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Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 186

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  1. Aug 16, 2014
    . Mud was boring , really boring and I felt it got no where throughout it , McConaughey is great as are the kid actors but it was just boring it got nowhere it was just like watching this hobos life. Defiantly overrated.
  2. Jun 20, 2014
    One of the best Southern American drama ever seen in recent memory and makes me love that genre. "Mud" is sweet and heartwarming drama film about trust, love, loss and woman . It's just like an enchanted-fairytale from Arkansas Texas, easily like Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn
  3. May 25, 2014
    I'll be honest I was never really a fan of Matthew McConaughey most of his movies are rather just unwatchable to me save for a few like A Time to Kill, We Are Marshall and Dazed and Confused. Though it seems that with all the highly rated movies that he has either stared in or just acted in this year im really impressed with him and his acting skills. Now I can't wait to see his performance in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar that is coming out next year. I have actally owned this movie for months now and just never really got around to watching it i know Jeff Nichols is a great director i really liked Take Shelter i should've' got around to watching this ALONG TIME AGO.

    The movie itself was great yes the story has been done before but it was with a bit of a twist adding a kids point of view so that was great. Sure some will say it was like Stand By Me but for me I just didn't fell it. The whole cast was great both little kids Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland both did some great acting they both are young up and coming talent. Although i didn't really care for Reese Witherspoon sure she did ok but i felt like that they should have got another woman for the role personally i would have loved Ali Larter for the role and i thought this was the best i have seen of Reese Witherspoon in a long time.
    Matthew McConaughey was just amazing though best i have seen from him ever right from when he first appears on the screen fishing with a small kids fishing rod to when you see him breath in the fresh air at the end he steals the screen.

    Overall i give it a 8.2 The movie did feel a bit too long and the action there at the end wasn't anything great but that was needed and im glad it was just the way it was.
  4. Apr 22, 2014
    Mud is one of the best movies of late. Many stars are here, and they are anything but wasted. It starts off a little slow, but once Mud gets going, it's thrillingly alive. Even after it's ending, I wanted more. McConaughey's performance in this well-executed drama is one of the best of his career. However, it's the kid, Tye Sheridan, who steals the show here. Even for a teenage actor, Sheridan shows depth to the character, and won't be a "one-hit wonder". This kid has real potential, and I would love to see him in more movies. Expand
  5. Mar 31, 2014
    Charming, sweet, touching, heartfelt, and tragic, Mud is a successful film for many reasons, one of which is the acting. It is hard to think of an actor more on top of his game than Matthew McConaughey and Mud is no exception. His charisma and easy going demeanor really pull you in and, while he is not directly the protagonist (even though he plays the title character), you find yourself rooting for him and hoping things work out for him. On top of McConaughey, both Tye Sheridan and Jack Lofland did fantastic jobs. For actors of their age, they packed considerable emotion and passion into their roles and really impressed me. Also, the supporting cast, headed by Sam Shepard was also phenomenal and really helped. While Fargo is a superior film, a lot of Mud reminded me of Fargo. While it was a totally different film, the way the film totally embodies the region it depicts and sort of oozes with Southern charm is very similar to the way Fargo really represents Minnesota. Both are also beautifully filmed. Fargo's imagery really helped to define it, especially with the blue/white colorization, while Mud's visuals have the same effect, but with golden light on it as if it was shot in "the magic hour" a la Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven. Expand
  6. Feb 6, 2014
    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 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
  7. Jan 19, 2014
    One of those heartwarming stories with 2 young boys looking for a role model and the meaning of love. This delivers FAR past what I expected and has become one of my favorite movies of the whole year. McConaughey and the other boys have incredible performances that pull you right into the story. Could possible become a new classic that is hopelessly overlooked at awards season
  8. Jan 6, 2014
    Jimmy Spoiler-free reviews 2013 things: Mud Mud, not the mud on your feet but Mud The Movie, is more or less a 2013 film despite sources such as imdb listing it as a 2012 film. It only saw 2 premieres in 2012 at French film festivals (notably Cannes). It's an interesting tale of two fourteen year old southern boys named Ellis and 'Neckbone' who are exploring the Mississippi when they encounter Mud. This man, with the odd name of Mud, is mysterious and seemingly-wise, and the tale revolves around their relationship with him and his aspirations to reunite with his love interest. It isn't one of those movies that makes you feel bad. It reminds you of being a kid really. I'd almost call it an adult movie with the lighthearted feel and pacing of a kid's movie. And it's really American. I can't imagine anyone not familiar with America or southerners understanding this movie.

