This American Civil War movie is graphic in its portrayal of the horrors of war (and the medical posts on the front) at the beginning. It has to be. It has to give the audience a reason to like a man who is, in fact, a deserter, usually regarded as bad and cowardly. Please bear this in mind because it will stress most people. It doesn’t go on for long though.
The role of Newton Knight is played by Matthew McConaughey while his common law wife is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, an English born actress despite the Zulu name and probable origin.
This is a fictional historical movie and many of the events in the movie such as the 1862 Battle of Corinth did take place. Some American critics have panned the movie as a boring history lesson (it does run for over two hours). I disagree with them. I found it to be both entertaining and interesting. I never became unduly emotionally involved with the characters and I never felt manipulated by the slant in the movie. I would imagine it is still threatening to modern day racists, however.
I give the movie 8/10. Free State of Jones opens on 22 July 2016 in South African movie theatres.