Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Free State of Jones'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mathew McConaughey stars in the new Civil War drama "Free State of Jones," inspired by a true story about one man's a rebellion against the Confederacy.

The movie begins in the early years of the war, when a Confederate soldier tried and failed to rescue a boy soldier.

McConaughey plays the character of Newton Knight, and he is quite convincing as the film seeks to rescue him from obscurity.

Knight deserts from the southern army to fight against his own kind, even going so far as to establish his own state within Louisiana.

Knight's band called themselves "southern Yankees," and they bedeviled the army of the Confederacy for years.

Throughout the movie, Knight is fighting side-by-side with former slaves, even taking one as his common-law wife, all while fighting bigotry at every turn.

You might be wondering how such a situation was even possible, and as worthy as the movie might be for highlighting a forgotten chapter of American history, it plays too much like pages from a textbook. It is too dry to be worthy of such colorful characters.

The movie runs for over two hours, and you don't get to know enough about the main characters as people. The fault lies not in the stars, but in the script and a director who wouldn't cut it down.
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