Mud - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mud Reviews

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August 18, 2017
GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) Scott, we just saw Mud. The new Matthew McConaughey movie.

SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Yes we did. And there was so much mud I needed a bath when I got home from the theater.

GREG: We meet young Ellis (Tye Sheridan) who lives on the Mississippi River in Arkansas with his parents. They aren t getting along and divorce is imminent. Ellis and friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) rise early one morning to boat out to an island where they have found a houseboat lodged in a tree - apparently left there after a recent flood. They plan to make a treehouse of it only to find that a mysterious man is living there - Mud.

SCOTT: The boys begin doing favors for Mud, such as bringing him food and delivering notes to his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) who is staying at a hotel in town. They discover that Mud is in trouble with the law and make the decision to help him reunite with Juniper and escape down the river.

GREG: Ellis is an idealist. He believes in true love and wants to help because he sees that Mud has the same beliefs. Ellis defends the honor of an older girl that he wants to date. He doesn t understand why anyone would give up on true love. In Mud he finds a kindred spirit.

SCOTT: Greg, Mud is a terrific movie that showcases the heartache of growing up. We witness a teenage boy losing innocence but gaining wisdom. He starts out trusting everyone, and he gets burned, but he also gains understanding. We watch him learn painful life lessons, especially that love and family are precious and fragile. The movie is rich in symbolism. The river serves as both a barrier and a symbol of flight from danger. Juniper, Mud s girlfriend, has birds tattooed on her hand and wears a bird on her necklace. Mud s boat is airborne, perched in a tree. Hiding on an island, he is separated from the world. Only after Mud lowers the boat into the water does he finally re-connect with the world, drawing close to Ellis, Juniper, and his father-figure, Tom (Sam Shepard).

GREG: I really enjoyed this film. We follow Ellis through the childhood drama and disillusionment of watching his parents break up. He wants to cling to the idea that with love anything is possible. And time and again he learns the harsh lesson that love just isn t enough. And that not everyone shares his core belief that true love is the most important value.

SCOTT: Yes, and it s Ellis s transformation that makes this movie special. A few weeks ago we called After Earth a nice coming-of-age story, but Mud has so much more depth and nuance to its storyline. Although the character of Mud is not the central hero, we are drawn to him. There are plenty of snakes in this film, and they appear in both reptile and human form. At first we wonder if Mud himself is a snake in the mud or if he is someone who can somehow rise above the other snakes ready to pounce on him. We are initially appalled by his exploitation of Ellis s kindly innocence. Mud eventually redeems himself by performing a courageous, selfless act.

GREG: I agree, Scott. Mud represents Ellis s childlike beliefs extended into the future. Mud is what Ellis will become if he can t temper his teenaged idealism. The big question is will Ellis be broken by the events in his life or will he cling to a core belief that will turn him into a victim. Mud (the movie) is a very sensitive and thoughtful treatment of childhood love and heartache. But it s not overly sentimental. The children in the story are strong and independent but still naive. I m reminded of 1986 s Stand By Me. I felt that the story and direction were very strong and I give Mud 5 out of 5 Reels. We are also witness to a dual-hero story of a pair of characters who share the same belief in true love. Both heroes follow an arch and are transformed in the end. Not only do I award Mud 5 out of 5 Heroes, but I also nominate it for our Hall of Fame. Movie: Heroes:

