Mud

Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 269 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 26, 2013
    100
    Watching Mud unfold, one suspects that the Arkansas-reared Nichols remembers exactly what it was like to be a boy of the Southern wilds.
  2. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Feb 26, 2013
    100
    That Nichols is able to orchestrate this entire journey with steady tension and lyrical imagery is a testament to his storytelling capabilities.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 25, 2013
    88
    Mud runs over two hours, climaxing with a shootout that belongs in a different movie. It’s a rare misstep in an art-house movie that will pull mainstream audiences along as inexorably as the Mississippi River. Go see it.
  4. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 24, 2013
    75
    Reese Witherspoon's unglamorous, understated supporting work recalls the kinds of films she made before becoming a movie star. Other recognizable faces include Sam Shepard, Joe Don Baker, Michael Shannon, and Sarah Paulson.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 25, 2013
    75
    Endearing and believable, the two actors playing Ellis and Neckbone are pitch-perfect.
  6. 70
    Jeff Nichols’ much-anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough second feature Take Shelter feels less adventurous and unsettling but remains a well carpentered piece of work marked by some fine performances and resilient thematic fiber.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 25, 2013
    40
    Stripped of his former pretty-boy image, the Texas-born actor is snarly and gnarled, and understands what Nichols is aiming for. That’s crucial, as Mud needs something to stick to.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 56
  2. Negative: 4 out of 56
  1. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    Mud is a gripping film from start to finish, marking itself as a modern classic, reminiscent of Stand By Me. McConaughhey delivers his bestMud 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
  2. Aug 22, 2013
    9
    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. MatthewI 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
  3. Aug 13, 2013
    9
    "Mud," the third feature from writer and director Jeff Nichols, is a remarkably accomplished piece of storytelling. From his promising,"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.
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  4. Jun 4, 2013
    8
    Mud is a well directed, well acted film that helps to show that love isn't easy. The kids are the standout performances here along withMud is a well directed, well acted film that helps to show that love isn't easy. The kids are the standout performances here along with Matthew McConaughey's Mud. Expand
  5. Jul 14, 2013
    8
    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. OneThis 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. Expand
  6. Mar 31, 2014
    8
    Charming, sweet, touching, heartfelt, and tragic, Mud is a successful film for many reasons, one of which is the acting. It is hard to thinkCharming, 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
  7. Dec 27, 2013
    1
    The most over rated movie of the year and quite possibly history. They finally figured out how to make McConaughey shine as an actor surroundThe 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

See all 56 User Reviews

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