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(15) HHH HH MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY continues his transformation from go-to guy for fluffy romcoms to serious actor with a meaty Civil War thriller.

It's the sort of weighty, true-life movie that might have been an awards contender if it wasn't so damn simplistic.

The actor plays Mississippi farmer turned Confederate soldier Newton Knight, so sickened at the South's double standards that he rounds up a guerilla force of slaves, Dixie deserters and women to fight against his former colleagues.

As he pithily remarks: "I'm tired of helping them fight for their cotton."

McConaughey, who won an Oscar in 2014 for Dallas Buyers Club, is easily the best thing here and it's hard to fathom how it's just a few years since he was starring in such icky dreck as Failure To Launch or Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past.

But the performance is much better than a storyline big on moral platitudes yet light on subtlety, which suffers badly in comparison to the similar 12 Years A Slave.

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| Soldiering on... Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 2, 2016
Words:175
Previous Article:on dvd.
Next Article:MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN 3D.

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