“Just Mercy” is one of those rare movies for me where I actually read the book before seeing the movie. The book is absolutely incredible and my only hope was that the movie would do the book justice–and by extension of that, do Bryan Stevenson justice. The book “Just Mercy” is essentially a memoir from Bryan Stevenson about his life, post Harvard, aiding death row inmates in the South. He spends the bulk of the book on the specific case of Walter McMillian and his efforts to get him not only removed from death row, but to get him exonerated completely.
This movie will drag you down to the depths. It is not a movie that you plop down and watch, you have to mentally prepare yourself for the emotional toll that your psyche will take. “Just Mercy” mercilessly assaults your emotional cavity. It tests your emotional endurance. It will take you to the brink, and for some it will take them past the brink. At one point someone in the theater shouted, “—- you!” to the screen. I had no complaints because he only said what I was feeling.
After dragging its audience to the depths of anger, despair, and sadness it snaps them back with equal and opposite force. The pure unbridled elation that hits you is just as uncontainable as the anger and sadness moments before. I found myself in tears three times which for me has to be some kind of record.
This may all sound like a warning and it is to some degree. This is not a warning for you to avoid the movie, please go, it is a warning to bring your emotional shield, because should you go in there bare and uncovered it will rip your heart out before you finish the movie.
Review by view_and_review