Movie Review #4965 FREE STATE OF JONES.
Historical biopic of Newton Knight, social justice warrior of the wild frontier. Set in the period immediately prior to the end of and the few years after the American Civil War, it tells of a Confederate deserter who heads off into the southern swamps with a bunch of runaway slaves and fellow deserters in order to escape the perils of war. Also the oppression of the Confederacy in forcibly acquiring civilian assets for the war effort and persecuting any fools who choose to resist.
Nods in a few directions with hints of The Patriot and Django, down to even using some of the same sets as the latter e.g. the Southern homestead.
Matthew McConaughey sits in the lead seat playing Mr Knight as just that, in shining armour and riding the proverbial white horse of justice and freedom. The history books tell us that the real fellow was perhaps not quite as virtuous as this portrayal and while others around him fall by the wayside, he doesn't get anything other than a dog bite.
Interplaying with a parallel storyline of some 85 years in the future influenced by the history of the main story, it's a bit overly long and loses a little bit if direction after the end of the war. However notwithstanding, it does succeed in raising heckles against the injustices and perpetrators thereof experienced by these folks and serves to demonstrate how the victories won through these struggles have contributed to where we find ourselves today.
Overall MConaughey's is the best of the performances then I would expect no less (he's probably paid 20x more than the others combined).
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.