Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) and Ellis (Tye Sheridan) meet a man named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) who lives on a deserted island in the river. Mud tells them that he is hiding out because he killed the man who beat Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), the woman he loves. Now bounty hunters are onto him, and what's even sadder, Juniper has grown sick of his renegade ways, and given up on him.
Mud wants to flee the island, and asks the boys for help. Ellis and Neckbone have to decide whether to help a man they know is a killer, yet a very cool guy.
McConaughey shines in the titular role, but the younger actors are also brilliant. Sheridan gives a brilliant portrayal of a hopeful boy with a big heart, and newcomer Lofland's debut is fantastic.
Nichols, who also wrote the screenplay, does a wonderful job of creating a moving story that unfolds in a remarkable way, the power of which is enhanced by stunning locations.
At 130 minutes, the movie can drag in places, and some of the sub-plots get lost, but the stellar acting and plot make up for these flaws.
With a brilliant cast and breathtaking locations, Mud is perfect essential summer viewing.
YP Rating: 4/5