Tag Archives: bryan stevenson

JUST MERCY (2019) – My rating 9.5/10


Just Mercy is a legal drama directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film is based on the memoir of the same name and is written by Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy is the true story of Walter McMillian, who, with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. The film shows the prejudices in the state of Alabama, which suppresses the rights and voices of Black innocent citizens.

In 1989, an idealistic young Harvard law graduate, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) makes the decision to defend poor Blacks in Alabama hoping to give relief and help to those who cannot afford proper legal representation. He meets with Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) and together they create the Equal Justice Initiative. At the nearby prison, Bryan meets death row inmates, including Walter “Johnny D.” McMillian (Jamie Foxx), an African-American man convicted of murdering a White woman named Ronda Morrison. Bryan looks over the evidence in the case and discovers it hinges entirely on the testimony of convicted felon, Ralph Myers (Tim Blake Nelson), who provided a highly self-contradictory testimony in exchange for a lighter sentence in his own pending trial. Bryan’s first move is to consult with prosecutor Tommy Chapman (Rafe Spall) for assistance but Chapman dismisses him without even looking at his notes. AND SO THE PREJUDICES BEGINS!

Just Mercy can cause you to get pretty angry just listening to the lies and watching the smug looks of satisfaction on the faces of bigots when they are executing power and victory over their victims. Because Just Mercy is a true story, it made it harder to digest the horrific injustices throughout the movie. Overall, the film was well done and well-acted. The sad part is these kinds of injustices are continuing to plague poor communities of color. Racism is such a waste of time as well shown in Just Mercy. You will be adversely moved and saddened but also feel a sense of exoneration because of the outcome. I recommend Just Mercy to everyone, it shows the other side of evil. The film received positive reviews from critics, as well as a nomination for Jamie Foxx for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Additionally, Just Mercy grossed $35,191,640 domestically and $44,841,640 worldwide. The review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, reported that 84% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 211 reviews, with an average rating of 6.99/10. The site’s critics consensus reads: “Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.” Check It Out!

13TH (2016) – My rating: 9.5/10

13thMy reaction to this Netflix Original documentary is simply WOW!  For a Black person, it’s truly depressing but it’s history and it is what it is. This is the kind of information everyone should know. Maybe it can make some kind of a difference regarding the race issues in America. No matter what character or category of person you might fall into, criminal, bad  or compassionate, I don’t see how anyone could go along with the stinking thinking outlined in this film.  13th is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). DuVernay’s,  documentary opens with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world, who are incarcerated, are incarcerated in the United States and argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated in the US through mass incarceration. 13th features several prominent activists, politicians, and public figures such as, Angela Davis, Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Cory Booker, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and many others.  It’s been said that one of the most compelling defenses behind this documentary is that it’s not opinionated or accusatory, it only presents the facts that are non disputable.  Racism, Slavery, the 13th Amendment, Jim Crow, ALEC, Republicans, The South, Political Leaders and Organizations, Militants,  Murder and The Privatization of the Prison System are all featured.  13th has garnered acclaim from film critics everywhere, as a major historian contribution that should not be ignored.

13th is directed by Ava DuVernay who also wrote and produced it along with Spencer Averick.  Living with and and knowing a lot of the facts in 13th didn’t make it any less disturbing to see put together in 13th.  I feel the issue of racism will never be resolved.  It’s bigger than anything we face and it’s truly a problem that’s eventually going to be our demise.  See it for yourself and form your own opinion.  13th is currently streaming on Netflix.

[13th is nominated for Best Documentary Feature]