Just Mercy

I waited a long time to watch this film–and it did not disappoint. Quite the contrary.

Earlier this year I read the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson. (BTW, it makes for a great, great read.). I have only just now got the chance to see the movie version, and I’m not sure I can adequately describe what it meant to me. It stirred up a lot of strong feelings and gave me so much to think about. Have a look at the official trailer here.

Just Mercy is the true story of a black man in Alabama, Walter McMillan, who was accused of the murder of a white girl. He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death.

A young lawyer, Bryan Stephenson, arrives to offer legal aid to McMillan. What Stephenson discovers is a sorry excuse of a case against McMillan. When he tries to get the authorities to reopen the case, they are unwilling to do so. Their thinking seemingly is that having someone, anyone, in prison for the crime is more important than getting the right person. However Stephenson refuses to give up and through some stirring and emotionally-charged courtroom scenes, ultimately prevails.

Jamie Foxx stars as Walter McMillan and Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stephenson. Both deliver outstanding performances, Jamie Foxx especially. I’d say he fully deserved an Oscar nomination for his performance, athough he didn’t receive one.

Just Mercy is a powerful reminder that justice is meant to serve all, the poor and marginalized, just as surely as the rich and powerful. Or it is not justice at all.

— Penny D.