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 by) | 1 more credit »
3,223 ( 230)
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 Elise Watkins ... Wilson (as Donald Watkins)
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 »

Did You Know?


When the Confederates are surveying the damage after the arson, one of them is wearing a U.S. Army hat. See more »


Mary: Tax collectors are coming around here taking everything. We'll have nothing for the winter.
Newton Knight: [Knight kneels down and holds up his rifle] Girls, do you know how to shoot one of these?
See more »


Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
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User Reviews

Just as watchable as 12 Years a Slave
28 July 2017 | by tenyearreunionSee all my reviews

Why was this film over looked? I had never heard of it until I came across a radio interview with Matthew Mcconaughey where he expressed his disappointment at the coming and going of this movie without much of a peep. I, for one, and in total agreement. It is a travesty.

The acting across the board is superb, the pacing is good (often a bug bear of mine with many films being 20 mins too long) the story is gripping. I can imagine it was difficult to fit so much into a reasonable length of time but the Director/Editor achieved it.

The violence is necessary but yet not gratuitous. The cinematography is spot on with a real authentic feel and the attention to detail seemed to me extremely high.

A lot of work went into this movie and I hope that it finds it's audience through (legitmate) streaming services. I am very glad it was suggested to me when I logged in and glad I spent this evening viewing it.

Spread the word!

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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:

$7,572,206, 26 June 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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