9 Powerful Reactions to Movie ‘Just Mercy,’ Starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx
01.17.20 By Daniele Selby
Just Mercy, released in theaters across the US on January 10, tells the story of Bryan Stevenson, then a young lawyer, and his incredible effort to save the life of Walter McMillian, who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit.
The powerful film, which stars Michael B. Jordan as Stevenson and Jamie Foxx as McMillian, has only been in theaters nationwide for about a week, but has already left an indelible mark on viewers.
It’s estimated that 4% of people on death row are wrongfully convicted — like McMillian — this means that at least 100 people are at risk of losing their lives for a crime they did not commit. And those who have seen the film have been shocked and outraged to learn of such injustice.
Just Mercy, which takes its name from Stevenson’s book of the same title, shows the grueling uphill battle Stevenson and McMillian faced in pursuit of justice. The film also follows the creation of the Equal Justice Initiative, the organization Stevenson founded to challenge racial injustice in the legal system and advocate against mass incarceration and the use of excessive punishment, including the death penalty.
Related: Innocence Project’s 2019 Wrongful Conviction Reading Guide
Celebrities like rapper and activist Common and Kim Kardashian — who have both been vocal advocates of criminal justice reform — were so moved by the film, they bought out theaters to give people the opportunity to see it for free, and urged people to support the movie.
#JustMercy is now playing nationwide! Please join me in supporting this vital and important film about an amazing hero Bryan Stevenson. If we make this film successful, studios will green light 10 more just like it! https://t.co/rbP3bFeoUg
— COMMON (@common) January 10, 2020
And many people who have seen Just Mercy have applauded the film and what it stands for on social media, and have called for action. These are just some of the thoughtful reactions that reflect the film’s impact.
#justmercy might not have been nominated for the #OscarNoms we believed; but it is the ONLY movie that people will be talking about in months and years about the CHANGE it brought- how people were challenged to get Proximate. That is WHAT TRULY MATTERS!!! Change, not Awards!!!!
— David Garlock (@DavidLeegarlock) January 17, 2020
Y’all, go see #JustMercy.
I’ll be honest, I normally dread films like this. Films about race and injustice often end up feeling like lectures or sermons.
This film is beautiful. FLAWLESSLY acted. It’s a story worth seeing. Go. Learn. And ENJOY! https://t.co/XMlhg4nAC4
— Phillip Atiba Goff (@DrPhilGoff) January 11, 2020
Absolutely shocking to learn that 1 in 3 black people in America are expected to go to jail. Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer, has worked to help those on Death Row who are innocent. Like honestly this film #JustMercy is about one of his cases and I feel it’s going to be a must watch!
— Nik 💫🏳️🌈🖤 (@NikkiBrownTKD) January 15, 2020
I just came home from watching #JustMercy. It was one of the most heart-wrenching, yet uplifting movies I’ve ever seen!
They did an exceptional job at highlighting the cruel, unusual, and unjust flaws that exist in our criminal justice system.
I suggest everyone go see it 💯 pic.twitter.com/itJX5Qnxyv
— Julian James (@JulianJamesss_) January 12, 2020
#JustMercy underscores the power of public defenders to do individualized justice in court & shift the narrative of humanity outside of it. Bryan Stevenson inspired me & so many others to become public defenders. Thru this movie, he’ll inspire a generation more to join the fight. pic.twitter.com/2yopYcOkS5
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) January 11, 2020
Just Mercy is powerful and beautiful. A great reminder that every life has meaning, and that hope and justice should be available to every person. #JustMercy
— Tim Halperin (@timhalperin) January 12, 2020
Saw #JustMercy again this past weekend with my family. If you haven’t yet had a chance, you need to see this movie—it has the potential to really change how white Americans think about the criminal justice system. https://t.co/uhC7YloP7K
— Jim Wallis (@jimwallis) January 14, 2020
Let me tell y’all how I felt about this movie #JustMercy ONE WORD HOPE I was in a puddle of tears by the end but happy ones
— Assata (@GottaLottaSata) January 17, 2020
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February 2, 2020 at 2:23 pm
I am @davidleegarlock. I am a client of Bryan Stevenson and have a small role in the movie. He has four of his clients play the roles of incarcerated individuals since we had that experience. Not everyone would have that thought and conviction. He is all about Changing the Narrative and Being Proximate
Brandi Hayden June 22, 2020 at 5:01 pm
I have lived close to 8 decades and I’ve seen what has happened over my present lifetime. It was brilliant of Anthony Anderson to put “Black Panther” and “Just Mercy” however I believe he missed a bet to complete the “if I can see it, I can be it” message of Black Panther” and the “this is what is really going on” message of “Just Mercy”. One is positive fantasy and the other is extremely negative reality. The one not covered is how often we dream and achieve extraordinary heights in the real world only to have it snatched from our hands and “others” given credit for what we created, That it shown, up front and in your face, in the film “Hidden Figures”. That film should be added to that collection. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch. I want to be useful and I can still do that however even though job search is not supposed to discriminate against age or handicap, they do. I have skills and want to use them to support the Innocence Project. I’m a legal transcriber and can I do that remotely. I have all of the professional equipment in my home office, phone, all-in-one laser jet color printer, a laser jet black and white printer, a fax machine, laptops, both mac and pc, and , as shown in my past experience profile, I have worked for law firms, attorneys, and law departments. I am a freelancer, benefits do not have to be offered since I am officially “retired” so a 1099 is fine. I will work until they bury me because doing so gives me joy and, mostly, I want my skills to be put to something useful and meaningful. I ask you to respond, pro or con, so that I may know how I stand. The bottom line is I really want to work for the Innocence Project to help with the mountain of paperwork I know that all law firms have. The name of my email address is really exactly how I work.