STARRING: MICHAEL B. JORDAN, JAMIE FOXX, BRIE LARSON, O’SHEA JACKSON JR., TIM BLAKE NELSON, AND ROB MORGAN
DIRECTOR: DESTIN DANIEL CRETTON
DATE: DECEMBER 25, 2019
Biopics on African Americans who have made history are a unique type of film genre. They allow the audience to see from their point of view on how they were treated. Most African American figures hardly get recognized for their achievements. Each one wanting justice for an act of injustice in America. This biopic tells the story about African American Attorney at Law, Bryan Stevenson, and is based on his book of the same name, Just Mercy.
Just Mercy begins in Montgomery, Alabama in 1987. The opening scene shows Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) cutting down a tree in the woods as a pulpwood worker. Walter and his co-worker have had a hard day’s work, so they both decided to call it a day and go home. As Walter drives home he slows down only to see the road blocked by a group of Caucasian police officers waiting for him. Sheriff Tom Tate (Michael Harding) walks up to Walter’s truck and tells him that he is under arrest for the murder of an 18-year-old girl.
Meanwhile, young Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) is counseling an inmate in a prison on how he will not be executed. He is doing this task in order to complete his internship at Harvard Law School. Later that year, after Bryan graduates from Harvard, he moves out of his family’s home and to Montgomery, Alabama to begin his own law firm known as the Equal Justice Initiative. In Montgomery, he meets with his co-founder, Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) about finding an office to start their new law center, but due to the Caucasian owner not being aware that Bryan was African American the two were denied access to the office space so Eva allows Bryan to stay in her home with her family until he finds his own place. While there, Bryan realizes that he must find a case of substance if he is to be considered a good lawyer.
Bryan is next seen in Holman State Prison where he is scheduled to meet with six different inmates about possibly reopening their case about crimes they have not committed. Most notably, the case of Walter McMillian, who had been sent to Alabama’s Death Row. Bryan wanted to convince McMillian that he could win his case as his lawyer to give him the justice that he deserved, however, McMillian rejects him because of the past attorneys who had failed him. Despite McMillian’s refusal of help, Bryan will not stop and will do everything in his power to save McMillian from being executed.
Just Mercy is an excellent film in every way. It is an impactful biopic about the real life hero Bryan Stevenson. The cast gives an Oscar worthy performance. It’ll leave the audience with so many emotions from sadness, anger, and overall joy. It is a film that truly demands to be seen by everyone.
Just Mercy receives 10 stars out of 10 stars.