While it is true that Matthew McConaughey (Mud) and his young co-stars Tye Sheridan (Ellis) and Jacob Lofland (Neckbone) do a great job, the film tends to move at a glacial pace, occasionally forcing members of the audience to do some stretches to stay awake.
Mud is a scalawag, who is being hunted for the murder of a man, who had been beating up on his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). His hunters include not only the police, but the man’s father, whose other son has hired a half dozen thugs to join in the pursuit.
The action takes place in the bayous of Arkansas leading to the Mississippi and on a remote island where a hurricane has parked a large motorboat in a tree, which Ellis and Neckbone have found and are claiming for their own. However, Mud, who is hiding on the island, has also found it and sees it as a possible escape vehicle…if he can get it out of the tree and rebuild its engine.The film is 14 year-old Ellis’s coming-of-age story. He believes in family and true love and convinces Neckbone to join with him in helping Mud retrieve and rebuild the boat so he can escape with Juniper. Unfortunately, for him, Ellis sees relationships falling apart…that of his parents’, Mud’s and Juniper’s and his own with an older high school girl.
Better editing might have helped, but the film is no Beasts of the Southern Wilds.
I give Mud a 3 out of 5.