Our 16-year-old film blogger Jack Bool reviews: Mud

Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey

Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey - Credit: Archant

Directed by Jeff Nichols, Mud follows two teenage boys who come across a fugitive who is left stranded on a lonely island. Upon meeting the fugitive they form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

I'm sure you'll agree when I say this, but admittedly 2013 hasn't been a very good year for movies. Don't get me wrong, we have had some decent ones, but it's safe to say the majority have been poor, which is why I found Mud to be a real pleasure, because it is a genuinely great movie.

Throughout its entirety I found myself compelled. Despite being 130 minutes long I found the pacing to be solid. In structure, the film is very simple, however that's arguably what makes it so enjoyable.

One thing that I really admired about the film was the performances. For example, on board we have a very well assembled cast that features the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon and of course Matthew McConaughey. Whilst I will touch upon the brilliance of McConaughey's performance later I have to admit, I thought the two teenage boys in this film were fantastic and those two young men go by the names of Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland.

Like I said the film is incredibly simple and as I also stated that's what I liked so much about it. It's the type of film that gets you thinking as an audience member and you really care for the characters and what they're going through.

In terms of craft, this is a beautifully assembled motion picture. The small town setting, the score and the cinematography all way up exceptionally well. It's one of those rare films that really draw you in as a viewer and at times I actually forgot that I was watching a movie.

Now going back to Matthew McConaughey, in recent months he really has delivered some exceptional performances and in this film he makes no exception, as once again he is superb in the title role. It can be difficult to say what makes his performance so good, but it just is. He looks incredibly laid back and honestly, I think he was the perfect casting choice for the character of Mud, as I highly doubt you could find anyone more suited to the role.

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As much as I enjoyed the film I did have one rather large problem with it. Without giving anything away, there is a set-piece towards the end of the movie that I genuinely disliked. By no means was there anything wrong in terms of craft, it's just that I thought it didn't fit with the art-house flair the movie sports so well, In my opinion it felt slightly mainstream and as a result, I felt it detracted from the movie as a whole.

Nevertheless I would still highly recommend Mud. It's one of the best films of the year so far. It's expertly directed, very well written and the performances are outstanding. Hats off to director Jeff Nichols, I look forward to seeing what he brings us next.


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