“Just Mercy” hit theaters on Christmas Day, going rather under the radar with a limited release. After making the rounds for a few weeks, its tale of the American justice system may have audiences wondering if it’s a true story. Now, going into the drama's wide-release in theaters on Jan. 10, here's what moviegoers should know about the film.

As it turns out, yes -- “Just Mercy” is, in fact, based on the true story of a black man named Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) who is wrongfully accused of murder. His 1987 trial, which resulted in him being put on death row, lasted a day and a half. Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), a real-life attorney who wrote the 2014 book the film is based on, is then sent in to defend him, as noted by USA Today.

As reported by Oxygen, the victim in the case was Ronda Morrison, an 18-year-old Monroeville, Alabama, resident who was strangled and shot to death. McMillian was an instant suspect after his reputation for having an affair with a white woman came to light. Despite having an alibi, he was arrested and charged for the murder of Morrison.

While Stevenson believed in McMillian’s innocence, the accused man claimed in the beginning moments of the film's trailer: “You’re guilty from the moment you’re born.” McMillian refused help at first, believing that Stevenson was ill-equipped to deal with the harshly different world of the rural American south. Eventually, the attorney earned the trust of McMillian.

Without spoiling anything, if you don’t know the equally true story of the McMillian v. State case, Stevenson and McMillian had to face up against a racist community that essentially set him up and a trial that was designed for them to fail.

“Just Mercy” is now playing in theaters.

Just Mercy poster
Pictured is the "Just Mercy" movie poster featuring star Michael B. Jordan. Warner Bros.