Mud (2012)

Drama
Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.
Bolstered by a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the title role, Mud offers an engaging Southern drama that manages to stay sweet and heartwarming without being sappy.
  • Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 10 May 2013 Released:
  • 06 Aug 2013 DVD Release:
  • $21.6M Box office:

Trailer:

Masterpiece5/10
I saw it in Cannes a few days ago, and what a beautiful and strong movie!

And what a shame this movie didn't get the Golden Palm!!!

I don't want to spoil this movie, but I can just say it's a rare and beautiful movie about love, friendship, nature and wildness. Very sensitive, touching.

The cast is great, Reese Whiterspoon, Matthew McConaughey, and the two children.

Great photography too, with great shots of the Mississippi (among others).

I'm looking forward to see Jeff Nichols' next project!
It can be enjoyed on several levels.5/10
"You gotta watch yourself." Mud (Matthew McConaughey)

In fact, everyone needs to watch himself, mostly the eponymous fugitive and almost so the 14 year olds Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), who aid the murderer Mud as he connects with his lost love, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) and evades bounty hunters and irate family members of his victim. Everyone seems to be running from something.

This crisp thriller and psychological study can be enjoyed on two levels: First, it's a darn good chase story with Mud being pursued by bad guys and Mud chasing his love; second, it's a coming-of-age story as the boys, especially Ellis, sift through adult lies and compromises and their own growing sense of love's importance. That love covers parent for child, friend for friend, and boy for girl.

Although writer-director Jeff Nichols may be trying to do too much with those themes, he succeeds in crafting characters we really care about whose arcs promise to extend beyond the story, embracing universals that extend beyond rural Arkansas. So important is the river to the boys that inquisitive and ornery Huck Finn is as close as the next bend in the river.

While the title could represent the dirty little world of sin on the river, it also suggests the primal stuff from which Eve was made. Women are the central metaphor for the boys, who already know girls must be dealt with before boys can be called men. Yet, beyond dealing with the opposite sex, they must decide who's good and who's evil, regardless of gender.

That consideration starts with family and moves to the family of man. That's quite a lot for a little film. It delivers. If my comments don't convince you to see this indie gem, then consider the supporting cast of Michael Shannon, Reese Witherspoon, Joe Don Baker, and Sam Shepard. You'll crab there's not enough of each one, and that's all good. And I'm not just slinging mud.
Beautifully filmed Coming-of-Age tale on the Mississippi River9/10
Mud was very well-received by a packed house at the Paramount Theatre for its Regional Premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The crowd particularly loved local favorites director Jeff Nichols and the always shape-shifting Matthew McConaughey. (How is it possible that McConaughey hasn't even been nominated for an Oscar yet?) Mud is a charming, entrancing film that has almost lyrical quality as it unfolds along the rural backwoods of Arkansas's Mississippi River. The story revolves around the adventures of two young teenage boys who meet a mysterious drifter appropriately named Mud. Mud is hiding out an island in the Mississippi River awaiting the arrival of his beloved Juniper. The story has elements of drama, thriller, and romance. While the film is slightly too long and the story has a few unnecessary and distracting subplots, its overall eloquence and is absorbing. So like the Mississippi, the story meanders a little too much. The River setting becomes a character in the film that shapes the drama playing out along it. The two teenage actors are excellent, but the film is tour-de-force for McConaughey who is its heart and soul. Highly recommended for those who like serious drama and appreciate natural beauty.
The best movie so far for 201310/10
I went into "Mud" with no idea of what it was about. I immediately had flashbacks to "Stand By Me". That said, I think "Mud" is a better movie. I thought the acting was exceptional, the photography both real and lush, the lighting well done, and the story was fresh, real, and terrific. The direction MUST have been terrific also, as the result is a near-perfect film that everyone can and should enjoy.

The 2 young actors (playing the characters of Ellis and Neckbone) were amazing -- especially Tye Sheridan playing the lead character, Ellis. Sam Shepherd was great as Ellis' "assassin" neighbor (and longtime friend of Mud), the actor who played Ellis' dad was TERRIFIC and stole every scene he was in. Reese Witherspoon was only on film for perhaps 10 minutes but she was perfect as Mud's white-trash girlfriend. And this was Matthew McConaughey's best job EVER. (Until now only his role in The Lincoln Lawyer was good to my mind, and I was tired of his constant good-old-pretty-boy act in everything else!) I hope it was not made too early to get consideration for the Academy Awards next year. Although it's a lowish-budget independent film, "Mud" is sure to become a classic! I saw it the other night with my wife... and I plan to see it again soon with my teenage son.
Wow8/10
This is a movie that stays with you. It's a real movie about people, and a place--not car chases and explosions. I don't agree with the mixed reviews and complaints about the length of the movie. Matthew McConnahey is well-cast. All of the actors do a good work; Reese Witherspoon, Sam Sheppard. Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland do a great job playing the child characters. The Mississippi river is like a character in the movie, which evokes Huckleberry Finn, as others have noted. The settings are magnificent. In a sea of manufactured movies, it's nice to see something that was crafted by human beings. I would recommend this movie to those who are interested.

The audience in the theater I was in seemed absorbed.