I had no intention of ever seeing this movie, but somehow I ended up watching it and I was pleasantly surprised. It is the story of two young boys, Ellis and Neckbone, who covet a boat lodged in the treetops on a Mississippi island. It is here that they meet Mud, who is on the run for killing a Texas man who abused the love of his life, Juniper. Well, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) is in town and so is the father of the man he killed. The father has formed his own posse to hunt down Mud.
The story is kind of a Mark Twain type adventure and coming of age story. Mud, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a big story teller and he appeals to the lively imaginations of Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland). Mud has told them that he is hoping to connect with Juniper and he enlists their help in acquiring food and then eventually the things he needs to extract the storm-lodged boat from the trees and get it in working order.
Ellis is a romantic. He's traumatized by the impending divorce of his parents and his attraction to a pretty local girl. Mud's story of undying love and commitment appeals to him and so he commits himself to the adventure. The story is told against the backdrop of gritty, southern river life. The characters are unique, but Ellis and Neckbone steal the show. They are truly gifted actors.
The story builds slowly at first as it introduces the characters and gives us a Southern experience before it turns into high suspense. It's not a "great" movie, but it is definitely a solid one. It's worth the price of admission.
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