A new drama from writer/director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) titled Free State of Jones is now playing in theaters. The film follows the true story of Newton Knight, a farmer in Civil-War era Mississippi who abandoned the Confederate Army and formed a militia consisting of both white farmers and African-Americans who took over and declared Jones County an independent state. Ross adapted the screenplay from author Victoria Bynum’s The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, although there are numerous publications of Knight’s stance in Jones County. Appearing as Newton Knight is Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyer’s Club), who is joined onscreen by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion, Jupiter Ascending), Mahershala Ali (House of Cards, The Place Beyond the Pines), Keri Russell (The Americans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Christopher Berry (Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave), and Jacob Lofland (Mud, The Scorch Trials). This is definitely a lesser-known portion of American history, but one that is definitely intriguing, although I will say that the trailer reads a bit like The Patriot. If you’re looking for an evening out this week, keep this one on your list. The trailer is available here on MADE.
A new biopic from Oscar-winning director Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond, Love & Other Drugs), titled Pawn Sacrifice, is now playing in theaters nationwide. The script was penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Steven Knight (Locke, The Hundred-Foot Journey), and follows the life of American Chess champion Bobby Fischer as he prepares to face-off against the reigning Russian champion Boris Spassky. Starring in the film are actors Toby MacGuire (Spider-Man, Seabuscuit), Liev Schreiber (Scream, The Painted Veil), Robin Weigert (The Good German, Sons of Anarchy), Lily Rabe (No Reservations, All Good Things), and Peter Sarsgaard (Flightplan, Jarhead). The film is expected to be mainly a character study, but the match that the story is based on took place in 1972 during the height of the Cold War, which, all together, should make for a pretty impressive watch. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!