Just Mercy

Featured In Issue 249, April/May 2020

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Bros Home Entertainment
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Thematic content including some racial epithets
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Destin Daniel Cretton
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Just Mercy" is based on the powerful and thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds––and the system––stacked against him. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurettes "Making Mercy" (HD 04:06), "The Moment Deserves" (HD 06:07) and "The Equal Justice Initiative" (HD 08:10), nine deleted scenes (HD 14:31), upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Panavision Millennium DXL2 camera system (8K) and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture exhibits very natural imagery set in real environments, which enhances the sense of realism. Color fidelity is perfectly natural with no exaggerated hues or stylization. Contrast is well balanced throughout. Black levels appear accurate and shadow delineation is revealing. Natural highlights are exhibited in daylight scenes and within interiors and prison cells. Resolution is decent but a bit on the soft side. Still, scenes are well defined with textural qualities and detail. Close-ups reveal familiar facial qualities. This is a very natural picture that exhibits impressive realism. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack delivers an effective foundation of nuanced atmospherics, whether it's birds chirping and light wind or simply din. Sound effects have to do with vehicles for the most part and then not exaggerated. Everything related to atmospheric and sound effects are realistic. The orchestral/choral score is wonderful and perfectly supports the emotional drama. Dialogue is the focus and it is ever powerful and emotional. Dialogue is perfectly integrated spatially with impressive naturalness and realism. The Immersive Sound element extends the nuanced atmospherics in outdoor segments and the music is elevated for effective spherical surround envelopment and dimension. But, in essence, the height layer is infrequently used. Still, this is a very well-crafted holosonic® ear-level soundtrack that is packed with emotional reality. (Gary Reber)