Okay, I’ll admit it. I was one of those people who was unsure of going to see this movie because I didn’t know much about it. The backstory was foreign to me and I may have based my interest purely on members of the cast (Brie Larson, I’m looking at you!) But if there is one thing I love, it is when I am proven wrong. Walking into this film, I had zero expectations and afterwards, I was absolutely and completely blown away by what I had just witnessed.
The true story of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) is one that rocked a small town in Alabama to it’s very core in 1988. Accused of a crime he did not commit, McMillian was sentenced to death. Unable to put up a fight and with no sign of help, it truly seemed that his fate was sealed. He would suffer the death penalty and leave behind his wife and children. Who would believe him, a man of color, anyway?
But then Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) comes to town. Recently graduated from Harvard University, Stevenson decides on relocating to that very town with the sole intention of helping the many people who are wrongfully accused every single day and, hopefully, giving them the justice they deserve.
I never thought it was possible for my heart to break and then mend almost simultaneously, but that is exactly how I felt while watching. Completely engrossed in the story and the events that unfolded, it was as if I shared the many emotions that both McMillian and Stevenson faced from the beginning to the end.
Michael B. Jordan gives a humbling, yet powerful performance as the passionate lawyer, while Jamie Foxx brings McMillian to life in a way that would not have been possible with other actors. Brie Larson, who concludes the trio as Eva Ansley, believes in Stevenson’s abilities from day one and helps him build up a practice of his own.
Just Mercy will knock you down, but picks you right back up again. Make sure to have lots of tissues!