Run time: 139 mins.
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali
Synopsis: ‘Free State of Jones’ is an epic drama set during the American Civil War which tells the story of defiant Southern farmer Newton Knight (Academy Award®-winner Matthew McConaughey), and his extraordinary rebellion against the Confederate States Army. Bringing together an unlikely band of poor white farmers and runaway slaves, Knight launches an uprising that leads Jones County, Mississippi, to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones.


Director Gary Ross [The Hunger Games (2012), Seabiscuit (2003), Pleasantville (1998)] brings us this story of disillusioned Confederate army deserter, Newton Knight, who returns to Mississippi and leads a militia of fellow deserters, runaway slaves and women in an uprising against the corrupt local Confederate government.
Ross has also created a well written script, based on a story by Leonard Hartman, and there is stunning cinematography from Benoît Delhomme [The Theory of Everything (2014), Lawless (2012)]
Reports that the rise of McConaughey (the so-called ‘McConaissance’) had run its course are clearly premature as Matthew turns in an another blistering performance as Newton Knight, and historic photographs prove that he looks uncannily like the real man.
Gugu-Mbatha Raw – who shone as the bi-racial heroine in Belle (Amma Asante, 2013) – is a luminous presence as Rachel, a young woman defining her own path in life despite the oppression of racist Southern culture.
A highly recommended epic film, highlighting a little-known episode from history, worth every minute of its two-and-a-half hour running time.

Images courtesy of Studio Canal