3 Best Movies to Watch by Paul Sparks

Staff & contributors

, 2013

If you thought Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, or True Detective was already the pinnacle of what Mathew McConaughey could do, wait until you see this film! Created by writer-director Jeff Nichols and set in the American South, Mud is a beautiful tale of love, loss, and personal growth. Two children, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), come across the elusive Mud (who is played by McConaughey), a man on the run wanted for murder. Initially scared of his mysterious character, the kids end up wanting to help and protect him from his those pursuing him. Ultimately a story of love, the film deals with a very human crisis seen through the eyes of children, drawing from American adventure tales and the humidity of the South. Mud is exciting, uneasy, sad, and quite beautiful. All at once.

Genre: Drama, Family, Romance

Actor: Bonnie Sturdivant, Jacob Lofland, Joe Don Baker, Kristy Barrington, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Abbott Jr., Michael Shannon, Paul Sparks, Ray McKinnon, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Stuart Greer, Tye Sheridan

Director: Jeff Nichols

Rating: PG-13

Reminiscent of classic gang films, The Bikeriders comes as a familiar but still enjoyable piece of Americana. It’s properly nostalgic and structured much like Goodfellas, with someone narrating the entire thing and smartly teasing the surprising end. In this case, the brooding leading man’s wife, Kathy (Comer), softens the film’s rough macho edges. But as fascinating as this slice of American life is, it’s the stacked cast who take the film one step further. Tom Hardy is commanding as the club’s leader, while Comer grounds the film’s darker moments with charm and reason. Mike Shannon and the rest of the gang are realistically gritty and interesting, but surprisingly, Austin Butler and Faist are given little to do. There’s an unevenness to The Bikeriders that makes you wonder if it would be better or worse under a different director, but as it stands, the film is a welcome entry in the crime and ride genre.

Genre: Crime, Drama

Actor: Austin Butler, Beau Knapp, Boyd Holbrook, Damon Herriman, David Myers Gregory, Emory Cohen, Happy Anderson, Jodie Comer, Karl Glusman, Michael Abbott Jr., Michael Shannon, Mike Faist, Norman Reedus, Paul Dillon, Paul Sparks, Phuong Kubacki, Radek Lord, Toby Wallace, Tom Hardy, Tony Donno, Valerie Jane Parker, Will Oldham

Director: Jeff Nichols

Rating: R