Just Mercy won best motion picture, best actor, and best supporting actor at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday.
Michael B. Jordan won Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of EJI director Bryan Stevenson, and Jamie Foxx won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as Walter McMillian, an innocent man who wrongly convicted and sentenced to die on Alabama’s death row.
With powerful performances from Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Andrene Ward-Hammond, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Karan Kendrick, the movie also won Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture.
“This film is for the thousands of innocent people in jails and prisons across the country,” EJI director Bryan Stevenson said in accepting the award for Outstanding Motion Picture. “We cannot stay silent about this reality.”
The audience rose to their feet cheering as he concluded, “We’ve got to have truth and justice in this country. Let’s keep fighting!”
The National Board of Review presented Just Mercy with its Freedom of Expression award on December 8 and the African American Film Critics Association named it one of the year’s Best Films.
Just Mercy also won Movie of the Year at last night’s American Black Film Festival Honors, where Jamie Foxx received the coveted Excellence in the Arts Award. The award honors a contemporary artist whose stellar work has received critical acclaim.
Jamie Foxx won the African American Film Critics Association’s award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of Walter McMillian, which critics have called “transfixing enough to make you hold your breath without realizing it.”
Based on the bestselling memoir by EJI director Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy scored a rare A+ CinemaScore from audiences and earned a 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Critics are praising Just Mercy as a “devastatingly affecting drama” that’s inspiring audiences with “a stirring resolution, based on the certainty that hatred, in all its terrible power, will never be as powerful as justice.”
Just Mercy was an Official Selection at the American Film Institute Fest and Toronto International Film Festival. It won the Audience Award at the Twin Cities Film Fest; Audience Award for Best Feature at the Chicago International Film Fest, Best of the Fest Audience Award for Best Film at the St. Louis International Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Virginia Film Festival, Overall Audience Favorite at the 2019 Mill Valley Film Festival, Spotlight Film Audience Award at the New Orleans Film Festival, and Overall & Special Presentation Audience Choice Award at the Heartland International Film Festival.