Mud Review – Remarkable

Soon as Mud came out on DVD yesterday, I reserved the disc online at RedBox and rushed to the kiosk to pick it up.

Since I missed it at the theaters (reason: Mud did not have a wide-enough release), I was eagerly waiting for the film to land on DVD.

After watching Mud, I can tell y’all that my enthusiasm for the movie was not one bit misplaced.


Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, Mud is a beautifully crafted movie.

Remarkable in every sense – acting, story, photography and in its setting on the Mississippi river in the American south.

If I felt any unease after seeing the movie, it was to hear the 14-year-old boy Ellis (Tye Sheridan) sometimes speaking in an adult voice.

Maybe some kids are mature beyond their years.

Matthew McConaughey plays Mud, a fugitive murderer holed up on a deserted island in the Arkansas delta waiting for his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) to join him so that they can get away.

In the nearby town, police are hunting for Mud and a posse of nasty elements hired by his murder victim’s family is impatient to inflict grievous injury on him.

Story Reigns

Despite Matthew McConaughey’s star status, Mud is not centered solely around his character.

Mud is one of those rare films where the story rises above everything else.

The script is the sun around which the actors, photography, lighting and the setting revolve, as they always should.

The two young boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) who provide Mud with food and equipment to get the boat off the tree and in working condition seem to get equal or more screen time.

The film has multiple threads running concurrently but never incongruently.

Romance, violence, lust for revenge on the part of the victim’s family, family discord, calf love and a sense of alienation experienced by the young kids (Neck has never known his parents and Ellis’ parents are about to separate) all add up to a delightful composite.

Violence is always lurking beneath the surface of Mud.

Just when I’d given up hope of seeing any bang-bang there’s a fiery orgy of shooting in the final moments that claims several lives.

Matthew McConaughey and the kids Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland shine throughout in noteworthy performances.

Sam Shepard has a short but effective role as the former CIA agent/Marine sniper Tom Blankenship.

Photography by Adam Stone is a treat, particularly in dimly lit small spaces.

The language may be a bit hard to follow for those unfamiliar with the accent of the American south. I suggest you turn on the subtitles feature on the DVD.

Director Jeff Nichols is a man to watch. You can be sure I’ll be watching his previous films Shotgun Stories and Taking Shelter soon.

Mud was a contender for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. heartily recommends Mud to discerning moviegoers. The movie is available at RedBox kiosks and Netflix in the U.S.

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