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Mudbound

Director:  Dee Rees
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  2.0

Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke) and spouse Laura (Carey Mulligan) buy a farm with "workers" (read: slaves) Hap Jackson (Rob Morgan), his wife Florence (Mary J. Blige!) and their children there to tend to the land ... as it happens, both parties have relatives involved in military: Henry's brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) and Hap's son Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) return to Mississippi after surviving the nightmares of WWII. It's yet another (... sigh) Liberal Bait movie with one notable exception: the friendship that forms between Jamie and Ronsel feels very real as they try to bond-as-survivors and keep the racist B.S. plaguing the American South away from them to focus on their similarities. The acting is uniformly excellent - Blige looks like she has a second career as an actress, Hedlund is an underrated talent (and does fine with clich├ęd 'drunken vet' character) - but even they can't compensate for a formulaic script with a ghastly ending, where the KKK shows up and an American hero is lynched: it's sensationalism clouding rational discussion.

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