Free State of Jones

Out Now On-Demand

Matthew McConaughey is a defiant Southern farmer who inspires and leads a rebellion against the Confederacy during the America Civil War, in this true-story drama from Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit).

After surviving the 1862 Battle of Corinth, Newton Knight gathered a group of small farmers and local slaves in an armed rebellion in Jones County. Knight would go on to marry a former slave and establish a mixed-race community - unique to the post-war South.


Directed by

Written by

Drama, True Story & Biography, War, Historical


Rating: R16 Depicts graphic and realistic war scenes


TimeOut (USA)


Impeccably wrought yet emotionally hollow, Gary Ross's Civil War-era rebellion drama suffers from too much ambition.

New York Times


A riveting visual history lesson, whose occasional didacticism is integral to its power.

New York Post


If McConaughey's performance is a little too jut-jawed and noble, the script has plenty of force.

The Guardian (UK)


The Free State of Jones is an anti-war film with a commie message that still glamourises southern pride, hard work and the Good Book. It's a nuanced message far too rare in our current political state.

Hollywood Reporter


A compelling and little-known story of the Civil War period is studiously reduced to a dry and cautious history lesson.

Variety (USA)


"Free State of Jones" is one of those historical dramas with a script that's big on crowning lines of moral fervour and not so big on nuts-and-bolts detail.

Rolling Stone


If you think a thick, juicy slab of Civil War history can't be boiled down to 145 minutes of speechifying, stultifying cinema, then grab a seat. Even McConaughey is sucked dry of his usual acting panache. (James Croot)


You really feel like this is a location where life is nasty, brutish, short and breathless.

Well Worth a Look

For a long movie, time flies. A tad gruesome to begin with but that's war, then the real story starts as you see American History for what it was; aspects of which many folk especially outside of the States may not be aware of.

The story line had me engaged. The mixing of white and negro fighting for a common cause of human decency amongst lies, romance, war, deceit, murder, family values, Free State of Jones has it all with some fine acting and great scenery.

You will love the funeral scene . . .

Riveting Story

Great directing on this fascinating story that NZers wouldnt have known, about an independent thinker and man of action in the US civil war. Lots happening and great acting (although Mathew M does a little bit of southern drawl mumbling so you miss a little bit of script a couple of times.) It could have cut 20 mins without harming the story line but that's a minor critique. Great movie... enjoyed it more than expected

fascinating story

great acting; should be compulsory viewing every time there's talk of war, and in USA