Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
That Nichols is able to orchestrate this entire journey with steady tension and lyrical imagery is a testament to his storytelling capabilities.
Mud poses as a mere adolescent adventure tale but explores a rich vein of grown-up concerns, exploring codes of honor, love and family too solid to be shaken by modernizing forces.
It doesn’t trivialize Mud to label it Tennessee Williams lite — at least in its romantic notions. Nichols gets good performances out of one and all, but lets himself get so caught up in his sense of place that this potboiler hangs around more than a few minutes after that pot has come to a boil.
Slant Magazine
The film ultimately succeeds thanks to small details, from its deep-fried lingo and the swampy texture of its location photography to its uniformly expert cast.
Jeff Nichols’ much-anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough second feature Take Shelter feels less adventurous and unsettling but remains a well carpentered piece of work marked by some fine performances and resilient thematic fiber.
It’s hard to believe Nichols thinks he can get away with all this and harder still to believe he does. It’s the quality of the attention that he brings — his focus — that makes his work so engrossing.
The Guardian
Mud is an engaging and good-looking picture with two bright leading performances from Sheridan and Lofland.
Village Voice
It's too bad...that a movie so attuned to natural currents in the end gets caught up in Hollywood's impossible ones.
Despite the best efforts of a cast that mixes unstudied newbies such as The Tree of Life’s Sheridan with Hollywood prima donnas like Reese Witherspoon (a starlet-slumming-it distraction as Mud's dim-bulb inamorata), there’s an overall clunkiness that Nichols is unable to overcome.
Mud is as unmoving as it is because it doesn’t aspire to be anything other than a competent anti-fairy tale in which the paint-by-number morals are enforced by equally obvious main protagonists.

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