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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 and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.


Gary Ross


Gary Ross (screenplay by), Leonard Hartman (story) | 1 more credit »
518 ( 135)
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Newton Knight
Gugu Mbatha-Raw ... Rachel
Mahershala Ali ... Moses
Keri Russell ... Serena
Christopher Berry ... Jasper Collins
Sean Bridgers ... Will Sumrall
Jacob Lofland ... Daniel
Thomas Francis Murphy ... Elias Hood
Bill Tangradi ... Lt. Barbour
Brian Lee Franklin ... Davis Knight
Kerry Cahill ... Mary / Yeoman Farmer
Joe Chrest ... James Eakins
Jessica Collins ... Annie
Donald Watkins ... Wilson
Jill Jane Clements ... 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. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »





Release Date:

24 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Free State of Jones See more »

Filming Locations:

Jones County, Mississippi, USA See more »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,772,000, 26 June 2016

Gross USA:

$20,758,378, 22 July 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Rudy H. Leverett's book, "Legend of the Free State of Jones", claims that the citizens of Jones County overwhelmingly supported the Confederacy, and that the Jones County rebellion portrayed in the film has been significantly overstated. See more »


When the plantation owner comes back home after the war and walks through the front door you can see a thermostat on the wall to his left. See more »


Colonel Robert Lowry: They pulled all of Jones, Jasper, Perry and half of Smith County.
Chester: How is that even possible?
See more »


Referenced in The History of Jones County (2016) See more »


Battle Cry of Freedom
Written by George Frederick Root
See more »

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User Reviews

A very good movie that is extremely important and shows how little the country has actually advanced since the 1860's.
19 September 2016 | by cosmo_tigerSee all my reviews

"It ain't my fight you know. Don't own no slaves. Ain't gonna die so they can get rich selling cotton." Newton Knight (McConaughey) lives in Mississippi and enlisted in the Civil War like everyone else did. His feelings about the fight begin to conflict with those of his superiors and when it reaches a breaking point he finally deserts, and joins a group of runaway slaves. More and more soldiers begin to join him until Knight decides enough is enough and him and his own army begin to stand up for what they believe in, against the Confederates. This is first off a very good movie. The story is true, interesting and important. On the other hand you have to look past what is on the surface to find the real important aspect and true meaning of the film. Yes, its about a man not believing in the cause of the war, but the real meaning and message deals with what happens after the war and what Knight did to advance the cause of the newly freed slaves. The movie is a type of Civil War Patriot, but to me this movie does more to show and describe the problems with reconstruction than any movie I have seen. The reconstruction issue is the real message of the movie and because of that I highly recommend this. Overall, a very good movie that is extremely important and shows how little the country has actually advanced since the 1860's. I give this a B+.

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