SCOTT: I m in agreement that Mud is one of the best films of the year. Matthew McConaughey turns in an outstanding performance as a man on the run, and young Tye Sheridan hits just the right notes in portraying the painful loss of youthful innocence. This is an inspiring hero story, with Ellis passing through all of the stages of the hero s journey. He encounters a father figure in Mud, a love interest who teaches him an aching lesson, and has a sidekick in Neckbone. Ellis s na ve view of the world gets him into trouble but also endears him to everyone around him, and the friends he has cultivated eventually save his neck. By the movie s end, Ellis has been transformed, possessing an adult understanding of both the joy and sadness of human relationships. It s a beautifully crafted hero s journey. Greg, I m with you in awarding Mud 5 Reels out of 5, and 5 Heroes out of 5. I second your nomination for this film entering our Reel Heroes Hall of Fame. Movie: Heroes:
½ August 11, 2017
Mud is pure Excellence. Matthew Mcconaughey's strong performance is definitely one of the best things about this film. The acting all across the board is very good. The story itself is very good too. I love the way that the story starts out somewhat dismal but in the end it's uplifting without being unrealistic or watered down. I also love the way it displayed the day to day lives of boys growing up in the Deep South (I relate a lot to both Ellis and Neckbone). It also pictures a fairly accurate depiction of life in the South in general. Great film with an original story.
½ August 9, 2017
Interesting and well-acted.
August 8, 2017
Matthew McConaghuey is Perfection in this role as the one trying to leave with his love and find a better life. But everything that goes on is Sad, exciting, and a lot of pain is suffered by the evil that tries to destroy him.
½ July 18, 2017
Although not resolved in the most subtle of ways, Mud is an immensely satisfying and completely original adventure with great leading performances from Tye Sheridan and Matthew McConaughey.
July 11, 2017
Really a brilliant film. McConaughey deserved at least an Oscar Nomination for this.
July 2, 2017
Mud is directed and written by Jeff Nichols, and it stars Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon in a coming-of-age drama about two boys that explored an island, and they come across a boat that they want to get, but they realized that someone was already living in the boat, and when they found the person that owns the boat, he makes a deal with the kids to help him out with some stuff by bringing him food or delivering a letter, than he gives the boat to them. I'm always looking for rewatching films like this because what I enjoyed about it the first time, I wanted to see if it's still there, so for something from Mud, it's still there. Matthew McConaughey gives one of his best performance as you don't really know about whether he's someone to trust or not, and Tye Sheridan is absolutely fantastic as a child actor that I'm glad he himself in some future film roles like the X-Men films. The writing felt very real from the conversations that that the kids have that they probably do talk like this in real life, and while I've never read any Mark Twain books as he have said that he's inspired by those books, the story of the film definitely felt like a Mark Twain one, and it's a simple, but effective, story of it. When it becomes a love story, it's really a relatable one towards boys that want to do everything right to the girls that they like, even if the girls don't feel the same way towards them. The characters are three-dimensional, and it's never boring with a relaxing pace in this. When it gets to the climax, that's when the movie starts to get investing because you know a lot about the characters, and the closure that they have is very satisfying that fits the characters. Mud is a drama masterpiece to me that I couldn't find any flaws in this, and I'm glad for that also.
June 30, 2017
One of the best small films
June 29, 2017
A well-made movie with deep characters, a well-written script and great characters.
½ June 18, 2017
After seeing Loving I thought, "I have a feeling Jeff Nichols is an acclaimed director because of his other works", not that Loving is bad, it just felt like a standard rights drama film (though I do appreciate it for be as true to the real story as possible). After seeing Mud, I was right. This is a really, really good film. I think McConaughey gives a great performance in this movie, its well shot, well-directed, heartwarming, and also the kid who plays Ellis does a really good job here.
June 15, 2017
it explores the life of a boy and his view towards the relationship and love perfectly elaborated indie film (NOT A ROMANCE FILM)
June 12, 2017
Itīs so catching at the beginnig and every single second is getting better, you really feel connected with Mud.
½ June 2, 2017
such a long film. Quite boring in places. The concept and plot line is good just boring.
April 16, 2017
A really great film by Jeff Nichols that is heartwarming and also filled with sorrow at the same time. The acting is amazing and one of McConaughey's best movies and performances. Great cinematography and score as well.
April 13, 2017
One part romantic drama and one part coming-of-age adventure, all with a touch of Mark Twain influence, Mud marks another hit for writer/director Jeff Nichols, who manages to capture such versatile themes and stories in his filmography while keeping a distinct, homely style to his works. Nichols' work always has a authenticity to it that makes all of the emotions of each story feel truly genuine, and that greatly benefits the story Nichols tells in this particular case. In dealing with growing up and the hardships of falling in love, this is a story that requires a delicate approach in order to truly make this themes resonate, and Nichols manages to do just that. Matthew McConaughey continues a hot streak of deep roles perfect for him to show off his dramatic acting chops with, and gives his character a sense of warmth behind his mystery, but this is first and foremost Tye Sheridan's film to own. In his first leading role (and second film role overall), Sheridan crafts a character who makes you feel every emotion he's put through: his struggles are genuinely upsetting, which makes his successes feel all the better. His character just feels real, which circles back to Nichols' strength as a writer and a director. Even when dealing with potentially fantastical elements, his films look and feel like real life. It's that kind of tone, mixed here with a sense of southern charm and heart, that makes Mud work so well.
½ April 1, 2017
Creepy tale of a mysterious man living on an island - and the two teens who stumble across him. As the questions become answers, things only get more intense. McConaughey is excellent, as are the two teen leads. More Witherspoon would have been nice, but this neo noir is a good one.
March 25, 2017
A wonderful simple & effective coming of age drama about two boys who befriended a mysterious vagabond called Mud. The film is a terrific re-telling of the famous Mark Twain adventure story Huckleberry Finn.

Complimented with terrific natural performances from all cast especially the young actors. Mathew McConaghy is terrific as Mud.

The film just grows on you & you find yourself really enjoying the characters & their story. The film builds up to climatic outcome, a real treasure in American Independent Cinema & the credit goes to director Jeff Nichols.
February 23, 2017
Just a really well made movie. It will mean a lot more to young teen age boys probably.
February 12, 2017
Not a chick flick but not too gory or stressy aka. some potential for a grandma to watch with .
January 28, 2017
Great job by the child actors. Held my interest from start to finish
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