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Mud (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 May 2013 (USA)
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2:26 | Trailer

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Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

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1,911 ( 423)
11 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »
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Shotgun Stories tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mud
...
...
...
...
Tom
...
...
...
...
...
Carver
...
...
Miller
John Ward Jr. ...
Galen's Helper
Kristy Barrington ...
Princess
Johnny Cheek ...
Kyle
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Storyline

14 year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) lives on a makeshift houseboat on the banks of a river in Arkansas with his parents, Mary Lee (Sarah Paulson) and Senior (Ray McKinnon). He sneaks out early one morning to meet his best friend, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland). Neckbone, also 14, lives with his uncle, Galen (Michael Shannon), who makes a hardscrabble living diving for oysters. The two boys set out to an island on the Mississippi River, where Neckbone has discovered an unusual sight-a boat, suspended high in the trees, a remnant of an extreme flood some time in the past. They climb the tree and into the boat only to find fresh bread and fresh footprints. Realizing that they are not the only ones who have discovered the treehouse boat, they decide to leave. When they reach the shore, they find the same footprint in their boat. And that's when they meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Mud is a gritty, superstitious character; his clothes are dirty, his tooth is cracked, and he needs help. He tells the... Written by Roadside Attractions

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Entangled in his past. Running from the law. All for love.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

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Language:

Release Date:

10 May 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mud: Sur les rives du Mississippi  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,215,460, 28 April 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,590,086, 18 September 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Nichols filmed in Southeast Arkansas; locations included Dumas, De Witt, Lake Village, Crocketts Bluff, and Stuttgart. The island in the film was located outside the city of Eudora. See more »

Goofs

When Ellis falls in the snake pit, a snake crawls around his throat. A frame later, from a different angle, the snake is gone. See more »

Quotes

Neckbone: I knew it. I told you that dirty son of a bitch was trouble. Did you tell them where he is?
Ellis: No, that's why I called you. He needs to know people are looking for him.
Neckbone: You think he doesn't know that already? Jesus, Ellis! Why do you even think he's on that island?
Neckbone: Ellis, I'm serious! We don't know who this guy is.
Ellis: He loves her, Neck. He told me.
Neckbone: I don't give a shit who he loves!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Everest Entertainment donates a portion of its profits from each film to charity. By watching an Everest film you have made a difference. We thank you. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Review: Spring Trailer Park (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Snakebite
Written by Ben Nichols
Performed by Ben Nichols
Courtesy of Empty Road Music
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User Reviews

 
Like an updated Tom Sawyer novel about nothing and everything
11 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

14 year old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) lives with his mum Mary Lee (Sarah Paulsen) and father "Senior" (Ray Mckinnon) by the River in Arkansas. Their ramshackle boat house providing easy access to scratch a living selling fish from the mighty Mississippi.

Ellis is free to roam the bye waters in his boat with his friend "Neckbone" (Jacob Lofland) who lives with his uncle Galen (Michael Shannon). Galen keeps himself in beer by diving for oysters in the murky depths, when not loving the ladies to his favourite tunes or playing the guitar.

This is a tough, real life day to day type of existence, well away from the American lives you normally see on the big screen. It is a change to see people that are struggling, yet largely content and portrayed as loving their kids, caring about them as best they can and not turning to violence at a moments notice.

Stumbling across a boat stuck high up in the trees on a deserted island, the boys believe they have found their perfect hideout. After a while they realise they are not the first to find the boat. Notwithstanding all the possible avenues the story could take, horror or something sinister with the older man interacting with younger boys, the story takes none of the conventional routes.

Meeting "Mud" (McConaughey) we meet a perfectly formed complex character, conversing in the usual but even more pronounced southern drawl. Armed with a pistol and a strong independent survival instinct, he starts to rely or manipulate, dependant on your viewpoint, the boys to his main aim. Retaining or retrieving the love of his life "Juniper" (Reece Witherspoon), his sole reason for being is to ensure her safety away from the forces of evil, that he perceives continue to follow her.

To give too much away would spoil the film but fair to say, the story meanders and forks in the same way the Mississippi, ever present in the background, continues to do. The delicate friendships and loyalties that are built and called into question, are all beautifully and believably portrayed.

Tye Sheridan is strong yet vulnerable, experiencing the pitfalls of young love and the upheavals of his home-life require him to trust someone, whether he makes the right choices remain to be seen. McConaughey is well cast and acquits himself well, with a thoughtful layered performance that goes well beyond the stereotypes you might expect. There is a sense of loss through the movie but it is never clear what has been left behind, the ending in particular is sensitively handled. Witherspoon does not get much screen-time but makes the most of the scenes she has, portraying a character one step up from trailer trash. However she remains a constant contradiction of smarts and foolishness wrapped within a superficially simple yet complicated persona.

Matthew McConaughey has recently rescued himself from recent Rom Com hell with a string of good performances in films that actually matter, his recent collaboration with Scorsese in "Wolf of Wall Street" is a good example. It is good to see his career resurrection and start to get noticed again for his obvious acting ability. Director and writer Jeff Nichol has coaxed excellent performances especially from his young cast, whilst placing them in a believable world of which most audiences have no previous experience Complaints, the character played by Sam Shephard feels more like a plot convenience than reality and arguably Sheridan makes it hard for his co-star to shine when his performance is so strong and front and centre.

Summary

A hugely enjoyable film that perhaps defies comparisons and convention. With a story that has time to grow and confound, there are many pleasures to be had.

Like an updated Tom Sawyer novel about nothing and everything, this comes highly recommended.


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