‘Mud’: Matthew McConaughey as an Outlaw in Love


Mud is the place where the earth meets the water. In a rural stretch of Arkansas, a few folks live in wooden shacks along the Mississippi, as comfortable on the river as on land. One of these is 14-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan), whose parents (played by Ray McKinnon and Sarah Paulson) have slipped into disharmony as they might sink into quicksand. Next door is Tom Blankenship (Sam Shepard), a tough coot and former military sharpshooter. And on an island offshore dwells a mysterious river god, or water demon, on the run from a murder warrant. He is played by Matthew McConaughey, and his name is Mud.

The original screenplay by Arkansas native Jeff Nichols is also a classic coming-of-age story about Ellis’s need to escape his home, where marital tension reigns, and sail unknown waters to find adventure and, perhaps, his grown-up self. Mud, which played at…

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