Free State of Jones


D: Gary Ross

STX/IM Global/Bluegrass/Vendian/Larger Than Life/Route One/Huayi Brothers (Jon Kilik, Gary Ross & Scott Stuber)

USA 🇺🇸 2016

140 mins


W: Gary Ross

DP: Benoît Delhomme

Ed: Pamela Martin & Juliette Welfling

Mus: Nicholas Britell

Matthew McConaughey (Newton Knight), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Rachel Knight), Keri Russell (Serena Knight), Mahershala Ali (Moses Washington), Brian Lee Franklin (Davis Knight)

Free State Of Jones is a US civil war drama with its heart in the right place, but its approach to the material in a non-narrative style makes it a bit of a quest to become engaged in before it gets a little boring.

Inspired by the true events surrounding the life of Newton Knight, who rebelled against the confederate army and its soldiers, Matthew McConaughey does deliver a good performance in the lead, but the length of the film could have easily been trimmed to make the subject a little more bite-size and less like obvious Oscar bait.

Similar themes were explored better in Edward Zwick's 1989 war drama, Glory (qv) which comes higher recommended than this.


Matthew McConaughey in Free State of Jones
Matthew McConaughey in Free State of Jones