2 1/2 Stars
Just Mercy further proves that Michael B. Jordan is the most charismatic actor of his generation. The gifted actor heads an ensemble cast in an earnest, compelling and outrageous story that isn’t able to rise above the level of cable movie status. That is no fault of the hard-working stars. All of whom are uniformly excellent. But the episodic and on-the-nose scripting softens the film’s overall impact.
Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) is a Harvard Law graduate, who moves to Alabama to work in the arena of civil rights defense. This leads him to a meeting with death row inmate Johnny D (Jaime Foxx). The film details Stevensons’ long journey as he takes on Johnny’s case which puts them bot in the cross-hairs of the State DA and the local Sheriff.
Jordan and Foxx are a great screen duo and I hope they pair up again. The problem with Just Mercy is that it isn’t nearly as engrossing as the 2018 documentary on Bryan Stevenson that is currently available on HBO. In a conventional narrative format this captivating story feels predictable and rudimentary.
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx