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I watched this movie for free as part of a promotion. I thought the movie was good--it allowed Michael B. Jordan to showcase a different side of his acting abilities other than the "Creed" saga. The movie is definitely worth watching once.
Just Mercy, the book, I believe is one of the most important books of the last decade. I recommend it to everyone.
I was excited to see that a movie had come out based on the book.
The book covers way too many stories to be shown in one film. I think the filmmakers went about this in the best way possible. They took the main continuing story from the book and focused on that. This is an important story and for people who haven't read the book (or are not big readers) then I think this is a must watch and I would give it five stars for that particular demographic.
However, as someone who loved the book and found the book to be life changing, I do not think the movie lived up to the book. I watched it with my partner who has not read Just Mercy. He loved the movie and would probably give it five stars. I found myself flipping through chapters of the book afterwards wanting him to hear everything that wasn't covered in the movie. I think the amount of people and cases the book covers is part of what makes the book so compelling. This isn't some "once in awhile" type of thing that happens. The movie has an obvious point to make and it does well with playing with our emotions. In comparison to the detailed book, well, the book has so many factual details that emotional manipulation isn't necessary.
With all of that being said, it's a good movie. Everyone should watch it (especially for non-book people). I feel guilty not giving it a higher rating as the subject matter is SO important.
So, for non book readers: easily five stars For people who have read Just Mercy: maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but the book is just so good, I did not think the movie lived up to it. I don't think it's possible for a movie to live up to the book. I would give the movie three stars from my perspective.
This is an important film, regardless of how it holds up to book and so I am giving it four stars (in the middle of my opinion and my partner's opinion).
I enjoyed the film thoroughly with a well delivered message and story. There were a couple of scenes though that could have been built up better such as the final courtroom scene where prosecutor becomes self aware [so not to spoil] and the good stuff happens... this came out of nowhere as the prosecutor all of a sudden (within the scene) has a change of heart? He just stops being racist? I believe they could have built on this moment by having a scene, after lawyer man [sorry, forgot the names] goes to prosecutors house to contest allowing for further investigation, where the prosecutor [I don't know] stares into his children's eyes and he realizes the true horrible nature of his actions [something along those lines]. It would have made the last scene fantastic and more dramatic, but since the character flaw is realized and thrown into the courtroom scene, it confused me and took away form the moment where Johnny D [wow, I remembered a name!] gets to embrace his family. Besides this, I hid some tears a couple of times and even saw myself getting excited when justice was served. I believe the tension and drama behind these momentous scenes could have been heightened with reactions from crowds - to draw out the divide between the people of the town. There could have even been a scene where the townsfolk were getting angry at Johnny D's family or the prosecutor - this would have added to the understanding behind the scene when the prosecutor says that he had people and the higherups breathing down his neck. Overall good film and would recommend - a remake maybe in the future?
A hard hitting story,at times, and not so much at other times. This movie is based upon a true story. While it gets a little preachy at the end, that is not the movie's greatest flaw. There are more than a few loose ends and plot holes. Jamie Foxx gives an award worthy performance as Walter 'Johnny D', a Black man framed for a terrible murder. We are led to believe the sheriff is behind the frame job, but we are left guessing at motive. Once it was revealed that Johnny D had 'messed around' with a White woman, I was waiting for her identity to be revealed.Was she related to the sheriff? Was it the relative success of Walter that caused the sheriff to target him? Other than a fleeting reference to a his 'nice truck', and rims, we are empty handed again. Our protagonist is subject to more than a few incidents of racism, including a strip search,yet we see very little indignation. A bomb threat is made to the home of Brie Larson's character, but nothing more is mentioned of it after that scene ends. When Walter's son is dragged out of court for contempt, we never find out what happened to him. Over and over, writers left story threads dangling. It is still a heart wrenching story. If you are not crying at the end, you may not be human! I did not miss the irony of the "To Kill a Mockingbird" references, either. If only it had been written better,this movie would be great.
The story a Black Alabama man wrongfully accused of murder in 1987 Alabama is too familiar. This is a story I've heard about many times with different people while I lived in California, and repeats itself in many parts of the U.S. So, for me, this was not a shocking story. What's shocking is how people react to it, as though it were new information, and the events were happening for the first time. I usually avoid stories like this, as good or bad, they all seem to end the same way. In any case, stories like this need to be told, to remind us yet again that mercy isn't new - and no-one deserves to have their life taken from them within an unjust system.
One would think that Warner Bros would just step up, and make he genuine effort to tell a story without Hollywood sugar dripped all over it. First was the casting. While Michael B. Jordan (I'de thought he'd be much buffer) is very nice to look at, Jamie Foxx is talented, they should have gone with raw unknowns for these two roles. Jordan just can't perform, and Foxx is getting dated. The whole cast seemed typical Hollywood fair, which made the movie seem cliche. Even the dialog in many places seemed cliche and forced. Ut made the story feel fictional, when we know it's not.
I wasn't hoping for much when I saw the cast, but I'm giving it a chance.