With a limited release on Christmas Day, “Just Mercy” - the gripping story of finding justice for a man wrongly accused — will release to theaters nationwide this weekend.
The film follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan, “Creed” and “Black Panther”) and his history-making battle for justice.
After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson, “Captain Marvel” and “Room”).
One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx, “Ray” and “Django Unchained”), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.
The film is based on the book of the same name by Bryan Stevenson.
On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film is already certified fresh by critics with a Tomatometer score of 81 percent and audiences liked it even more with a score of 98 percent.
Top Critic Bilge Ebiri with New York Magazine said, “I don’t know what liberties Cretton and his co-writer Andrew Lanham have taken, but their treatment feels honest and sober, a precise and patient accounting rather than a righteous protest.”
Overall, the critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes said the film “dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.”
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film is rated PG-13 for thematic content including some racial epithets.
Other films releasing to theaters this weekend include:
n “1917,” directed by Sam Mendes and starring George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott and Richard Madden. At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers — Blake’s own brother among them.
This film is rated R for violence, some disturbing images and language.
n “Underwater,” directed by William Eubank and starring Jessica Henwick, Kristen Stewart, Mamoudou Athie and T.J. Miller. A crew of underwater researchers must scramble to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory.
This film is rated PG-13 for science fiction action and terror, and brief strong language.
The synopsis for each film is taken from the website Rotten Tomatoes.