Critics Consensus

Bolstered by a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the title role, Mud offers an engaging Southern drama that manages to stay sweet and heartwarming without being sappy.



Total Count: 178


Audience Score

User Ratings: 87,670
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Movie Info

Mud is an adventure about two boys, Ellis and his friend Neckbone, who find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Mud describes fantastic scenarios-he killed a man in Texas and vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him. He says he is planning to meet and escape with the love of his life, Juniper, who is waiting for him in town. Skeptical but intrigued, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. It isn't long until Mud's visions come true and their small town is besieged by a beautiful girl with a line of bounty hunters in tow. (c) Roadside Attractions

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News & Interviews for Mud

Critic Reviews for Mud

All Critics (178) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (172) | Rotten (6)

  • Glorious vision of youth and truth, love and loss, your name is Mud.

    Jan 1, 2014 | Full Review…
  • An evocative highlight of the American movie year so far.

    Jan 1, 2014 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Sadly, Nichols, who made the superb Take Shelter, gets mired in mood this time around. But there's still an evocative sense of childhood exploration, and a gritty performance by Matthew McConaughey.

    Jan 1, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • For at least three-quarters of the way, this is a fine film, and one that kids and parents could see together.

    Jun 12, 2013 | Full Review…
  • There is an enchanted-fairy-tale aspect to Mud, but its bright, calm surface only barely disguises a strong, churning undercurrent.

    May 17, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A modern fairy tale, steeped in the sleepy Mississippi lore of Twain and similar American writers, and with a heart as big as the river is wide.

    May 16, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
    Toronto Star
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mud

  • Apr 17, 2016
    A great teenage adventure movie with an intriguing plot and outstanding child actors. It sums up the childhood feelings of having a really exciting summer really well. The sudden burst of violence during the showdown seems a bit too much, but everything is perfectly solved after all. Satisfying, touching and really well done all around.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2015
    Thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's been hanging around on the watchlist for a while now.
    Flutie A Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2015
    In "Mud," best friends Ellis(Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone(Jacob Lofland) travel to their favorite island, with the promise that Ellis will be back in time to help his dad(Ray McKinnon) with deliveries. While there, they discover a boat in a tree before finding it lived in. Its occupant, Mud(Matthew McConaughey), seeks to cut a deal with the boys while waiting for news of Juniper(Reese Witherspoon). Ellis spots her in town before he makes quite the impression on May Pearl(Bonnie Sturdivant). With each movie he makes, Jeff Nichols shows improvement and with "Mud," he shows he can handle a complex narrative, with the help of a very good cast that also includes Sam Shepard and Joe Don Baker. But just as much, this movie meanders like the grand river where it is set, eventually setting on the usual cliche for its climax. That's not to mention also forcing the parallel between Mud and Ellis, instead of just framing this is as a boys' adventure intruding on an adult world.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2014
    Mud is one of the best, most original films I've seen in years. Its reminiscent of Stand By Me, Slingblade, and Huckleberry Finn. Its an unusual coming of age film; the title character Mud, played by McConaughey, never comes of age. He repeats the same mistakes time and time again, but the boys in the story do gain the maturity and wisdom that only comes from adversity. I like McConaughey in this grimy look much better than the romantic comedies he's been doing. Likewise, Reese Witherspoon is in a very unusual role here, and I like it. Some of this story is hard to believe, but that's not important. This is the kind of character-driven plot I would like to see Hollywood make more of. The moral of the story is: you learn some harsh lessons about life from revenge-driven relatives and inconsiderate teenage girls. Its a sad but true parallel situation.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer

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