Based on a true story, “Just Mercy” follows young
lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice.
After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs.
Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were
not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva
Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of
Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the
notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of
evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against
him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow,
Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings
and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like
him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.
The story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) is a story
certainly worth telling, his fight to right the injustices handed out to
blacks on death row in the American South makes for an interesting if not
exactly overly spectacular watch.
Jordan and Foxx are good in the two main roles and just about help to lift
“Just Cause” above feeling like a standard television movie.
Bryan Stevenson’s efforts for those on death row might not have been
ordinary but unfortunately that’s exactly what “Just Mercy” is.