Date TimeSeptember 07, 2019
VoiceFull-blooded performances from Michael B Jordan and Jamie Foxx add weight to a powerful, if by-the-numbers, fact-based tale
Just Mercy review – star power lifts sturdy, emotive legal drama
It’s hard to fault either the intention or the emotion behind the fact-based legal drama Just Mercy, a sturdy retelling of one of the influential lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson’s most enraging cases. It’s also damn near impossible to fault the performances of Michael B Jordan as Stevenson and Jamie Foxx as his client, both as good as they’ve ever been. But instead it’s director Destin Daniel Cretton, whose breakout indie Short Term 12 showed such promise, who can’t quite rise to the material or his performers, choosing anonymity over ferocity, making the dullest, safest decision at every turn. It’s not enough to topple the fascinating true story at his film’s centre but it does have a frustrating, flattening effect.
Related: Bryan Stevenson: the lawyer devoting his life to fighting injustice

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