TIME OUT SAYS
It’s an inspiring tale that’s told in a traditional fashion, with lots of plain speaking to make sure audiences are receiving its messaging loud and clear. But the steady hand of director Cretton (Short Term 12) is aided by a strong cast who keep the tone just the right side of sentimental. Jamie Foxx is terrific as the condemned man who’s almost lost all hope, buoyed only by the solidarity of his fellow convicts (including O’Shea Jackson Jr). Brie Larson underplays it nicely as Stevenson’s colleague, while Rafe Spall injects dark humour as a district attorney whose breezy manner is a thin veil over his prejudice. And it’s hard to imagine anyone but the brilliant Tim Blake Nelson playing troubled convict Ralph Myers, on whose testimony the conviction is based.The frustrating injustices and what feels like a prolonged execution scene mean this isn’t always an easy watch, but it’s an ultimately heart-warming one that argues passionately for justice, community and kindness – timely indeed.
By Anna Smith | 20 Jan 2020