“Just Mercy”‘s lawyer, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), heroically fights for truth and justice for his death row clients in Alabama. Based on a true story, the film exposes flagrant racism too close in time, only twenty five years ago, for comfort. Aren’t we past all that? Five stars for subject matter: truth and the fight for justice. Also, a graphic portrayal of the death penalty with a worthy plea to shut it down, in the name of justice and mercy.
However, on a cinematic level, although the acting was believable and writing hammered home the film’s message, the pace of the story in the first half was slow, and visually, something I could have watched at home on a TV screen. Hence the three stars below. Best supporting actor for Tim Blake Nelson, whose characterization of the guy whose lies put innocent Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) on death row sparkled.
The movie could have ended where Foxx’s character realizes that the truth has set him free, while he is still incarcerated. Powerful scene. But doesn’t.
Duane wondered why the title was, “Just Mercy”: Real justice stands alone on the truth, and in this story, that’s all the man needed.