Runtime: 130 min
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Reese Witherspoon
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
Lifetime Box Office Gross: $21.6M domestic
In the not so distant future when the world has devolved into a Cormac Mccarthy-esque wasteland, people will look back at this movie as the beginning of the McConaissance. I had heard lots of good things about this movie for a while, and truth be told it has been sitting in my Netflix queue for over a year. So today, with a blizzard outside a-raging, I decided to give it a shot.
The movie starts off with a "Stand by Me" type of vibe, and we see two teens going out on an adventure in the swamp, searching for something. It turns out they are looking for a boat that has been swept up into a tree. After looking around they realize someone has been living in the boat and they decide to flee. On the way home they meet the mysterious man, named Mud, who has been living in the boat, and is played by McConaughey. He is great from the moment he shows up on screen. McConaughey's Mud shows an interest in the supernatural and existential, and it isn't hard to see pieces of this performance in True Detective's Rust.
Tye Sheridan plays Ellis, one of the two teens who befriend Mud. I hadn't seen him in anything before, and had only heard his name as it related to his casting as a young Scott Summers in next year's "X-Men: Apocalypse." I have to admit that I was bummed out when I heard this, but after watching him in "Mud", I'm actually excited. Sheridan gives a soulful performance as a teen who is forced to come to terms with the harsh realities of life over the course of a few days.
The plot centers on the two teens befriending and trying to help Mud, who is a fugitive, to get the boat down from the tree and back into working order. As the story progresses you begin to learn what Mud's story is, and with any story worth telling there's a girl in the middle. Reese Witherspoon plays Mud's girlfriend, and that's all I'll say about that so I don't give anything away.
This is definitely a "coming of age" type of movie, where Ellis realizes that the world is not as pure and good as he hoped it was. I am pretty damn happy I wasn't born in Arkansas because life down there looks pretty rough. Ellis lives on a river in a house boat with his family, and it becomes clear there is a huge difference between river and city life. Neither are glamorous, so despite all the snow we endure, I choose the northeast over that place any day.
I thought this movie was awesome, and I'm pissed at myself for taking so long to sit down and watch. Don't be like me, watch it sooner rather than later. You will leave the movie wishing you had a hippie-hobo-stranger as a friend growing up.
TRIVIA (From IMDB)
Michael Shannon, who plays one of the teen's uncle, was supposed to be in the film more but was only available for few days because he was shooting "Man of Steel."