Entertainment

Watch the Michael B. Jordan & Jamie Foxx Movie 'Just Mercy' for Free

It's available for the entire month of June.

just mercy
Warner Bros.

In the opening moments of Just Mercy, Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) is driving home from his work of cutting down trees when he's stopped by an overwhelming number of police. He puts his hands where they can see them. The conversation with the sheriff is falsely jovial, until he is approached by officers with guns. He has no idea what they are accusing him of. But still, despite not having committed a crime, he is arrested, charged with murder, and put on death row. 

In light of protests around the country over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the other Black men and women who have been murdered in targeted racist killings and at the hands of police, calls have echoed for people to educate themselves on the systemic racism at the heart of the U.S., whether that be through books or movies. One work that has been recommended over and over is late 2019's Just Mercy, the film adaptation of Bryan Stevenson's memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, about taking on McMillian's case as a young defense attorney. Now, Warner Bros. has made the movie available to watch for free for the entire month of June on all digital rental platforms.

Michael B. Jordan stars as Stevenson and produced the legal drama, directed and co-written by Short Term 12's Destin Daniel Cretton. It documents how Stevenson, a Harvard graduate, abandoned lucrative job offers to start the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, an organization which still works to free death row inmates and combat racial injustice throughout institutions of power. Cretton follows how Stevenson worked to prove McMillian's innocence, beating a system that would rather condemn innocent Black people to death than look at the facts of a case. 

The film is as interested in the methods Stevenson uses to exonerate McMillian as it is on the institutional prejudices that allow this to happen in the first place, and the psychological trauma endured by the Black population at the hands of the police. The latter is particularly evident in the extraordinary performances given by Foxx and Rob Morgan, who plays Herbert Richardson, one of McMillian's neighbors on death row and a Vietnam veteran who suffered from PTSD. 

Just Mercy was a significant production, even beyond the importance of the history it's telling. Jordan's company, Outlier Society, and Warner Bros. implemented an inclusion rider on the production to ensure that there was diversity both in front and behind the camera, a first for any major movie studio.

Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.