    People Who would like Mud:
    -People who like feel-good movies that don't suck
    -Those interested in southern or American culture
    -Fans of lighthearted movies
    -Fans of Matthew McConaughey
    -People interested in so-called 'modern American classics'
    -Oh yeah, Reese Witherspoon's in it if that's a bonus
    -People who like coming of age stories
    -Fans of movies with young protagonists
    -People who like movies featuring rivers

    People who would not like this:
    -Unamerican Communists
    -People who absolutely hate anything that resembles a 'feel-good' movie
    -People not that dislike southern american english
    -Those that somehow have a problem with Matthew McConaughey
    -People who hate young teens, especially southern ones

    I can imagine certain people not liking Mud, but I enjoyed it a lot.

    8/10 for Mud
  9. Jan 2, 2014
    Mud is one of the most unexpected surprises of 2013.It is a great coming-of-age film which manages to never feel sappy or overly-sentimental. It features an incredible performance by Mathew McConaughey as well as the child actors plus great cinematography and an engaging script that entertains you from start to finish. McConaughey has made a huge turn around with his career, and i applaud him for that. Mud is a prime example of the man's acting skill, and I can't wait to see what other projects he will take as his career continues. I usually don't praise child actors, but the kids in this movie were great.With a movie like this it's easy to become cliche and derivative, but Mud never becomes that. It's a great film, one of my 5 favorite of 2013 and some people are even hailing it as a modern classic. 2013 has been a great year for films, and Mud is a perfect example of why it has been such a good year. Very much worth a watch. Expand
  10. Jan 2, 2014
    Wonderfully written and acted, at its heart this is a coming of age story about a young boy's disillusionment with life and love. Tye Sheridan is a natural as the boy and Matthew McConaughey must now rank as one of the top 5 American actors in movies today. His performances of late (Killer Joe; Magic Mike; Dallas Buyers Club) Just keep stretching him and he continues to get better and better. The film is so lovingly photographed that you begin to feel the environment. Directed with restraint by original author Jeff Nicholls it is spot on tonally in eliciting pathos. Only some mis judged music at the end rudely spoils the effect of this other wise quite brilliant little gem. Expand
  11. Dec 28, 2013
    It was a bit slow, but it`s a movie with characters you learn to care about.I thought it was a good movie overall. I did not expect it to be about love as much as it was, but it was interesting
  12. Dec 27, 2013
    The most over rated movie of the year and quite possibly history. They finally figured out how to make McConaughey shine as an actor surround him with other horrific actors. He plays a homeless, starving vagrant. At one point, they mention his shirt and I thought, here it comes, he's going to take his damn shirt off (mandatory in all his movies). Of course, they contrive a way and he takes his shirt off and he's all ripped he can't find food but manages to hit the gym 3 times a day. Absurd Expand
  13. Dec 5, 2013
    I get that it doesn't have CG. This movie would have won Academy Awards in another time. I had a strong visceral reaction to this film, which is precisely why I think it is a keeper. The ending didn't quite fit, which is why I gave it a 9. Mud has an undercurrent of emotional drama that few movies have, given that CG rules the day. I watched it with my middle son, who happens to be 28 and a confirmed syf-y, CG, thriller moviegoer. After the film, he announced that this was the best movie he had seen in a long time. I agree. Take that Avatar. Expand
  14. Oct 22, 2013
    There's a gritty and realistic form of wisdom to take away from 'Mud', full of surprises, subtle brilliance and some engrossing performances. Mud feels art house, but it also hints towards mainstream elements, either way it throws some interesting characters into one big pot, each with their own problems and difficulties in life, age not being a factor. Although the title refers to the character Matthew McConaughey portrays, there's also two young boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are two young boys who have a knack for going out in little adventures, one which brings them to a secluded island in the waters of Arkansas, where they live. On said island, they try to claim ownership of a stranded boat high in trees, but they soon realise that they aren't the only ones who know about the boat, Mud comes into their life with his unkempt hair, heavy southern accent and aspirations of meeting his one true love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), but when love is involved, it isn't usually savoury or happy trials ahead. Ellis in particular is young boy with all the problems in front of him, parents possibly getting divorced, learning about love and even heartbreak for the first time. The story of Ellis and Mud are mirrored in a deliberate and intriguing tale, they share similar experiences and the film seems to be showing what Mud's life was like as a younger person, perhaps showing the mistakes he made and how to steer Ellis away from making the same ones. This is the sort of film where many will judge the character of Mud, to many he will still be a murderer on the run, no matter his excuses, but to others he will be the man looking out for his girl, even if she doesn't show the same gratitude. The height of brilliance in the storytelling from writer and director Jeff Nichols strong and inspirational throughout the film, he paints a sort of prophet in Mud who isn't necessarily delusional, but more like someone who has hit rock bottom already and doesn't really know where else to go but up.
