Movie Review: Just Mercy teaches valuable lessons


Ryker Kluft, Staff Writer

I am a fiction fan. I would always choose to watch an Avengers movie over some documentary about something that I probably won’t remember. But Just Mercy changed that mindset. Though it is based on a true story, it didn’t force a bunch of facts on me like some other movies will. Sadly, many others have a similar opinion; and since the movie is based on a true story, they won’t have a chance to see it themselves.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, Just Mercy takes place in Alabama during the late 1980s. The movie is centered around the hope of the characters and is filled with heavy heart wrenching scenes following the life of Bryan Stevenson, a Harvard lawyer with a dream of giving justice to those who can’t get it themselves. Walter McMillian, a logger, who supposedly murdered Ronda Morrison, is such a man. With the only evidence being the words of one “witness”, Ralph Myers, who happened to be a criminal himself, Walter was sent to death row. The movie is wonderful and evil at the same time in the sense that you don’t really expect what will come next; and just when something good is happening to a character that you’ve grown attached to, they take it all away. 

Michael B. Jordan stars as Bryan and was a perfect fit for the character. Everything he did was full of emotion and you could really understand how he was feeling at every part of the movie. Jordan has starred in other movies such as Black Panther, Creed, and Fahrenheit 451, all of which were big hits as well. Walter McMillian is played by Jamie Foxx who was also in Annie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Baby Driver. Another wonderful character was Herbert Richardson, played by Rob Morgan. Herbert is a veteran from Vietnam with severe PTSD. For an unknown reason he made and placed a bomb on a woman’s porch without the intent to hurt anybody and ended up killing her and being sent to death row rather than being given the care he needs. Morgan has also played in Monsters and Men, Mudbound, and The Week Of.

Before the end of movie credits, there is a “slideshow” of sorts that shows the audience when the rest of the characters were released from death row and other facts which were actually really interesting, though frightening. If you can deal with a little history in your movie and are okay with shedding a few tears, then this movie is for you.