April 26, 2013
Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Reese Witherspoon, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Bonnie Sturdivant, Paul Sparks
More on this movie at IMDb.com
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
- Mud is a striking coming-of-age story about a young teenager who comes into contact with a man fleeing the law and a powerful family looking for revenge. Set in a small town in Arkansas, the story and characters are well done, with some positive content, but the movie is a little too long and contains some negative content requiring caution.
Fourteen-year-old Ellis lives with his parents on a makeshift houseboat on the Mississippi River. He and his friend, Neckbone, sneak out early one morning to visit an island nearby, where a boat has landed in a group of trees after a flood. They find a scruffy-looking superstitious man named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) living out on the island. He’s been living in the boat and says he’s waiting for someone. Mud tells the boys he’ll let them have the boat if they get him some food. Ellis agrees, but Neckbone is suspicious.
Sure enough, Ellis learns that the police are looking for Mud. Mud admits he killed a man, but that the man seduced Mud’s former girlfriend, got her pregnant and beat her up so that she lost the baby. He says he’s waiting for her to arrive so they can escape together. The dead man’s father and brother, however, have sent a team of bounty hunters after Mud. So, Mud convinces Ellis and Neckbone to help him fix the boat in the trees and take it down, so he and his girlfriend can use it to escape. Aiding that process is the fact that the girlfriend actually shows up in town one day.
It’s the characters that matter in Mud the movie. The story focuses on Ellis, the young teenager who’s enamored with Mud’s romantic story of eternal love, especially since it seems that his own parents are breaking up. This turns the movie into a romantic adventure set within a coming-of-age story.
The performances in this movie help sell the story. The child actors are really good. One of them actually hails from Arkansas and the other comes from Texas. Matthew McConaughey (who hails from Texas himself) is very good in the title role.
However, the story goes on a little long. That’s probably partly because Mud never encounters the bounty hunters and the former girlfriend until the end. So, the movie turns out to be 130 minutes long.
Mud has a Romantic worldview. It’s set in a world where a young boy’s illusions and ideals are in danger of being shattered. Young Ellis, the young teenager at the center of the story, is looking for an example of love in which he can believe. Even his attempt to woo an older girl goes sour (one scene briefly shows him kissing the girl). On the positive side, there are a couple heartfelt scenes between Ellis and his father. Despite the breakup of the family, the father tells Ellis to honor and obey his mother.
Mud has too much PG-13 foul language. The young teenage boys also share a couple crude lines about female breasts in two scenes, and there’s an obligatory but exciting shootout with the bounty hunters at the end.
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