The year is 1989 and Harvard law graduate Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) sets out to help fight for poor people who cannot afford legal representation. He travels to Alabama and focuses on Deathrow inmates in which he meets Walter "Johnny D" McMillian, (Jamie Foxx) a man convicted of the murder of Ronda Morrison 3 years prior. Noticing the inconsistencies among other problems with Walter's case, Bryan gets a team together including Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) to fight for Walter only to be met by barriers, blockages and an undertone of racial hatred. To make matters worse, when other cases do not go well for Bryan, he is left with not many options, but does everything he can to help seek justice for Walter, an already disheartened man waiting for his death knowing he will die in prison for a crime he did not commit.
I almost cried twice. Just before I wrote this review, I saw something about Jamie Foxx telling Graham Norton that this movie was personal for him which made me think of the movie and had to fight back tears again. As I said earlier, this movie is very weighty and packs a punch that struck a cord with me. I could hear people in the cinema sobbing and I was almost apart of the wrecked crew. I could relate to some of the things Walter was going through and I felt the anger. Maybe nearly 3 times I was almost drawn to tears.
The acting. The acting was phenomenal. I mean, we cannot really expect anything less from Oscar winner Jamie. I got, The Soloist vibes from him and if I'm honest, even though Brie Larson was great too, my hat comes off to Rob Morgan and Tim Blake Nelson. It was like every character in this movie were played by actors who were on top of their game. Even O'Shea Jackson Jr. was really good, soo good I didn't even recognise him. But Rob Morgan, Turk from the Netflix MCU and an officer in Ozark, his character and storyline was one of the smaller moments that had me. He played his part soo well and his story was soo good.
Destin Daniel Cretton did such an amazing job with this movie that even a day later, the movie has stuck with me and also still upsets me due to knowing there are hundreds, if not, thousands of innocent people in prison and a huge majority of them on or have been through the Deathrow process having been innocent. It is a good idea to stay for the after credits moments and information.
Sometimes I would go into the cinematography and the lighting and this and that, but if I'm honest, I loved everything about this movie from the clothing to the props used showing the passage of time. Destin did an incredible job with Rob's scene and to have all those black people (I've never seen before) was a sight for sore eyes as not many of the actors were very well known and I loved that. I mean, there ARE more black actors, acting.
I'd definitely say that even if you do not like legal or courtroom drama movies, you should still watch this with a box of tissues. Not only is it true to life in every aspect of the movie, the movie also comes across as refreshing for the palette although it may weigh you down emotionally.
Go have a watch and support this great true story