Just Mercy (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Just Mercy (2020)

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Critic Consensus: Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.

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A powerful and thought-provoking true story, "Just Mercy" follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them.

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Cast

Michael B. Jordan
as Bryan Stevenson
Jamie Foxx
as Walter McMillian
Brie Larson
as Eva Ansley
Rob Morgan
as Herbert Richardson
Tim Blake Nelson
as Ralph Myers
Karan Kendrick
as Minnie McMillian
Rafe Spall
as Tommy Champan
O'Shea Jackson, Jr.
as Anthony Ray Hinton
Rhoda Griffis
as Judge Pamela Bachab
Darrell Britt-Gibson
as Darnell Houston
Steve Coulter
as Judge Buren
Elizabeth Becka
as Mrs. Franklin
Claire Bronson
as Mrs. Chapman
Tonea Stewart
as Mrs. Coleman
Lindsay Ayliffe
as Judge Foster
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Critic Reviews for Just Mercy

All Critics (217) | Top Critics (43)

[I]t's never less than engrossing. Even with the schmaltz.

January 17, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Jordan... has steel and energy in his part, and... Foxx... gives a beautifully modulated, unflashy and quietly moving performance, easily his best in at least a decade.

January 16, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The markers of the story are so familiar (venal law enforcement, leaned-on witnesses, the courtroom), it takes nerve to tell it this simply.

January 15, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The film's power lies in the brutality of its true story, and yet that narrative stays within fairly conventional bounds precisely because of Cretton's commitment to telling it.

January 14, 2020 | Full Review…

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, "Just Mercy" follows a predictable path that is nonetheless rousing due to the strength of its real-life elements.

January 14, 2020 | Rating: B | Full Review…

We never gain much of a sense for who Stevenson is or what motivates him beyond the pursuit of legal justice, and Cretton makes no attempt to deviate from a familiar prestige drama template.

January 14, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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