“Free State of Jones” Is Hardcore History

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Ansley Gill, Staff Writer

I’ve got to say, for a teenage girl, I have a very unpopular love for war movies. That being said, none of my friends were interested in seeing this flick with me, so I ended up going with my next best option, my dad and brother (no offense, guys). I think I can speak for all three of us when I say it was brilliant. Not to mention the fact that heartthrob Matthew McConaughey plays the leading role of rugged outlaw, Newt Knight.

This movie, based on a true story, is set in the midst of the Civil War in Jones County, Mississippi. It follows southern legend, Newt Knight, as he deserts the Confederacy after being rawly exposed to its many flaws. He enlists the help of Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the slave of a good friend, to guide him through the safe haven of the swamps of Jones County and away from the impending consequences of deserting.

It is here in the swamps where he lives amongst and befriends a group of runaway slaves. They start a sort of militia in order to stop the rich Confederacy members from stealing their fellow poor farmers’ crops. The militia eventually grows and grows until it literally consists of everyone in town; women, men, slaves, and children of all ages. This rag-tag crew bands together to take back from the Confederacy what is rightfully theirs, and they do some pretty hard-core, blow-up-a-funeral kinda stuff.

The only down-side to this movie is the end. It is very, very slow. I absolutely loved it as a whole, but I have to admit that it got to a point where I would be thinking to myself, “shouldn’t it be over now?”. To play the devil’s advocate, this is based on a true story and it is a historic event, so a little bit of boring is to be expected.

Like I said, it was overall an amazing story told by some genuinely talented actors, and I would see it again in a heartbeat.