Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Paul Sparks, Stuart Greer, Michael Abbott Jr., Bonnie Sturdivant
14-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and his friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) find a motorboat stranded on the top of a tree in an island on the Mississippi River since a flood, and they plan to fix it for them. One day, they climb the tree and they find fresh meal inside the boat meaning that someone is living in "their" boat. That somebody is Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a man who killed the man that has beaten up his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) and is now hunted down by the father (Joe Don Baker) and the brother (Paul Sparks) of the dead man.
As I've already pointed out, I am not a fan of Matthew McConaughey. Actually, I can't stand him. But here I am, reviewing another of his works, because lately he has really proved to be a great actor. And I don't regret spending more than two hours watching this.
Well directed, and lead by strong performances, Mud is a compelling, moving, well-done Southern drama-coming of age, that digs deep in the meaning of love.
I never read plots, so I had no idea of what this film was about. I immediately had a flashback to Stand By Me, but then the story turned out to be fresher than ever. The terrific story retraces the footsteps of other works, telling about the tipping point in the life of a teenager. There is a long going on in the story, and the several storylines perfectly fit together.
I completely disagree with the complaints about the slow pacing and length. To me, it's just perfect. The extreme length gives you time to fully know the characters, and sympathize for them. After all, it's a film about people, real people, not explosions or car chases as somebody may expected.
The settings are magnificent, and the wonderful cinematography by ** captured the beauty of the Mississippi River exceptionally.
The acting is certainly the best part. Tye Sheridan gives an outstanding, and strong performance as Ellis. He manages to deliver all the pain of his character and the effort it costs to deal with the adult world. Jacob Lofland is also great as Neckbone. Matthew McConaughey delivers one of his best performances ever as Mud. The chemistry between Sheridan, Lofland and McConaughey is impressive. Great performances also from the supporting cast.
If you are looking for a Reese Witherspoon's chick flick, you'll probably be let down by this one. Otherwise, I highly recommend this film.
Mud: There are fierce powers at work in the world, boys. Good, evil, poor luck, best luck. As men, we've got to take advantage where we can.