Free State of Jones Movie Review


This movie falls apart faster than the Confederacy did.

Free State of Jones tells the true story of Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a deserter who leads a rebellion in Mississippi against the Confederacy.

This movie starts with so much promise.  The first hour is pretty great.  It does a good job of telling the story.  I was engaged and really interested.  There are some solid (and very violent) battle scenes.  McConaughey was just as good as he has been recently. I was locked in and really enjoying the movie.

Then, all of the sudden something changed in the last 1+ hours of this movie.  It becomes a completely different movie.  A huge battle that was seemingly brewing that the movie really focused on just never happens and the rest of the movie takes place during Reconstruction after the war. That is except for random courtroom scenes that take place years later that are thrown into the movie and don’t make any sense until the very end.  Really the story becomes a lot less about the rebellion that the trailers promised.  That was the part of the story I was most interested in, but the rest of the movie is more a biography of Newton Knight.  Which is fine and some people might enjoy it, it just wasn’t what I was expecting and therefore I didn’t like it as much.

The movie had a lot of promise but, for me, falls apart halfway through. There is enjoyment to be had, especially if you like Biopics. The central story and McConaughey save this from an even lower score, but Free State of Jones still gets a 2.75/5.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.