    The most catching part of the film is its originality, no adaptions or anything of the sort, films these days to be literal in the sense of having a book to centre a story around, but this one, these characters are equally as significant as any black and white one, Ellis and Neckbone are smart kids, but they buy into Mud and his smooth talking plans too easily, each person who has known Mud before the two boys has had little redeeming things to say about him, but Ellis continues to return to him and help him, regardless of the consequences. My only gripe with an otherwise impeccable film is an ending that doesn't quite fit, a shootout that offers no real conclusive finish, only an opportunity for some wounds to heal.
    But other than that, Mud is easily the most touching of films that is completely original, it's forthright in its approach to how we perceive human beings who have perhaps gone off track a little, but also how the most unlikely of people can put them back on the right path, McConaughey at his finest with a very convincing performance from Sheridan, it's wisdom at its toughest and brilliance in its own artful way.
  15. Aug 27, 2013
    Matthew McConaghay's previous foray into the lives of people in southern USA was the distressing and pointless Killer Joe. Mud takes a different track by presenting the characters lives as their choice and where they want to be. When Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) find a boat in the middle of a small island they discover Mud (McConaghay), a man waiting for his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) who has promised to meet him. While structured like a pretty conventional revenge story, Mud is really a tale about sons and fathers and the women who control them. Directed by Jeff Nichols, Mud is a film about the beauty of a simple life and the kindness and humanity that comes with this kind of community. Mud is really the tale of Ellis, a smooth talking yet naive young boy who relates to Mud because of their complex relationships with their fathers. The film is filled with sharply written and well acted characters with McConaghay and Witherspoon being a terrific tragic pairing as the true reason for Mud's banishment becomes apparent, the two get better and better. Sheridan is a brilliant new find and brings out all of Ellis' growing pains wonderfully. The film rides on the relationship between Ellis and Mud and the two mesh well together as they form an almost brotherly bond. Ultimately its a beautifully performed and filmed picture that displays the beauty of living on the river and of living in a world of your own where the odd is strangely normal and people like Mud fortunately exist. Expand
  16. Aug 23, 2013
    Mud marks the first great movie of 2013. The acting is fantastic and especially hats off to the young boys whose performances are so spot on. Beautiful imagery of a part of the south rarely showcased in films. A great story all around.
  17. Aug 22, 2013
    I don't want to spoil anything that happens in this movie, but I will tell you that it is a fantastic story and a must watch. Matthew McConaughey delivers a fantastic performance, as does the rest of the cast. The best part about this movie is that it all feels realistic. Watching it all unfold can deliver on the edge of your seat moments, but the real prize comes from the little moments that help keep everything in place. These are the moments that the true potential of the actors comes forth for you to marvel at. Just the little things like the expression on a face go a long way to create the sense of realism in this movie of love and loss. Make no mistake, "Mud" is a fantastic movie and a must see. Expand
  18. Aug 18, 2013
    "Mud" is an outstanding American film that is destined to be a classic. It features a terrific performances by all involved. It's definitely a film that will stick with you long afterwards, and you can't really ask for more than that from a movie these days.
  19. Aug 16, 2013
    Understated and beautiful, this film brings you gently into the character's world, and then grips you. The writer/director Jeff Nichols gave the cast plenty to work with, and they didn't let him down. Compelling and honest throughout, this is my favourite film of the year so far.
  20. Aug 16, 2013
    Matthew McConaughey seems to have turned a new leaf and is delivering powerful performances one after another as of late. Yet it is young Tye Sheridan who steals the show and I have a hunch that he will become one of my favourites, whilst director Nichols is getting there fast.
  21. Aug 13, 2013
    "Mud," the third feature from writer and director Jeff Nichols, is a remarkably accomplished piece of storytelling. From his promising, impressive film début, "Shotgun Stories," (2007) to the fascinating "Take Shelter," (2011) both showcases for Michael Shannon, who also has a key-supporting role in this film. Nichols has taken another step forward with his latest, which draws on Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" as a rough model for Ellis's story. The film presents an impressive narrative construction and compelling characters with dynamic performances.

