Just Mercy Movie Review by Film Critic Seth Kitchen
Watched on 1/15/2019
After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian's life.
Great introduction to an important activist and case I had never heard of.
Relationships are well-built between characters and actors well-represent the biases and misfortune occurring to their characters. There were many times I felt stressed out for Bryan about the case, but also about him getting murdered.
The problem is because there was so little information on the case, I felt the screen writer had problems creating content for the film. They tried to bring in more cases (ie the Vietnam War Vet), but that made the plot side-track and made the viewer stop caring as much about the main case.
The film was slow with the same characters going back and forth many times, but maybe that's what the director wanted. Potentially the viewer would feel like they are waiting on Death Row. I didn't feel that way and just wanted the stories to move along.