Mud made me feel like a kid again. When you watch a lot of movies, sometimes you forget to let yourself get lost in the magic of cinema, but director Jeff Nichols was able to provide a brief reprieve from our everyday lives and transport us back to childhood. With comparisons to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Stand By Me and even E.T., Mud tells a story about the innocence of youth, the power of the love and the ability of both to bring out the best in people. Ladies, come for a shirtless McConaughey. Fellas, keep an eye out for Reese Witherspoon in booty-jorts. But stay and be charmed by the southern accents and a breakout performance by the young Tye Sheridan as the main character Ellis.

Ellis and his friend Neckbone come across a boat suspended in a tree on an island near Dewitt, Arkansas. They discover McConaughey’s character, who goes by the name of “Mud”, using the boat as a hideout. Ellis takes a liking to him and they begin to help Mud by bringing him food (I wish we had “Piggly Wiggly’s” in NJ!), delivering notes to his beloved Juniper (Witherspoon) and fetching parts to get the boat out of the tree and running again. McConaughey cutting the boat down with a chainsaw is one of the more entertaining scenes in the movie. Whatever lightheartedness is soon forgotten though as Mud’s past is revealed and the true meaning behind his relationship with the boys comes to the forefront.

McConaughey has led an interesting career. Let’s remember his turn in the stoner classic Dazed and Confused (“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”) but we’d do well to forget some of his rom-com mishaps (The Wedding Planner, Fool’s Gold). He has shown some great dramatic chops of late including lead roles in The Lincoln Lawyer and Killer Joe but this title role is perhaps his best and most iconic.

Director: Jeff Nichols Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Michael Shannon


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One Response to “REVIEW: MUD”

  1. Don Mayer says:

    Great flick. This is probably the only film made to date where every single character has a huge arc. Collectively the acting, casting, cinematography, and the storyline and dialogue are first rate! Not seeing this m.ovie will be its own punishment

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