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Criminal Law (1989)

Gary Oldman , Kevin Bacon , Martin Campbell  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Price: $59.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Tess Harper, Karen Young, Joe Don Baker
  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Writers: Mark Kasdan
  • Producers: Derek Gibson, Hilary Heath, John Daly, Ken Gord, Robert K. MacLean
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Anamorphic
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2007
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OPOAPM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,246 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Criminal Law" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Gary Oldman, hot off his success in Sid and Nancy and Prick Up Your Ears, went Hollywood with this stenciled thriller, which came minus many thrills. The most impressive thing about it is his American accent. Otherwise, there's not much to recommend this Martin Campbell film. Oldman plays a hotshot defense attorney in Boston who, in a highly publicized case, gets rich playboy Kevin Bacon acquitted of murder--only to realize afterward that Bacon is not just guilty, but a serial killer who has gone on a spree again. So the lawyer takes the law into his own hands and finds himself overmatched in a battle of wits with the murderer. But then, this whole movie is overmatched in the wits department. --Marshall Fine

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: R
Release Date: 12-JUN-2007
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is a thriiler worthy of high ranking Gary oldman plays the defense attorney who gets psycho Kevin Bacon aquitted of murder charges and then soon realizes the big mistake he made when his cilent starts taunting him by killing again and again. Noteworthy performaces all around and backed up by a memorable film score. If you want to see Kevin Bacon in a different role that expands his acting capabilties see this film, as for Gary Oldman this is one of his most acomplished works. A far cry from his usual bad guy over the edge type characters. I love this film!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Criminal Law, released in 1989, gave a door-opening opportunity for Gary Oldman to enter the world of "real" Hollywood movies, and provided an opportunity for Kevin bacon to demonstrate his talent in a career slow spell. The plot is a well constructed thriller with Bacon playing the malevolent client of Gary Oldman's maverick neophyte criminal lawyer. Oldman gives an excellent portrayal of a young egotist torn between the oath of client confidentiality and the knowledge that his client is guilty. Bacon is brilliant as the cold genius client. A third very creditable performance is delivered by Joe-Don Baker who plays a tenacious wizened investigator. Overall the script provides for a tense thriller with much food for thought, laying the groundwork for similar movies one and a half decades later such as "Seven" and "Kiss the girls". I'd recommend it highly, but not on a dark rainy night if you're alone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The acting is the main attraction July 11, 2009
Format:DVD
Both Gary Oldman and Kevin Bacon are superb in this thriller set in Boston. In both the courtroom and in the darkness of the depravity of the mind, this tense drama plays out to a powerful conclusion.

Oldman plays Ben Chase, a young attorney bouyed by his early successes who defends Martin Thiel, accused of murder. Chase realizes that Thiel not only is guilty, but has not given up his murderous ways; in fact, he is a serial killer.

The plot is pretty simple; Chase realizes that he has unleased a killer whose mind has been unhinged by his mother's decision to abort him as a developing baby. What does an ethical man do when he knows someone has used him in a horrific way?

Tess Harper does her fine usual job (and looks good doing it) as detective Stillwell, and Joe Don Baker (detective Mesel) is good playing the character he usually plays, a gruff but effective supporting character.

The true interest in the film is the main character's acting. The staging is well done, the cinematography is fine. The final scene illustrates the fact that there is often little separating the law from the crime. Perhaps we are all capable of acting on our more base impulses. There are a few plot holes (such as, where are the bailiffs and the police in the climatic courthouse scene). But over-all, it's a fine movie.

Recommended. Three and one-half stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is a thriiler worthy of high ranking Gary oldman plays the defense attorney who gets psycho Kevin Bacon aquitted of murder charges and then soon realizes the big mistake he made when his cilent starts taunting him by killing again and again. Noteworthy performaces all around and backed up by a memorable film score. If you want to see Kevin Bacon in a different role that expands his acting capabilties see this film, as for Gary Oldman this is one of his most acomplished works. A far cry from his usual bad guy over the edge type characters. I love this film!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Criminally Insane August 14, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had this on VHS for years so you can imagine I'm thrilled to have it available on DVD now. I know a number of people that enjoy this movie. Any critic that thinks this movie lacks wit is criminally insane. This is a fine thriller with Gary Oldman and Kevin Bacon turning in excellent performances. When a Boston attorney, played by Oldman realizes he has got his client off a murder charge when he was guilty, he tries to figure out away to make retribution. But the killer, played by Bacon, isn't going to make that easy at all. If you enjoy this be sure to catch "The Juror" and "The Client".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated Thriller with Interesting Backtory November 12, 2012
Format:DVD
The backstory surrounding "Criminal Law" is more interesting than the film itself. Infamous Canadian Schoolgirl Killer Paul Bernardo was obsessed with this film and with Kevin Bacon's twisted character Martin Thiel. Mr Bernardo even changed his last named to "Teale" shortly before his 1993 arrest, in a bizarre nod to this mediocre film. Gary Oldman plays hot-shot Ben Chase, an Attorney who manages to get Thiel aquitted of murder charges more than once. Thiel, a preppy son-of-an-Abortionist, loves his clothes, boats, and doing creative things with flaming diapers. Tess Harper, Joe Don Baker, and Sean McCann play the cops in earnest, but this is Oldman and Bacon's show. Neither is especially successful here: Oldman, with a bad 80's haircut, is wild-eyed and soaking wet for most of the film and Bacon lacks the depth to play his role. Christian Bale did a much better job playing a near-identical role in "American Psycho," a better film than this.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Performances, Dumb Plot February 9, 2001
By Alex
Format:VHS Tape
A pompous and predictable thriller that covers all-too-familiar territory, this one is about a lawyer who helps set his client free of murder charges only to find out he was guilty of that crime and of another killing. Those who prefer smart thrillers will be disappointed, but with its occassional moments of intriguing suspense and credible performances by Oldman and Bacon, it's hard to look away.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked this movie but it has been a while, and I cannot recall the details.
Published 19 days ago by Noah A. Lefevre
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I did not like this particular movie. Gary Oldman does better as a villian in his movies
Published 2 months ago by Dan Hawks
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminal Law
I loved this movie, I'm a big Kevin Bacon fan! It's nice to see him in a villain role, he did an excellent job. Would recommend this for adults not for children.
Published 4 months ago by Darkfiremn1
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great movie and a awesome picture. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Kevin Bacon and Gary Oldman - suspenseful
Published 4 months ago by Lynn Gorsline
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the movie. Chose the movie because of actor Gary Oldman. I...
Enjoyed the movie. Chose the movie because of actor Gary Oldman. I would recommend the movie to friends and family.
Published 6 months ago by Shaylin Vasquez
1.0 out of 5 stars Too slow, bad dialouge
I saw this movie on the plane and unlike most movies I pick for my several hour flight, I found myself looking out the window much of the time. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hollypj
3.0 out of 5 stars Early work on both of them, but it was ok.
I forgotten I had seen this one before long ago. The film is ok, it has been done many times over after it with same idea. The acting on both was good enough. Read more
Published 12 months ago by OBEONECANOBI
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie-Terrific Cast
This was a great twister that-for the time period-was an underrated movie. I found Gary Oldman to be supreme in this one and Kevin BABY BLUE EYES Bacon was stunning. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Movie Addict
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminal Law
One of my favorite Gary Oldman movies with great cast including devilish Kevin Bacon & Tess Harper saving the day!
Published 19 months ago by Tuppy
2.0 out of 5 stars It's Criminal - I want my money back!
Paul Bernardo wasn't a nice guy. Now we know that he didn't have very good taste, either.

Mr. Read more
Published 19 months ago by California Dreaming
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