Just Mercy (2019) Review

mercy

RATING: 4.5/5

[SPOILERS]

An African-American man, who is wrongfully convicted, must receive help from an African-American Attorney.

The title perfectly sums up the emotional drive that the film delivers.

The biggest selling point for the movie were the performances. All of the performances were really good. One felt so hard for not just Michael B. Jordan or Jamie Foxx, but for the rest of the cast. Jordans’ struggle in proving to everyone around that he was not only an Attorney but a black Attorney who will do anything to do what he believed was right, was executed very well. One wanted him to go through society’s barriers and show the world what true justice was.

Not only was Foxx’s struggle something to feel dread for, but this film surprisingly spent a good amount of time with the other inmates on death row. Their performances were very sad and tearful, especially for the former veteran. His scenes up until his inevitable execution in the chair were tough to watch. These scenes set the rest of the movies’ tone right as it made one fear for Foxx’s verdict at the end.

In terms of cinematography, the camera would be up close on actors/actresses’ faces which were done well. It was a good way to show their facial emotions. It reflected some of the conversations from the prison scenes when the inmates first met Jordan. One parallel that I really liked was when Jordan was driving through the white and black neighborhoods. A nice way to show the social/economic divide between races.

There was one word that can perfectly sum up the purpose for a majority of the protagonists, mercy. That was the best word to describe the hard emotions that the cast were emanating. One wanted to see justice to be done, the right way that was. Once Foxx’s verdict was revealed, one felt wholesome and glad that there was hope in the world. It was still present and thriving.

The beginning of the movie was a bit annoying with the “To Kill a Mockingbird” references. We understand this incident took place in the same town as the book/film, we get it.

The last court scene reminded me of the scene in “The Best of Enemies” where Sam Rockwell changed as a person in front of everyone. Granted it was better executed here, but it had the same vibes.

I’m unsure how I feel about the film wanting to feel sympathy for the one white guard. It was tough seeing that this was the same guy that asked the main protagonist to strip.

“Just Mercy,” was a great emotional film about people asking for justice and giving justice. It had great performances, really good writing, some good cinematography, and it makes one think about how broken the laws of this country were/are.

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