Blu-ray Mud [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 16590215),
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A pair of inquisitive adolescents encounter a charismatic drifter with an incredible story in this drama from TAKE SHELTER writer/director Jeff Nichols. Mississippi adolescents Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are exploring along the mighty Mississippi when they stumble upon a small island inhabited by Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a desperado who claims to be on the run from brutal bounty hunters after killing a man in Texas. According to Mud, his true love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) is awaiting his arrival in town, and together they plan to make a daring escape. Fascinated, the two boys agree to help Mud slip past his pursuers, despite the potential dangers of doing so. Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, and Michael Shannon co-star.
Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon
"A] well carpentered piece of work marked by some fine performances and resilient thematic fiber."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "McConaughey, on a career roll, is magnificent. his deeply felt scenes with the standout Sheridan hit you like a shot in the heart."
"Nichols has a sense of place that feels authentic....If you allow yourself to settle into its leisurely pace, it will reward you." -- Grade: B+
3 stars out of 5 -- "With a lack of sentimentality, the appealingly naturalistic performances of the two boys and a slow-burn build-up to an explosive finale, it's a charming, redolent and unexpected pastoral that both intrigues and moves."
"[A] newly minted American classic....Mr. Nichols, an Arkansan born and bred, has made a film of striking originality."
Wall Street Journal
"There is an ease with which Nichols pokes around in people's lives, unearthing small truths in authentic ways. In MUD, it feels as if he's caught a small slice of backcountry soul like a firefly in a jar."
Los Angeles Times
3 stars out of 4 -- "A beautifully shot, deliberately paced adventure saga, it explores romantic love from the perspective of an idealistic adolescent."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Nichols' eye for particulars, his feel for the characters and landscapes (and waterscapes), is so vivid you feel you could get bit by a mosquito or a water moccasin if you're not careful."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]hat truly elevates MUD is the sense theres something so much bigger going on here....A bold, intelligent, 21st century take on Mark Twain..."
"Mr. McConaughey commands attention with a variation on a certain kind of Southern character: handsome but battered, charming but also sinister, his self-confidence masking a history of bad luck and trouble."
New York Times
"First and foremost, its another splendid showcase for the ongoing McConaughey Renaissance: He plays Mud as if Tom Sawyer had grown up and gone horrifically wrong, effortlessly projecting rascally charm with a hint of underlying menace."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "McConaughey injects a note of danger into a bayou noir story of youthful adventure that manages to be lyrical and sobering at the same time."
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