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The Journey of August King

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Without going anywhere in particular, The Journey of August King travels far and long nonetheless. Its eponymous protagonist (Jason Patric), a simple farmer in the North Carolina mountains in 1815, helps a runaway slave (Thandie Newton). He soon finds a previously dormant germ of heroism in himself, while leaving us to search in vain for a plot element we couldn’t have imagined when we pressed ”play.” Wondering why everything seemed so familiar from the get-go, I recalled where I’d seen this movie before — at one of those ”living museums” in which college kids don muslin dresses to demonstrate flax carding and soap making. Here, though, you don’t get an educational souvenir. C-

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