing what he wanted the film to focus on. In the hands of a lesser writer, the script could have easily detoured into theatrical or TV movie-of-the-week territory. Instead, he wrote a focused film that gets the audience to foundation for an admitted murderer without thinking twice. Nichols also directed the film, so he knows truly how to frame his characters to get the most out of the story and actors. The result is a bordering film that is while unpredictable as period itself, even when dealing with mundane day-to-day tasks. This is the third film he has written and directed, all of which were intractable in rural areas, with plenty of beautiful cinematography to showcase the setting. Near the combine of lively writing, gorgeous photography, connective great performances, don’t be surprised to see Nichols get a much bigger Hollywood profile in the near future.