Old 04-25-2013, 02:52 PM

Directed by Jeff Nichols

Written by Jeff Nichols

Genre: Drama

Plot Outline: Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Sam Shepherd, Michael Shannon

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking

Runtime: 130 minutes

Been waiting to see this one for a while. Jeff Nichols' first two films were masterpieces, in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing what he has in store here. The reviews have been great.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:30 PM
Yeah can't wait to see this.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:24 PM
Bourne, you wouldn't happen to know when this is expanding in Canada?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:37 PM
Not sure. I can't find any info on it anywhere.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:48 PM
saw it a few weeks ago

Often times when critics praise child actors it’s more so a pat on the back for being young and not being completely detestable on screen. Then there are those few moments when children actually hold their own, shine and wow the audience.

Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional, Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward in Moonrise Kingdom and now I can comfortably add Tye Sheridan in Mud.

Set in the empty backwoods of Mississippi, two boys Ellis (Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) find a mysterious boat stuck high in a tree on an island at the end of a lake. As they explore the boat they notice that it isn’t deserted like they thought, and someone is actually living in the boat and on the island. That’s where they meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey) a self-proclaimed hobo who is hiding out from bounty hunters while waiting to reunite with Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) his longtime sweetheart.

Mud dazzles and wows the boys by telling them tales of his past, how he killed a man and how he needs their help to survive and be reunited with the one he loves. While Neckbone is dismissive and apprehensive, Ellis is giving and ready to help, a hopeless romantic of sorts wanting love to conquer all as his parents are close to divorce and he starts having feelings for a girl (Bonnie Sturdivant) himself.

The film takes a serious turn when Juniper appears along with a crew of men looking to find Mud led by a thug named Carver (Paul Sparks). As the search is on for the fugitive, Neckbone and Ellis must pass messages back and forth from Mud to Juniper while also getting him food and supplies to get the boat out of the tree so he can escape.

McConaughey plays his most interesting character to date; a ragged, superstitious, shady man who’s past hovers over him like a grey cloud. Since 2011 the shirtless wonder McConaughey has really changed the course of his career, taking on much more respectable roles and really doing himself favors by becoming a serious actor. He is being offered bigger and bigger films by the month and right now, honestly, the sky is the limit as long as he continues the dramatic roles and forever leaves the romantic comedies in the rearview mirror.

The story of Mud feels a bit like an old western as director Jeff Nichols makes Mud out to be this outlaw of sorts with minimal resources but everything at stake. While it’s dangerous and violent on the surface the theme is compassion and love. Mud and the boys, Ellis and Mud, Ellis and May Pearl, Ellis’ parents Mary Lee (Sarah Paulson) and Senior (Ray McKinnon) and of course Mud and Juniper. The bullets and fights are all a catalyst for the participants to get what they want, and that’s to be with the ones that make them happy. It’s not your traditional love story, but at its core it’s a boy trying to find his way and love is at the heart of it.

Sheridan shines in a dramatic role that asks him to act well beyond his years opposite Hollywood A-Listers like McConaughey and Michael Shannon. He is able to balance the serious scenes with heartbreak without being a whiney kid like so many would assume. The future is very bright for Sheridan if he continues this journey and doesn’t fall into the trap of easy childish roles because of his age. He’s proven that he can hang with the big dogs with Mud and Tree of Life previously, no need to take steps back.

The superb supporting cast led by an often beaten up Witherspoon is a breath of fresh air as she leaves the ditzy blonde gimmick at the door. Sam Shepard continues solid contributing work as a father figure to Mud while also dolling out advice to Ellis. His best pal Neckbone is played by Lofland, and while he isn’t as much of a standout as Sheridan he certainly holds his own as the ying to Ellis’ yang.

At times Mud drags and suffers from too much dialogue without a real pay off. The film is poorly edited towards the end and could have been cut by a good 20 minutes with not ill effect. Overall is a decent flick with strong performances while lacking a bit of direction and fluidity. Certainly another good effort from Nichols as he follows up Take Shelter.

