Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 130 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 14+. There’s cursing and some sexual slang; smoking; some fighting between teenagers; flirting and discussed sexual activity (and discussion of a pregnancy); and a somewhat violent ending that involves a group of bounty hunters out to get their man. Ultimately, though, it’s not exploitative or overwhelming because of the film’s even pace, which helps it feel very much like a modern Mark Twain work exploring the limits of youth.
When does a boy become a man? And when does a man lose the morals that make him one? Those kind of what-is-American-masculinity questions run all through ‘Mud,’ which presents another strong performance from Matthew McConaughey and impressively taps into the great Gothic American South.
By Roxana Hadadi
What do a 14-year-old boy and a convict on the run have in common? Just the need to be loved—like everybody else does. The transition from young teenage boy to grown-up man is a huge, yawning one, but that divide is navigated quite deftly by “Mud,” the latest film from director and writer Jeff Nichols. Why do we love who we love? Why do we emulate who we emulate? Those identity questions are all over “Mud,” which benefits not only from Nichols’ probing at these heavy themes but strong performances all around.