for some violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements and smoking
Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard
Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions
Release Date/In Theaters
Mud is a story about two teenage boys who run into a fugitive and decide to help him evade bounty hunters. The boys want to reunite the fugitive with his true love. This compassionate, yet naïve choice gets them in a ton of trouble. This movie might not be appropriate for those under the age of 12 or 13. This Mud movie combines a "coming of age" theme with the thriller of an escaped con movie. This family movie review thinks that parents need to take a hard look at this one before deciding whether it is appropriate for their families.
The story begins with the boys exploring around an abandoned house. They soon discover a fresh loaf of bread and some groceries in amongst the trash. They realize that someone is living there and they make the wise choice and decide to leave quickly. When the boys meet the fugitive, the fugitive is living off of the land and on the run. As a parent, I found myself saying to the boys, "No, don't do that," throughout the entire opening of the movie. They know that something is wrong, but they continue to let their curiosity, rather than their common sense drive them in their actions. This is something that almost every parent will relate to at some point in their life.
Mud (the con) seems nice enough, as he trades food for the guarantee that they can have a boat that was found in a tree if he can use it go find his true love. The boys agree, parents in the audience are cringing at this point because they can see right through Mud. When the boys discover that Mud is being hunted by a pack of bounty hunters for a past crime they promise to get the boat functional…in exchange for the gun that Mud is carrying. It just so happens that the gun is the same one that Mud used to commit the crime that he is being pursued for by the police. Yes, you read it right, the boys traded for the hot gun that was used to commit the crime by the ex-convict. This Mud movie was intended to be scary for the kids in the audience, but at this point, I think that it is scarier for the parents.
This movie has a content advisory for parents due to violence, sexual references, language, thematic elements, and smoking. The elements that make this movie inappropriate for audiences under the age of 13 center on the fact that the main plot of the movie is about two teenagers making a very poor choice and befriending a criminal. The boys choose to become accomplices and commit the crime of aiding and abetting a criminal. This was a wreckless move by the boys. Yet, this movie makes it seem heroic.
The movie tries to make up for the stupidity of the characters by taking emotional cheap shots at the audience to gain their sympathy. The characters have all been down and out, abused, and have had tremendous sadness and loss, presented as if this is an excuse for their actions. This movie may not be the best role model for pre-teens and teens. It justifies all of the poor choices by the boys for the sake of resolving their feelings of being outcasts. As a result of their choices, the boys join in with the con, thus becoming criminals themselves. The Mud movie does demonstrate the ability of children to be drawn in by con men, although it focuses on the relationship that develops between the teens and the con. This family movie review considers the Mud movie to be one where parents need to decide for themselves if it is appropriate.
Read more family movie reviews by Parental Guide.