“Mud” is the kind of movie people say Hollywood doesn’t make anymore: low-key, character-driven and featuring a solid cast. As a summer of bombastic blockbusters is about to bear down on us, it’s worth noting that there are still some decent American-made B-movies out there.
Set (and shot) along the banks of the Mississippi River in Arkansas, our story begins with two fourteen-year old boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan, “The Tree of Life”) and Neckbone (newcomer Jacob Lofland), who’ve discovered a motor boat hung up in a tree on a small, wooded island. But it turns out they’re not the only ones interested in the boat. Also on the island is a tattooed, gun-toting stranger who calls himself Mud (Matthew McConaughey, never better).