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Mud (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  10 May 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 122,867 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 251 user | 363 critic | 35 from

Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
May Pearl
John Ward Jr. ...
Galen's Helper
Kristy Barrington ...
Johnny Cheek ...


14 year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) lives on a makeshift houseboat on the banks of a river in Arkansas with his parents, Mary Lee (Sarah Paulson) and Senior (Ray McKinnon). He sneaks out early one morning to meet his best friend, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland). Neckbone, also 14, lives with his uncle, Galen (Michael Shannon), who makes a hardscrabble living diving for oysters. The two boys set out to an island on the Mississippi River, where Neckbone has discovered an unusual sight-a boat, suspended high in the trees, a remnant of an extreme flood some time in the past. They climb the tree and into the boat only to find fresh bread and fresh footprints. Realizing that they are not the only ones who have discovered the treehouse boat, they decide to leave. When they reach the shore, they find the same footprint in their boat. And that's when they meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Mud is a gritty, superstitious character; his clothes are dirty, his tooth is cracked, and he needs help. He tells the... Written by Roadside Attractions

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

10 May 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor Bandido  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,215,460 (USA) (26 April 2013)


$21,589,307 (USA) (6 September 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A major character trait for Mud is his emotional and superstitious attachment to his shirt. Ironically, Matthew McConaughey has been widely mocked in real life for his habit of going shirtless. See more »


Mud says that the same snake antivenom cannot be used twice on the same person. While it is true that repeated use of first-generation antivenoms can cause severe allergic reactions, modern antivenoms can be used repeatedly safely. See more »


Galen: I know I'm just your uncle, not a parent, but uh, you can tell me things if need to.
Neckbone: I can tell you this helmet smells like my duck butter.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Everest Entertainment donates a portion of its profits from each film to charity. By watching an Everest film you have made a difference. We thank you. See more »


Featured in Great MoVie Mistakes (2013) See more »


Help Me, Rhonda
Written by Brian Wilson & Mike Love
Performed by The Beach Boys
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

Boys Own Adventure becomes a coming-of-age and adult drama.
21 May 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Two boys make their way along the Mississippi River to an island where they find a boat up a tree, however they quickly discover that they are not alone. A mysterious man is living on the island and when they encounter him, their adventure gets a lot more serious.

The setting for this film is the Mississippi River. It dominates this film as it dominates the lives of the main characters in this film. This is not a film about small-town America. There is a small town, in which everyone knows everyone, but most of the action takes place out of town, out on the river, and out in the uninhabited areas of the river's ecosystem. The two fourteen year old boys and their families, are river people, making a precarious living from the river. Life is hard but the people are hard-working, honest and resourceful. If Mark Twain was writing now, and had not been seduced into doing graphic novels, these are the people he would be writing about. In fact, this film does homage to Mark Twain; Huckleberry Finn was based on a childhood friend of Mark Twain's called Tom Blankenship, the name of a character in this film. This film then, essentially, is a modern up-date of that genre.

The two boys are played superbly by Ty Sheridan and Jacob Lofland. Their characters are fourteen-years old, hardened and matured by their environment. The two actors seem believable and natural in their roles. Chris Pine was originally considered for the role of the mysterious stranger, and with his blue eyes and young looks, he would have looked attractive and charismatic as he encountered the boys. I bet he wishes he had been in this well-scripted film. However Pine's loss is Matthew McConaughey's gain. Robinson Crusoe was never like this. I doubt if Pine could play this as well as McConaughey, who lives this role. Actor? This guy looks like he has done nothing, but, live on the river, all his life. You totally believe he is living on this island. If there was a Best Eating Baked Beans Oscar, he would get it! A totally convincing performance! All performances were great. Not just of McConaughey and the two boys, but of all the supporting actors too. At first you are unsure who is who in the families. They seem a little cold but as the film progresses the characters develop. All are believable. The female roles, there are three, are all strong and well developed. The lovely Reese Witherspoon, star of 'Legally Blonde', like Sharon Stone in 'Casino', shows here that she can play a gritty role. Youngest actress, Bonnie Sturdivant, like the boys, got it just right. Older actors too were great; Sam Shepard, who played his role with some depth, and it was good to see Joe Don Baker in a small role.

All actors played their roles convincingly. As said, their lives are hard; they are plain-speaking people, however the occasional bit of laconic home-spun philosophy, will also be said.

This movie is beautifully filmed, lovely rich colours. The river is filmed lovingly, so too the way of life. The film is a homage to the life and the river. However while we see beautiful scenes of the river, we see too the grittier scenes of urban decay and dereliction and waste. All filmed well.

The UK rating of this film is 12A, though this reviewer thinks it unsuitable for anyone under 14 years of age. There are many different threads and themes to this film and it is unclear what will be resolved. Friendship, family, life and death, love and violence are all explored. The adult themes are not hidden. The boys have to try figure out the truth and act accordingly. The film is very much seen through their eyes. However we do see a little bit more than the boys see. What is the truth? What to do? The truth is not very clear, clear as mud, perhaps. No real judgement is made about the truth, or the characters, or their decisions. Their lives are too rich and complex for that sort of simplistic verdict.

So at the end of this film, a fourteen year old boy may have learnt something, and others, so too may you. 10/10.

54 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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