    Two boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), speed out on their boat to a nearby spit of land to check out the unusual sight of a boat ensnared in a treetop, when they encounter an inhabitant. Mud (Matthew McConaughey), declares that he's waiting around for an arranged date with girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). So he promptly enlists the help of the boys, who are in need of an adventurous break from their own humdrum lives. The boys have plenty of questions about his origins, but Mud doesn't reveal much. Mud is from around these parts, but fearful, it seems, of straying too close to the people and places of his youth.

    At its heart, "Mud" is a story of the strength of familial bonds, of relationships destroyed by our tragically human, ineradicable flaws, and a coming-of-age film that defines us all. "Mud" deals in simple heartfelt emotions, and in a genuinely moving fashion. Nichols' approach to filmmaking also provides an additional palpable emotional element to the earnest storyline. "Mud" doesn't end up being a perfect film, with a runtime that feels a bit long, and its ending is a little weak. That's not to say it isn't fitting, but it just doesn't feel as satisfying as the rest of the film.

    Always bringing out the best in his cast, Nichols solidifies his status as one of the best indie filmmakers of today. "Mud" delivers astounding performances while wrapping up the perfect blend of dramatic weight and fairy tale happiness. When the story gets going, and the moralities of characters' actions come into play, and there's no way to avoid being captivated by its southern hospitality.
  22. Aug 13, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really dug this film. The story is interesting, the drama is done just right and it has some incredibly strong performances in it. And while McConaughey is awesome in it and it's nice to see him takes roles that push him farther and farther away from the romcom genre, the real movie stealer for me was Tye Sheridan as the young boy that meets Mud and finds his problems increase once he came upon the drifter with a shady past. Expand
  23. Aug 10, 2013
    Mud has great acting, great writing, a great story, and a powerful message. I can see this movie being up for a couple academy awards. It doesn't have much action, but when it the action happens it hits you hard. Awesome Flick!
  24. Jul 30, 2013
    ‘Mud’ was a satisfying film about two fourteen year old boys who help a fugitive evade bounty hunters and reunite with his true love. While the plot stood out, the movie worked more as a rich character study about one of the boys, Ellis, and how his recent predicaments and fractured home teach him a series of valuable lessons that he can take with him for the rest of his life. Whether it be his marginalized father, divorce ready mother, or the well meaning fugitive, Mud; everybody has an input in his development. Matthew McConaughey gives an outstanding performance as the titular character, called Mud, who acts as a mentor for the young boys, while trying to battle his own demons in his life. McConaughey’s portrayal of a hard edged killer with a rather naïve outlook on love, made the character both engrossing and sympathetic. Also of note was Tye Sheridan who convincingly performs the mental growth of our young character, Ellis; as the actions of all the adults in his life mold him into the man he will one day become. This was a rock solid movie that tackles themes of love, embracing change and ultimately accepting the realities of life, even the harsh ones. It was a touching film without being sappy in any way, shape or form. Expand
  25. Jul 27, 2013
