Mud – review

Jeff Nichols returns with an engaging and good-looking picture, boosted by two bright leading performances

Jeff Nichols is the director whose mysterious apocalyptic tale Take Shelter was a word-of-mouth sensation at the Cannes festival last year. Now he returns with a rich, sweet slice of Americana – although a little more contrived and sentimental than it promises to be at first.

It's a gentler movie than Take Shelter, a film with obvious literary influences which looks itself like a book adaptation but was in fact written originally for the screen by Nichols.

Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are Arkansas teenagers with problems at home and nothing to do all summer long but zoom around on their motor scooter exploring. One hot day they take a boat out to a deserted island in the Mississippi where a recent flood has surreally dumped a boat up in the trees. The boys
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