Yesterday’s pleasant surprise was realizing that Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Just Mercy (Warner Bros., 12.25) is not a run-of-the-mill “get an innocent guy out of jail” diligent do-gooder thang, but a carefully made, better-than-decent, stirringly acted, emotionally affecting drama of a slightly higher order.

We have to check out of the Salamander by 11 am (40 minutes hence) but I’ll try to elaborate later today.

Thanks so much to Susan Koch, Dana Bseiso Vazquez and the Middleburg Film Festival for a hugely enjoyable three and a half days. A brilliant gathering with all the right films…comforting, stimulating and exciting at every turn. The Irishman is the final screening (1 pm) but we’ll be catching it on Thursday in Los Angeles.