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Just Mercy (2019)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 January 2020 (USA)
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World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.
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O'Shea Jackson Jr. on the Real-Life Hero of 'Just Mercy'

O'Shea Jackson Jr. explains how the real-life heroes of Just Mercy share a few traits with some comic book superheroes.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Brie Larson ... Eva Ansley
Michael B. Jordan ... Bryan Stevenson
Jamie Foxx ... Walter McMillian
O'Shea Jackson Jr. ... Anthony Ray Hinton
Tim Blake Nelson ... Ralph Myers
Rafe Spall ... Tommy Champan
Rob Morgan ... Herbert Richardson
Claire Bronson ... Mrs. Chapman
Darrell Britt-Gibson ... Darnell Houston
Hayes Mercure ... Jeremy
Karan Kendrick ... Minnie McMillian
Lindsay Ayliffe ... Judge Foster
Drew Scheid ... Linus
Rhoda Griffis ... Judge Pamela Bachab
Dominic Bogart ... Doug Ansley
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Storyline

A powerful and thought-provoking true-story, "Just Mercy" follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson.) One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx,) who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them. Written by Gregg Brilliant

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content including some racial epithets. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Just Mercy See more »

Filming Locations:

Conyers, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,858, 29 December 2019

Gross USA:

$22,012,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,212,808
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several cast members have appeared in film or television projects based on Marvel Comics. Michael B. Jordan appeared in both Fantastic Four and Black Panther. Brie Larson appeared in Captain Marvel. Jamie Foxx appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Rob Morgan appeared on Daredevil. See more »

Quotes

Bryan Stevenson: The first time I visited Death Row, I wasn't expecting to meet someone the same age as me... from a neighborhood just like ours coulda been me.
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Connections

Featured in The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jamie Foxx (2019) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Underlying story line will make your blood boil, but the movie itself is too long and too uneven
18 January 2020 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Just Mercy" (2019 release; 136 min.) is "based on a true story" we are reminded in the beginning. As the movie opens, we get to know Walter McMillian a/k/a Johnnie D. and before we know it (as in: literally the first few minutes of the film), he is wrongly accused of a white woman's murder he didn't commit and is on death row. We then get to know Bryan Stevenson, an African-American law student at Harvard Law who is interning for the summer at a social justice place. Stevenson meets Johnnie D., who is disappointed that he is "just" a law student, and not a lawyer. Nevertheless they hit it off. We then go to "Two Years Later", and Stevenson, newly graduated from Harvard Law, is saying goodbye to his family in Delaware and about to drive down to Alabama, where he plans to work at the new Equal Justice Initiative... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: in films like these, it is not always easy to distinguish the underlying story and the inherent quality of this as a movie-viewing experience. Let's be very clear: the underlying story will make your blood boil. Remember this is set in the late 80s and early 90s, and the systematic, pandemic and institutional racism and bigotry that existed in Alabama in those days is nothing short of appalling and shocking. Anything goes, and does. But did it translate into a top notch movie? The answer is... at times. There are some magnificent scenes in the movie, but there are also too many uneven moments. It is a darn shame that this movie wasn't edited a bit tighter, because its running time of 2 hrs. 16 min,. is way too long for its own good. I venture to say that a good 20-25 min. could have been cut without the movie losing and of its essence, and it probably would've made this a truly compelling viewing experience. (There is a reason this movie didn't gain a single Oscar nomination when they were announced earlier this week.) The movie is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who has previously given us Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle (all starring Brie Larson, who also appears in "Just Mercy"' (albeit in an unremarkable, almost bland, role). Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx carry the movie on their shoulders as Stevenson and Johnnie D., respectively. Make sure you stay all the way through the movie's end credits, as we learn what has become of these people and where they are today.

"Just Mercy" premiered at last Fall's Toronto International Film Festival to good acclaim and after a limited release in December, the movie went wide last weekend. I finally saw it this weekend. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was attended okay (about 20 people). If you are interested interested in social (in)justice, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.


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