Free State Of Jones

Featured In Issue 210, October 2016

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Brutal battle scenes and disturbing graphic images.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Gary Ross
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Free State Of Jones is a powerful account of an extraordinary uprising against the Confederacy during the Civil War. Based on a true, little-known story, the epic film is the untold story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight (McConaughey) and his armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Despite overwhelming odds, Knight banded together with other small farmers and local slaves and launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a “free state.” (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurette The History Of Jones County (HD 18:01), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa camera system and exhibits a generally cinematic texture throughout. The color palette exhibits a yellowish tint and a slight washed-out presence, with at times pale fleshtones. This is a purposeful stylization to convey the period during the Civil War in the 1860s. Still, hues are earthy and realistic, with excellent greens and browns, as well as bloody injuries and reds on flags. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and realistic shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent, from facial features, hair, period clothing, and uniforms and object textures. The clothing detail is especially notable due to the accuracy of frays in the fabric and the impacted dirt of the Jones men and woman in contrast with the rich plantation owner’s attire, and as well the 80-years-later courtroom scenes. Wood buildings and stone work, as well as gun stocks, are precisely detailed, all of which enhances the sense of realism. The scenes of burning building are captured realistically with embers rising to the dark sky. Night scenes are nicely lit up, for effective dramatic effect. This is a visually engaging period picture that is terrific-looking throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is terrific, with an impressively nuanced soundfield that is almost constantly enveloping, especially during scenes in the swamps, with all manner of creature sounds in each channel. Also impressive is the extent of the realism associated with the dynamic sounds of cannon fire, rifle fire, and the debris that results during the battlefield scenes and smaller scale skirmishes, as well as the sound of burning embers and galloping horses. In such scenes, surround directionality is excellent, with sonics bursting from each loudspeaker channel. The music score is period centric with other orchestral support that creates the dramatic sense of emotion. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially throughout. This is a superb soundtrack experience that perfectly complements the excellent picture quality. (Gary Reber)