The simplicity of childhood gets washed away in Mud, a Mark Twain-like boys' adventure fable. When fourteen-year-old Ellis and his best friend Neckbone (a name that never ceases to be entertaining) investigate an abandoned boat, stranded high up in a tree after a devastating flood, the boys find a mysterious drifter whose name is Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Mud's biding his time until his long lost lady love arrives in town. Though why someone would need to hide in the already sparsely populated, Arkansas river community is part of the gentle mystery the boys soon begin unravelling. Writer and director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), spins together a gripping, naked little coming-of-age film. McConaughey's dialled back performance perfectly echoes the sandy calm surroundings that envelope his emotionally wounded character. At its core, Mud's a story about boys falling in love for the first time, and all the bone-crushing heartbreak that inexplicably leads to.