Rorschach on DVD: Mud


At the end of each day when I come home from work, I’m faced with a critical decision; do I go out to see one of the week’s latest releases in theaters, or do I stay in and choose unnamedfrom the field of classics and new releases that fill my IMDb watchlist.  There are many facets to this decision, from “Do any of my friends want to go with me?” to “Do I really want to spend that much money tonight?”, but in the end the only question that really needs to be answered is “Do I really want to be wearing pants right now?”  As you can see from my recent trend towards the home video market, the answer to that question has been an increasingly frequent “No”.  Luckily, it just so happens that one of the most critically praised movies of the year was recently released for the small screen and as a result it was much easier to make that decision for my latest review.  Without further ado, here is my brief opinion on Mud, starring Tye Sheridan and Matthew McConaughey.

Honestly, I’d love to go on and on about this movie but I’m getting tired and hopefully the score below will be enough to point you in the right direction.  Mud has a lot ofmud-2013-1 (1)“Modern American Mythology” related aspirations in its premise, but for those of us who aren’t well versed in the plot and character archetypes of old texts are far from ignored by this honest, sympathetic and occasionally moving coming of age story.  That isn’t to say it’s anything like “The Breakfast Club Goes South”, but since when do quirky, angsty teens in middle class families get to hog all of the that little subgenre.  For most people, our own coming of age story wasn’t like anything in a John Hughs movie, and through its setting in the impoverished american south, Mud is able to offer a few bits of setting and plot development to the equation that give the film a more unique and mature tone.

While I’d like to shine the spotlight on any of the various directorial or writing flourished that make the movie such an engrossing experience, I think a more productive was to use these last few sentences before I pass out would be to touch on my mud-image09main complaint with the movie.  Now I’m not exactly Susan B. Anthony incarnate I still like to see women represented fairly in movies, but it probably doesn’t come as a shock to anyone that this is not always the case.  Basically, the plot revolves around two men and their struggle with being rejected and mistreated by the women they love, and while the men get to have their little moments of saying”Chicks, Man…”  to eachother while singing Jay-Z’s 99 problems on repeat, the women measure up to little more than scraps of meat for all of the other male characters to fight over for some reason or another.  All I’m saying is that having one honest-to-god female character in there wouldn’t have killed them.

The Verdict: 8.5/10 – Impressive

+  Excellent performances, especially from the often underutilized McConaughey

+ A clear, consistent story line that doesn’t rely on twists to keep you interested

+ An exciting third act that helps ease the slightly excessive run time

– The “Bitches be crazy” theme feels a bit one sided in its gender relations argument

You can rent or buy Mud on Amazon Instant Video, aka right here .

Critical Consensus:

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

IMDb: 7.6/10

Metacritic: 76/100

Other Reviews:

The Focused Filmographer: 5/5

The Cinema Monster: 9.5/10

A Door Into Movies: 4/4

Keith and the Movies: 4.5/5

The Code is Zeek: 4/5

Dan the Man Movie Reviews: 8/10

Fast Film Reviews: 3/5

Average: 8.6/10 – Impressive

About r361n4

I'm a student at the University of Washington Majoring Business. I've always loved movies and my goal is to work on the financial side of the film industry. Until then though, I figure I'll spare my friends from my opinions and shout them from a digital mountaintop for anyone who's interested. After all, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody blogs about it, does it really happen?
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4 Responses to Rorschach on DVD: Mud

  1. Tom says:

    Awesome review Andy, really great and a fair one, too. There were definite issues with the movie but my god was I blown away by the chemistry btwn McConaughey (which, it should be noted I typical H-A-T-E) and the young fellas, Ellis and Neckbone and this more than won me over. I also wasn’t much for the southern gothic-type style of cinematography on display but it, again, was bolstered by the acting. I just loved this one. Thanks for bringing me by it again.

    • r361n4 says:

      Jelly to do it tom :). I think that the Sheridan could have a long career in front of him judging by how well he played Ellis here. Also I totally agree about mcconaughey, ge normally annoys the crap out of me

  2. Great write up man. I was really pissed I missed this at the cinema but it’s out on DVD here in a couple of weeks so i’ll definitely be picking it up.

  3. CMrok93 says:

    Nice review bud. The cast is amazing, but that script is what really brings them all together to create an honest, heartfelt portrait of humans, what we do, and how we feel accepted into a world that sometimes won’t accept us. Or, you know, something like that.

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