Critic Reviews



Based on 48 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
It is impossible to walk away from Just Mercy unmoved. ... Yet Destin Daniel Cretton’s third feature also feels a bit predictable, a bit obvious, and never quite as compelling as one might expect.
While the movie runs too long and the message grows thin, it’s a sturdy window into the corruption of the judicial process that can send an innocent black man to death row.
A straightforward biopic ... The film's edge is somewhat dulled by respect for its subject, who's drawn here as more hero than man.
Although conventional in its approach, the film is a forceful reckoning of a broken legal system.
Cretton has made and will make subtler movies, but probably none that will prompt as many mid-screening rounds of applause.
It’s a rousing and moving enough film that one is compelled to excuse the limits of its artistry.
Cretton ... can’t quite rise to the material or his performers, choosing anonymity over ferocity, making the dullest, safest decision at every turn. It’s not enough to topple the fascinating true story at his film’s centre but it does have a frustrating, flattening effect.
The movie is almost exactly what you’d expect: It has stirring speeches, infuriating setbacks and a tendency to overstate the obvious.
It’s just uninspired, a by-the-books courtroom drama, full of big speeches about justice and equality and Doing What’s Right, moved along by montages and fake-outs.
In a time when awareness and acknowledgement of racial bias and extrajudicial measures by law enforcement in America is at its most widespread, such scenes feel condescendingly pitched to an unconverted audience of the imagination.

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