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Free State of Jones

Free State of Jones (2016)
Director: Gary Ross
Writers: Leonard Hartman(story), Gary Ross(screenplay)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali
Genre: Action, Biography, Drama

About: A Confederate army medic, deserts when he realizes that the south isn't fighting for honor or states rights, but is making the poor farmers fight for the rich plantation owners. After deserting Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) returns to Mississippi, hiding out in the swamps. There he meets run away slaves and together they form a fighting force that takes on the Confederate army.

: Free State of Jones is based on a real man and his story. Yes a white Confederate solider actually deserted, joined forces with other deserters, women and runaway slaves and formed a fighting force that was able to hold a large area in Mississippi...and declared it a free state that was interracial mixed. Yes, that's true and should be enough reason to watch it. It's a story of hope, humanity and it contains a lot of stuff I bet you don't know about the south during the civil war and the years after it.

Matthew McConaughey, owned the role. I didn't even recognize him, I swear he channeled the energy of the real Newton Knight a man with a vision and the drive to make that vision work. Newt was a force to be reckoned with.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, plays his common law wife and a freed slave. I last saw Gugu in Belle (2013), she's likable and a good actresses. I bet we'll be seeing much more of her in the future.

Sure this movie has some flaws and at times seemed to take a cue from every other popcorn flick...but those 'I've seen it before moments' were luckily far and few between. I enjoyed this! I learned something too, which is important.