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  • Writer's pictureJatz


Director - Destin Daniel Cretton

Cast - Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, Rob Morgan

Genre - Courtroom Drama

Streaming On - Apple TV

"We all need justice. We all need mercy. And perhaps we all need some measure of unmerited grace."

Just Mercy is a 2019 American biographical legal drama film, co-written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. Just Mercy follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned to death row, with the support of a local advocate Eva. One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian, who, in 1987, was sentenced to death for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a substantial amount of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. This movie is the story of the struggle of Walter and his lawyers who fight against the whole system to make Walter the first man to be freed from death row in the state of Alabama.

Just Mercy is a distinct courtroom drama where not more than 15 minutes of the movie is spent in the courtroom! Any movie which is based on a true story and deals with a sensetive issue such as the wrongful imprisonment of African Americans, needs to be certain with it facts and cannot afford to mix up scenarios in the name of creative freedom. Cretton`s Just Mercy sticks to the facts, doesn`t glorify scenarios and proves that movies in the 21st century don`t need to be flashy to be successful. This film is so engrossing and moving, it is bound to leave you teary eyed, what is even more astonishing is that it doesn't preach to its audience. It simply shows us the irrefutable facts and allows us to draw our own inevitable conclusions. The highlight of the film has to be towering performance by Michael B. Jordan supported with equally committed performances by Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. How they deliver emotions of frustration, failure, hopelessness jumbled up with the fire of not giving up is commendable!

The movie has a steady and clear-headed approach and plays by the rules of a strict, legal procedural. Its not a roller coaster ride from the start, it steadily builds and makes its case, but sometimes flattens the drama inherent in the corruption of the judicial process. This important story of injustice,with its solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and a script capable of making it one of the best films of 2020, is by far Cretton`s best work!

JRating: 9/10

JRev: A remarkable and vital story about injustice and the one man who tried to change it all. Every minute of this film is worth watching!

Bonus -

The movie is based on the novel 'Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption' by Bryan Stevenson.

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