The film, Just Mercy based on Bryan Stevenson’s book and starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx is flawed but vital. A powerful argument against the death penalty, the movie centers around the American practice of capital punishment and it’s inextricably linked to much of what’s wrong with our justice system. A real-life story brought to life by Stevenson’s brilliant direction and Jamie Foxx’s outstanding performance, Just Merc is a film you do not want to miss.
Get audiences in the door
Based on Bryan Stevenson’s bestselling 2014 memoir of the same name, Just Mercy tells the story of Stevenson’s early career as an attorney working to reverse wrongful convictions in Alabama and details the founding of his organization, the Equal Justice Initiative. The film focuses on the case of Walter “Johnny D” McMillian, a poor black man who was arrested in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old white girl and convicted based on testimony that later turned out to be fabricated.
Who is who
Just Mercy stars a bevy of actors led by Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and
Brie Larson. Foxx’s performance, in particular, seems like a solid bet for an Oscar nod. Jordan plays Stevenson, a recent Harvard Law graduate raised in Delaware who feels compelled, after completing an internship in Alabama during law school, to take the state’s bar and move south to work with death row inmates while Foxx enacts an inmate put down towards Capital Punishment.
Attacking it from more than one side
Though the film isn’t completely perfect in its form, its final boiling point comes down to only one thing: not only is capital punishment barbaric, but the system that orchestrates it is grossly flawed. In addition, the film also explores the idea of death as a means of fear and how the justice system should pave the road to the pursuit of justice and the protection of innocence.