    Mud is a well directed and well acted film with its two star young roles playing the key to its success. It's a quiet but efficient coming of age tale that may not hit you hard with emotion but gives you a story and characters to care about.
  26. Jul 26, 2013
    Mud is a gripping film from start to finish, marking itself as a modern classic, reminiscent of Stand By Me. McConaughhey delivers his best performance yet as Mud, the man camping out on an island that two boys discover when exploring. Tye Sheridan (Ellis) makes his breakout performance as one of the boys. His friend, Neckbone (played by Jacob Lofland), is excellent as well. Mud captures every emotion with pure accuracy, strategically placing seeds for the audience to feed off of. I could tell you more about Mud, but this is a film you need to experience yourself. Expand
  27. Jul 14, 2013
    This is a a lovely story, Mr. McConaughhey has shown once again, that he can truly act. If you like human stories this movie is for you. One of the better releases in recent times.
  28. Jul 7, 2013
    Mud is an enjoyable modern "coming of age" American drama film which takes place in the deep South. The two young new actors Tye Sheridan & Jacob Lofland, along with Matthew McConaughey provided the audience with a superb performance! Any fan of the 1986 movie, "Stand by Me," should enjoy this movie.
  29. Jun 19, 2013
    Saw the 99% review rating on rotten tomatoes and thought this had to be a great great movie. Had high hopes going in and it was a very good movie, just not as good as I thought it would be. This is def one I would recommend seeing in the theater, just don't go in thinking it will set the world on fire. Very good movie though.
  30. Jun 7, 2013
    Though my opinion might be slightly biased as director Jeff Nichols is from my hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas and is certainly the most prominent filmmaker to come out of here in quite some time it is also nice to see the south receive authentic representation in a film that receives wide, and mostly positive recognition. This isn't Nichols first foray into depicting the south in all its bare normality's and simplicities though as he has ventured here twice before in 2007's deadly family feud drama Shotgun Stories and 2011's Take Shelter that perfectly encapsulated the inner demons and slow unraveling of the human psyche. In his latest, Mud, Nichols has kept his location the same as he is able to so naturally create a sense of place and that is key here as our two young protagonists live on and off of the river that guides them to an island where they meet the titular character. The atmosphere and the way in which Nichols crafts his story lend an almost mythical quality to the tone. It is as if this could just have easily been a southern fable that parents told their children at night so as to keep them from wandering where they aren't supposed to go. Still, even with these vibes of a folk legend the film is able to say and do so much more than simply teach a moral lesson. I expected the slow pace, the southern setting, and the bigger implications the story might make other than what is on the surface, but what continues to surprise is the renaissance of a period that Matthew McConaughey is having in his career at the moment. All of the performances here are strong and Nichols has rounded up a solid cast, especially in his two young stars, but it is McConaughey's turn as the title character that will have you thinking about the film long after the credits roll and what he stood for, what he wanted from life, and most inconspicuously, who he really was.

    read the whole review at

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
    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
    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
    A bold, intelligent, 21st century take on Mark Twain — with added occult tendencies.