By Chris L. Brown
(AllHipHop Features) Just Mercy is a well-executed legal drama that largely addresses the racial & social injustice minorities face in the legal system. The movie feels like a real call to action regarding justice and equality that needs to be viewed by everyone. I found it to be a very moving film that took me through a range of emotions while watching. Michael B. Jordan portrays Bryan Stevenson who is a criminal justice attorney that travels to Alabama to fight on behalf of wrongly convicted men who have been placed on death row. He takes on several cases including the case of Walter McMillian played by Jaime Foxx.
Through his representation of McMillian, Stevenson uncovers a ton of discrepancies in his case rooted in bigotry, racism, and corruption which is supported by much of the town's police force and legal officials. Through his various attempts to clear his client, Stevenson must face professional and personal hurdles purposely placed in his path by the corrupt system which he is fighting against. Due to his belief in McMillian, promise to his family and personal crusade for truth, Stevenson fights passionately to free his client before he is ultimately sentenced to death.
Just Mercy is a powerful and important film that sheds light on much of the corruption and injustice that is still present in the judicial system to this very day. While at times formulaic, the movie remains inspiring and emotionally invests you in its story. The fact that this film is based on a true account, with real people and factual events, makes it an even more impactful viewing experience.
Michael B. Jordan does a wonderful job as Bryan Stevenson and continues to show a deeper level of depth in his acting ability. Jordan brings across a sense of humanity, determination, and optimism in his performance that is very heartfelt. Although MBJ is the lead in the film, Jaime Foxx's character of Walter McMillian is the main focus of the movie. Foxx flat out gives an Oscar-worthy performance that is very touching and one of the best of the year. In my opinion, this is his best performance since "Ray" and it's truly an impressive feat watching him get completely lost in this character.
All of the supporting actors do a great job as well but I have to especially single out one in particular: Rob Morgan. Morgan plays an incarcerated inmate named Herbert Richardson. While having a minimal amount of screen time, he does a remarkable job playing an inmate who suffers from severe PTSD (military related) and faces execution. Morgan, who shares touching moments with both Jordan and Foxx, is captivating in his role and his circumstances will certainly grab you on an emotional level.
Overall, Just Mercy is a gripping film that is rooted in passion, perseverance and the pursuit of Justice. The performances are all exceptional and the story will completely inspire you to be the change you desire to see. Hopefully, this film gets some deserved love both at the box office and awards ceremonies. This one comes Highly Recommended - Go see Just Mercy!