Mud

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 269 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 269
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  1. Apr 30, 2013
    6
    Two Arkansas boys discover a boat in a tree and the fugitive hiding on the island (Matthew McConaughey). As they help him salvage the boat, they become entangled in his plight and learn about love on several levels. Although audiences will expect to see McConaughey get serious as this rough character (chipped tooth, scruffy beard), it's centered around the boys, who are sweet, earnest andTwo Arkansas boys discover a boat in a tree and the fugitive hiding on the island (Matthew McConaughey). As they help him salvage the boat, they become entangled in his plight and learn about love on several levels. Although audiences will expect to see McConaughey get serious as this rough character (chipped tooth, scruffy beard), it's centered around the boys, who are sweet, earnest and sometimes funny. The story is absorbing, even if it falls apart before it's over. This is a solid drama with subdued direction and compelling performances. Expand
  2. Feb 6, 2014
    5
    Mud is a strange coming of age story, where one boy learns that love isn't forever and that friendship comes in many different forms. Critics and fans on the movie sites I go to have been raving about this film, so I had to check it out and chime in. I agree with those who say that newcomer, Tye Sheridan, gives an amazing performance, but as for the rest of the film, I think it leavesMud is a strange coming of age story, where one boy learns that love isn't forever and that friendship comes in many different forms. Critics and fans on the movie sites I go to have been raving about this film, so I had to check it out and chime in. I agree with those who say that newcomer, Tye Sheridan, gives an amazing performance, but as for the rest of the film, I think it leaves something to be desired. While out exploring, two boys meet a strange man named Mud, stranded on an island. This man is full of stories and needs the boys help to reconnect with his girlfriend and leave the island. For starters, the film is full of inconsistencies. Mud is starving and needs these boys to bring him food, but somehow, he always has a cigarette in his mouth. One or two things could be overlooked, but the inconsistencies fill up this film. While it's a good story, there isn't a lot of substance to it and the film moves at a snails pace, another thing that tends to turn viewers away. The best thing to do would have been to use flashbacks in Mud's stories to fill the time, instead there are a lot of symbolic scenes of people lost in thought, the business of the town, the kids hanging out, it was very methodical, but also very dull. Matthew McConaughey plays Mud and does a decent job, the problem doesn't lie with him. The film is based on this guy, and for a character with such an interesting past, he really is a sad, dull guy. The only real positive I took away from this film was Tye Sheridan, who plays one of the boys. He does a tremendous job as he starts to realize that love isn't everlasting. To see how this character matures from the beginning of the film to the end, is really remarkable, but it's not unique. Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen similar stories, where the film is much more interesting and the same thing ends up happening. Mud is ambitious and may be the start of a long career for two young actors, but ultimately it's long, slow, and forgettable. Expand
  3. May 1, 2013
    5
    It has been 13 years since Matthew McConaughey played his bongos nude while high on Cannabis and then went into a string of not so romantic or funny romantic comedies. In the past 2 years he has been making a startling comeback with 3-4 highly acclaimed performances and he adds another one with “Mud”. With Medusa like hair, a chipped tooth, scraggly beard, tattoos and with a tan that isIt has been 13 years since Matthew McConaughey played his bongos nude while high on Cannabis and then went into a string of not so romantic or funny romantic comedies. In the past 2 years he has been making a startling comeback with 3-4 highly acclaimed performances and he adds another one with “Mud”. With Medusa like hair, a chipped tooth, scraggly beard, tattoos and with a tan that is golden on his chiseled body you can see that bongo playing bad boy through the aging face. As the titled not quite so heroic lead on the run for killing a man and with that man’s father (Joe Don Baker), and bounty hunters tracking him down, Mud turns to his father-like figure Tom (Sam Shepard) and two 14 year old boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) along with Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) for help. Tom warns the boys that Mud is nothing but a liar and all of his failures have been due to his love of Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) who he is now looking to hook up with again, run away and start a new life.

    With a strong supporting cast along with Baker and Shepard there are Ray McKinnon and Sarah Paulson as Ellis’s parents, Michael Shannon as Neckbone’s uncle and Bonnie Sturdivant as a possible girlfriend for Ellis, though she doesn’t see it, McConaughey holds his own and the audiences attention but this film revolves around the boys. They are coming of age and all that brings including seeing the so many different ways of love among adults.

    With all that this film is very disappointing for many reasons but the major one is that director and screenwriter Jeff Nichols tries to handle too many themes and in turn has a 2 hour and 10 minute film that would have been a lot better at one hour and 45 minutes. Though the relationship between McConaughey and Witherspoon is vital to the movie it is given short shrift and the latter very little screen time. Though good in their roles both Shannon’s and Shepard’s roles could have easily been eliminated as 2-3 other storylines really didn't add much but took away that important Mud and Juniper relationship.

    Definitely a nod of the head to cinematographer Adam Stone who makes the Arkansas sunsets, sunrises and rivers sparkle. The original music by David Wingo and the production designer Richards A. Wright brings you into and lets you know the world of the Arkansas Delta.

    “Mud” has fine performances by McConaughey, Sheridan, Lofland and the supporting cast but the length, slow pace and too many storylines work against it.
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  4. May 2, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A very well made film, beautifully photographed, well written and with good performances... BUT it lost major points for me toward the end when one of the main characters literally falls into peril (involving snakes) and is rescued by "Mud". This really bugged me because (a) it seemed unnecessary to the plot and to the character development; and (b) it relies on ignorance of snake behavior (and depicts non-venomous snakes!) and a movie cliche' (oh no, he fell into a snake pit!) to create artificial drama. If it had just lost that one scene, I think I would have given the film a solid 8. I can accept a certain amount of dramatic license, but that scene insulted the intelligence of most viewers in my opinion and significantly mars an otherwise very good film. Expand
  5. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    Mud is a drama mumbo jumbo Starring- the one and only Matthew Mcaunnghey. Wow. You know I expected a good movie and it it is a good movie with lots of dumb issues, some people say- oh! Great Cannes film!!! But seriously its an okay movie nothing more. The film stars Tye Sheridian- I don't know who the actor is but still he puts in the effort of being a good child actor. The story is justMud is a drama mumbo jumbo Starring- the one and only Matthew Mcaunnghey. Wow. You know I expected a good movie and it it is a good movie with lots of dumb issues, some people say- oh! Great Cannes film!!! But seriously its an okay movie nothing more. The film stars Tye Sheridian- I don't know who the actor is but still he puts in the effort of being a good child actor. The story is just like a Coming of age spatty muddy tale mixed up with children and crime. And milk. Expand
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    May 17, 2013
    75
    So yes, Mud is messy, but it’s also rich and earthy in a way that suggests a filmmaker who is deeply immersed in his story, his characters and his surroundings.
  2. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    May 14, 2013
    60
    It’s a broader, starrier project than either of Nichols’s previous films, and he handles the transition to the major league with relative confidence.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    May 5, 2013
    80
    A bold, intelligent, 21st century take on Mark Twain — with added occult tendencies.