Mud – 7.9

A Huck Finn boy’s adventure story, in which the messy adult world is viewed, but not quite understood, by 14-year-old Ellis and his best friend Neckbone. The plot hangs together neatly – too neatly for some, satisfyingly for me – and the setting is as real as Beasts of the Southern Wild was fanciful. My only problem was having the prissy, pretty Matthew McConaughey in the title role; a plainer, rougher actor would’ve been better. And then, too, I might not have felt so cheated by the ending. Reese Witherspoon, on the other hand, was wonderful. But they are the side attractions: it is Tye Sheridan and his amazing portrayal of a certain stage of adolescence that is the movie’s wonder.

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