Title: Just Mercy
Released: 2019

Fix: Based on a True Story, Combatting Racial Injustice, Educating Yourself
Platform: Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Summary:

A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

FYA Summary:

In 1989, a young, Harvard-educated Black man named Bryan Stevenson moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to use his law degree to help inmates on death row get proper trials and actual justice. His organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, is a non-profit organization that continues today to provide “legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.”

Familiar Faces:

Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson

Jordan is a brilliant actor who only gets better and better with every role he’s in. But those of y’all who watched him on Friday Night Lights (or even earlier) knew he was going places way back then. I don’t know what the real-life Stevenson is like, but I have to assume that he’s much like Jordan played him, given his talent.

Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillan

Foxx is an unusual actor; he can go from comedy to drama seamlessly and has done so frequently throughout his career. He brings both a heartbreakingly defeated quality and a quiet passion to McMillan that helps drive home the importance of the story.

Brie Larson as Eva Ansley

Larson is a delight, and I’m glad her star is becoming more and more bright. She played Ansley as someone with a passion for doing what’s right, even when it meant putting her family in danger, and I have to hope that the real-life Ansley is just as passionate and forward-thinking.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Zoom Party

The current state of affairs in our country/world means that no one should be sharing the couch with anyone who they don’t live with and whom they haven’t seen self-isolating with. (WEAR YOUR MASK.) That said, Just Mercy is a movie that you should definitely share with friends. It’s not on Netflix, so there’s no opportunity for a Netflix Party, but maybe you could FaceTime or set up a Zoom meeting to watch with friends and family?

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Keep It Sober (Until After)

Just Mercy‘s not the kind of movie you want to watch tipsy; it’s the kind of movie you want to be able to pay full attention to. But I won’t judge if you need a little pick me up afterward.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Pay a Little Extra

Full disclosure: Just Mercy was streaming for free in June, but is now an on-demand title that you’ll need to pay to watch. But if you missed it last month, I highly recommend spending a little—it’s much less than a trip to a theater*—for this film. It’s not a documentary, and it’s obviously fictionalized like all “based on a true story” movies tend to be, but it’s the right kind of movie to watch right now if you’re looking for a little escapism while educating yourself on the plight of others, specifically Black men. Just have some Kleenex handy!

*Man, I miss going to the movies!

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.