FREE STATE OF JONES
SOMEWHERE IN GARY Ross’ stodgy Civil War film is a cracking Robin Hood redo. After rebelling against the Rebs, Newton Knight (Mcconaughey) leads a group of deserters and escaped slaves, striking at the Confederates from the Mississippi swamp — his own ‘Sherwood’. But Ross thins out the drama over 14 years and inserts jarring flash-forwards to 1947, when Newton’s descendant is being prosecuted for his mixed-race lineage. It’s leavened somewhat by Mcconaughey, but while Ross has a fair point to make — namely, that what Knight fought for, the true emancipation of Africanamericans, still hasn’t been entirely won — he’s made it so poorly, all he’s achieved is a tiresome indulgence in white man’s guilt.