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Free State of Jones

Free State of Jones (2016)

June. 24,2016
| Drama Action History War

In 1863, Mississippi farmer Newt Knight serves as a medic for the Confederate Army. Opposed to slavery, Knight would rather help the wounded than fight the Union. After his nephew dies in battle, Newt returns home to Jones County to safeguard his family but is soon branded an outlaw deserter. Forced to flee, he finds refuge with a group of runaway slaves hiding out in the swamps. Forging an alliance with the slaves and other farmers, Knight leads a rebellion that would forever change history.


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Very very predictable, including the post credit scene !!!


A Disappointing Continuation


Good films always raise compelling questions, whether the format is fiction or documentary fact.

Ezmae Chang

This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.


Absolutely loved this film . I know there is some inaccuracies as there is with Hollywood movies but what it has done for me , is it has made me look more into this period . I can't believe the professional critics views on this movie . Of all the movies about this period that have been made this is by far my best . Matthew is great when he's in the more darker roles


Movie Review: "Free State of Jones" (2016)Entirely carried by an raging on-screen portrayal, initiated through leading actor Matthew McConaughey as dramatized character of Confederation deserting Newton Knight under the direction of "Seabiscuit" (2003) director Gary Ross, who delivers also an overlong screenplay pushed into overlong editorial of a 130 Minutes by completely overthrown and emotionally-underminded editors Pamela Martin and Juliette Welfing, literally ruin an otherwise compelling motion picture on never-seen-before aftermath scenarios on the U.S. Civil-War, raging over the North American continent with believed 1,000,000 immigrant-deceding U.S. people dead in just four years between 1861 and 1865, when rebel-region organizing ultra-republic-indulging character Knight must fight in a seemingly-desolated Southern American environment designed to plain non-cinematic splendors by production designer Philip Messina, when visual coverage by cinematographer Benoit Delhomme tends to fail under fast-track mainly hand-held shotlist, when an 50 Million Dollar budget raised by an indecisiveness-prolonging army of producers, co-producer and executives alike cost "Free State of Jones" not only an financial return on an independently-received investment, but also the favors of the domestic audiences in early U.S. domestic releases of Summer 2016, when it could have been strategical improvement to set motion picture exhibitions on an emotionally inbounding pre-Thanksgiving release date, when additional calmer-received suspense-pushing editorial cuts to coming in with focus on an action-oriented running time of a 105 minutes in order to share justice with an hardship-enduring below-the-line crew as emotionally fully-prepared Matthew McConaughey; and then again a close-to-buried supporting cast performed by uprising performers Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mahershala Ali as spellbinding Moses.FAZIT: Picture declined (wasted) © 2018 Felix Alexander Dausend (Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)


STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning As the American civil war draws to a close, Commander Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) defects from the Confederacy, his soul and spirit battered by the horrors and atrocities he has witnessed, fighting for a cause he doesn't believe in and has no stake in. He returns home to his family a broken man, but finds salvation by heading out and joining a group of freed slaves, headed by the charismatic Moses (Mahershala Ali) who are fighting for their rights, and they rise up and form an army against their oppressors, while Newton has an affair with Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw.) Eighty five years later, their grandchild sits in a courtroom battling his right to marry a white woman in the State of Louisiana...In a time where various film academies are being cajoled into recognising the talent of black performers more than they have, and black rights activists are using historical injustices to highlight present culture (the recent Detroit being probably the most brazen example!), a film like Free State of Jones finds a nice little bubble to fall comfortably in to. But, unlike much of the hysterical, exaggerated hand wringing and hyperbole that has surfaced in the midst of it all, Gary Ross has crafted a smooth, subtle, balanced piece, that avoids sensationalism and paints a genuinely rattling, highly absorbing film, that covers every inch of the ground it explores, and keeps you engrossed until the end.Performances wise, in the lead role, McConaughey is probably better than he has ever been, carrying the film superbly and delivering a broader range as an actor than he ever has before. He portrays a man who discovers his own character and is unable to let it go, at a time in American history where most others are blindly following along like sheep. But he still has an amazing supporting cast, most notably Ali as Moses, a man who has suffered tremendous indignity, but refuses to let go of his own dignity, as he goes on his noble quest, only to be met with an emotionally shattering conclusion. The performances and the writing are both perfectly balanced, and they compliment each other just fine.At a time when diversity is taking an arguably more aggressive means of instilling itself, here's a project that has the integrity to stand on it's own. How surprising, then, that it got such less attention. ****


Why was this film over looked? I had never heard of it until I came across a radio interview with Matthew Mcconaughey where he expressed his disappointment at the coming and going of this movie without much of a peep. I, for one, and in total agreement. It is a travesty.The acting across the board is superb, the pacing is good (often a bug bear of mine with many films being 20 mins too long) the story is gripping. I can imagine it was difficult to fit so much into a reasonable length of time but the Director/Editor achieved it.The violence is necessary but yet not gratuitous. The cinematography is spot on with a real authentic feel and the attention to detail seemed to me extremely high. A lot of work went into this movie and I hope that it finds it's audience through (legitmate) streaming services. I am very glad it was suggested to me when I logged in and glad I spent this evening viewing it.Spread the word!