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Free State of Jones (2016)

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A disillusioned Confederate army deserter returns to Mississippi and leads a militia of fellow deserters, runaway slaves, and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Sumrall
Elias Hood
Lt. Barbour
Davis Knight
Mary / Yeoman Farmer
James Eakins
Aunt Sally


Set during the Civil War, Free State of Jones tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War. Written by STX Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the incredible true story.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal battle scenes and disturbing graphic images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

24 June 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El valiente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,572,206 (USA) (24 June 2016)


$20,758,378 (USA) (22 July 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Victoria Bynum, writer of the book The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War makes a cameo in the film as a hospital nurse. She can be seen in the medical tent sitting next to a soldier with a wounded shoulder as she reads scripture to a soldier amputee. The Bible verse she reads to them is Psalm 27:1. See more »


While showing Rachel how to shoot, Newton Knight refers to the front sight as a "BB." BB guns didn't exist until 1900. See more »


Newton Knight: These men are here to vote. They mind dying a whole lot less than you do.
See more »


July 1863 / Loyalty Oath
feat Tim Fain, Caitlin Sullivan, Hideaki Aomori, Cj Camerieri, Shawn Conley' & Shawn Pelton'
Composed by Nicholas Britell
© (P) 2016 STX Recordings, LLC., under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment
Customer Ratings
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User Reviews

Twizard Rating: 91
5 July 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's an interesting film to come out during the month of June. On the surface, it appears to be Oscar bait. But it has its fair share of issues. However, they shouldn't be enough to hinder any enjoyment of the film.

Amidst the impressive set pieces and Confederate South backdrop, Free State of Jones follows Newton Knight, played by Matthew McConaughey, a deserted soldier who starts an uprising against his former Confederate army. He leads a group of escaped slaves and runaway farm workers under the credo that no man shall be owned, and poor men should not be losing their lives so the rich can get richer.

It's a truly powerful film about freedom and an earnest man who believes in equality--even on a subconscious level. Yet, it's interesting to note that everything between Knight and his comrades is all good. There is a minor spat between him and four of his men, but it lasts all of about ten minutes of screen time. Other than that, there isn't much conflict within his rule.

There is, however, much outside hostility. That's the whole point of the movie. The action scenes are both eye-opening and jaw dropping. About as real as any Civil War film can be. And there are several scenes that are so lifelike that even the snootiest critic must acknowledge its integrity.

The script isn't perfect. Some potential nuances are left on the table. Certain inner struggles that Knight faces are sped through, when they would have significantly benefited the character's development. We don't catch enough inward glimpses. At times, the circumstances seem overcome too easily. And it's not McConaughey's fault. I'm not sure if I can imagine anyone else playing the part.

But the main story is told the right way. It serves its purpose as we come closer to understanding the struggle of the slaves and impoverished farmers. It's not just a fight for freedom, but for equality--which this movie proves may not always be the same thing.

At 139 minutes, it never feels long. By the end, you still feel like there should have been more.

Twizard Rating: 91

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