Rating: C+
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:27 PM

Lets see
a new Jeff Nichols film (Check)
Michael Shannon (Check)
Matthew McConaughey (Check)

shut up and take my money already!
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:15 AM
Originally Posted by echo_bravo View Post
Lets see
a new Jeff Nichols film (Check)
Michael Shannon (Check)
Matthew McConaughey (Check)

shut up and take my money already!
Absolutely! I loved Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, so I'll probably love this as well. Nichols has this ability to show many of the light and dark aspects that make up American culture in a single film. Definitely a powerful filmmaker.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:13 AM

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Old 04-29-2013, 08:06 AM
The film Mud is part Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer,with a bit of Great Expectations.It's also a small town
story that becomes greater as it goes along,due to a a talented cast who infuse a lot of life and likeability into
the characters they inhabit.

Two teenage boys Tye Sheridan as Ellis Jacob Lofland as Neckbone find a boat in a tree and claim it as their
own,but soon discover a mysterious man who goes by the name Mud (Matthew McConaughey) has staked
claim on the boat.They are both fascinated and fearful of Mud at first but then do his bidding as couriers
for food and messengers to a woman named Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) who has also showed up in town.
Though Neckbone writes Mud off as a bum for the most part,its Ellis who is more drawn to Mud
who becomes a sort of surrogate father to him,especially during the turmoil his family is going through.
He learns a few lessons about life and love through Mud and his own romantic feelings towards a girl in

Sheridan and Lofland are great as the boys,who may be getting into danger by assisting mud.
McConaughey is so excellent in roles like this i wish he would leave the world of romantic comedies behind him.
He has done some really excellent work in the past 8 months or so.
This film has so many great and interesting characters some funny Michael Shannon as Galen ,Neckbones uncle.
Some quiet and mysterious Sam Shepard as Tom Blankenship and Joe Don Baker as King
McConaughey is the standout his slow way of speaking and quietness makes you wonder about Mud and who he really is
even when the film starts to feel drawn out and falter a bit,but watching the film i never had to wonder why it has
been praised as the best American movie at Cannes

Scale of 1-10 an 8
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:53 AM
While not quite as good as "Take Shelter" (my favorite film of 2011), it's definitely captivating from start to finish. 8.5/10
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:42 PM
Saw this a few days ago, and it has stayed with me. I wish I knew more about how to read the symbolism in movies, because this one seems to be rich with them.

What's the symbolism of the boat in the tree? Of the snakes? Of Mud's shirt? Boots? Name?

Even though I don't have developed thoughts about these yet, I left the theater feeling the way I feel after reading mythology... with a sense that archetypes and symbols were speaking to me on a soul-level, the way that images in dreams do.

Please post your thoughts about this here, if you have any.

One thing that came to my mind was how the snake bite cemented the bond between Ellis and Mud, no matter where life takes each of them next. They have both come close to death, both now bear the mark of those fangs for life, both are now vulnerable if ever bitten again. So, same mark of strength and endurance, but also same Achilles Heel.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:14 PM
Just came back from this one and boy will I enjoy writing about it. Absolutely fantastic film from start to finish. Really loved it. Easily one of the year's best so far, right up there with Beyond the Pines.

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Old 06-06-2013, 01:10 AM
Damn it, its only playing at one theater in Tempe, Arizona. I dont live to far from there but I dont really like going to the Tempe Marketplace (too many kids & teenagers that are annoying as hell).

I'll still try and see it sometime this week because I think this might be the last week they are playing it.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:55 AM
Just saw this the other day. I'm almost enthusiastic about it, a bit melodramatic but definitely not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination. Jeff Nichols is definitely a director to keep an eye on.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:47 AM
I dug it. Very raw and emotional. The cast was excellent with McConaughey and Sheridan standing out. My only gripe was it was a little Hollywood in the end. Only thing that kept it from being perfect though.

So far my favorite of the year. But the heavyweights are coming up so that probably won't hold. Still a very good movie.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:09 AM
I just watched it on DVD. Solid movie with great acting all around. My only real problem was that it dragged on a bit. It wouldn't have hurt to have been about 15-20 minutes shorter.
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