Free State of Jones

Genre:  Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller, War
Running Time:  139 min.
Release Date: June 24, 2016
DVD: September 20, 2016
Blu-ray: September 20, 2016

Current rating: Rating: 3.89
based on 58 votes and 27 reviews
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Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Mahershala Ali, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, Jacob Lofland, Sean Bridgers, Thomas Francis Murphy

Inspiration: Newton Knight


A Mississippi blacksmith named Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) is working as a nurse during the American Civil War when his terrified young nephew Daniel (Jacob Lofland) shows up. His family's home has been looted by soldiers and the young boy was told he was drafted, but rather than stay with a company where he knew no one, Daniel decides to search for his Uncle Newt.

Newt joins Daniel in battle for the sole purpose of keeping him out of harm's way, but his attempts prove futile when Daniel is hit by an enemy bullet and dies, despite Newt's frantic efforts to save him.

Disillusioned, Newt deserts and inspires several fellow soldiers, as well as runaway slaves, to join him in his anti-Confederate rebellion. The uprising eventually leads Jones County, Mississippi to break free from the shackles of Confederacy and establishes Newton as a fervent and caring leader.

During his epic fight, the defiant Newt falls in love with a slave named Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw).

Director: Gary Ross
Studio: Elevation Pictures
Producer(s): Jon Kilik, Scott Stuber, Gary Ross
Screenplay: Gary Ross
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  • 2 stars "The story line was good & the acting was very good, but it dragged on way too long."
  • 5 stars "Realism & accuracy of research"
  • 5 stars "Awesome! Great and believable acting and plot. This true story/movie should be used to further teach society about the hardships and sad reality of slavery and its effects on mankind, regardless of race. Very, very well done!"