Free State of Jones Reviews

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October 10, 2016
Free State of Jones stars Matthew McConaughey, with his smooth Southern lilt and cool demeanour, as Newton Knight, a battle-weary Confederate soldier who deserts, deciding that he no longer wants to fight for the rights of slave owners.
September 30, 2016
A great story, galumphingly told.
September 30, 2016
There's a compelling story in here somewhere, but it's buried under a mountain of moral grandstanding and white guilt.
September 29, 2016
It's a movie that with enormous confidence operates outside the traditional story arc.
August 25, 2016
Clearly, the film has been a labour of love for Ross. I just wish a little more of his passion had found its way on to the screen.
August 25, 2016
The historical drama Free State of Jones isn't everything it might have been, but it tells a good story, and that's half the battle.
July 11, 2016
A better film would have muddled the clean white-savior narrative with an actual exploration of what the racial politics of a mixed-race insurgency in the South might have been like.
June 29, 2016
It certainly looks and sounds right, and probably smells right too -- these gunky Mississippi battles and unwashed soldiers feel authentic. The problem, as with McConaughey's performance, is that you always do feel it.
June 27, 2016
The director and screenwriter Gary Ross illuminates immense historical spans with the true story of one man's revolt during the Civil War.
June 24, 2016
Ross bit off more than he can chew... the story lolls and wallows in wartime violence and the rebellion, then rushes through the horrors and trauma of Reconstruction.
June 24, 2016
A Civil War rebellion becomes an enervating movie by Gary Ross.
June 24, 2016
As inherently astonishing and powerful as this little-known episode is, it has not been well-served by Ross' lumpy, ill-conceived script, which ends up wasting Matthew McConaughey's terrific lead performance and other strong acting contributions.
June 24, 2016
It's a powerful story but, as written and directed by Gary Ross, it has a by-the-books straightforwardness that sacrifices nuance for homiletics.
June 24, 2016
Instead of captivating us with swagger, McConaughey chooses to go grim and dogged. Director Ross does the same.
June 24, 2016
Call it a civil bore.
June 24, 2016
Mixing elements from documentaries, biopics, war flicks, and Hallmark romances, Ross' film is a living history tour, but with gory special effects and a smoldering smattering of sex appeal.
June 23, 2016
If you think a thick, juicy slab of Civil War history can't be boiled down to 145 minutes of speechifying, stultifying cinema, then grab a seat. Even McConaughey is sucked dry of his usual acting panache.
June 23, 2016
The Civil War and reconstruction were messy, and Free State of Jones wants to tackle it all. In the end, it's too much for any one film to handle compellingly with such specificity.
June 23, 2016
This screenplay is so arid in its didacticism, so pallid in its would-be passion, that it defeats [McConaughey's] efforts and our involvement, however much we may want to cut the film some slack for being about things of consequence.
June 23, 2016
Strong work from McConaughey as a charismatic leader, but the film's meandering historical scope will test your patience.
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