A Time to Kill (1996)
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It's summer, and conflict simmers just below the surface of a steamy Southern town. Passions ignite after the brutal rape of a young blackgirl, and suddenly it's a time to question, to rage and to kill. Into this cauldron of bigotry and vengeance enters an idealistic young lawyer who risks his job, his home and his family to fight for justice in this hard-edged adaptation of John Grisham's best-selling novel.]]>
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The plot? After his young daughter is viciously raped and assaulted by rednecks (no, John Rocker doesn't have a cameo), Samuel L. Jackson guns down the two assailents on their way to court. He is subsequently put on trial by the local DA, and defended by an idealistic white attorney. Jackson's trial becomes a swirling tempest for local hatreds to be aired.
Director Joel Schumacher certainly surprised me with good work, despite being the man who made "Batman & Robin". It helps to assemble some serious acting talent- Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey (the DA) are both recognized actors (Spacey having won an Oscar for "The Usual Suspects", and Jackson is *long* overdue for getting one himself), so the big surprise was Matthew McConaughey's sterling performance as the idealistic, passionate attorney who defends Jackson.Read more ›
And if you're not interested in thinking about some of the larger philosophical issues at hand, there's still plenty of stuff for you. You've got Matthew McConaughey who does a phenomenal job, and looks great while at it. Oliver Platt imbues his character with just the right amount of sleaze and charm that you can't help but love him. Donald Sutherland is absolutely lovable as the old-school gentleman (and you and your friends can argue over whether he's a lush or or a drunk/alcoholic). Sandra Bullock does a believable job, and the men tend to find Ashley Judd rather attractive in this role. And let's not forget Samuel L. Jackson, who makes his character so real that you understand the situation he's in and why he does what he does.
So basically, there's something for everyone here. Thinking stuff with good looking people (male and female) who act well. Can't go wrong with this one.
This film is entirely unsettling because it makes us realize that events like this still happen in small towns throughout America, especially in the South. The themes of racism, of overcoming racism, of justifiable homicide, of justice outside the law are so superbly represented in this film that it seems impossible to me that this movie wasn't nominated for many Academy Awards. But alas, the past is the past. Chock full of great performances (especially Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey) and masterful direction by Joel Schumacher, A Time to Kill is one heck of a movie. A true classic.
I never get tired of watching this movie, which stars McConaughey as Jake Brigance, a relatively small-time lawyer until he is tapped to defend Carl Lee Hailey (Jackson) for the murder of two men who raped his young daughter, in the single-biggest and most controversial trial Clanton, MS has ever seen. McConaughey's performance is beyond inspiring as he turns his own life and the lives of those around him completely upside down by agreeing to represent a black murderer in a white-dominated Southern community. Playing his wife is Ashley Judd who is gut-wrenching in her own right. Sandra Bullock shines in every single role. Her work here as legal assistant Ellen Roark is top-notch, even for Bullock. Even Spacey, who I normally despise, is sterling as D.A. Buckley, the condescending adversary of Brigance. My most recent viewing of the film even compelled me to finally pick up the book, which is equally intense an experience as the film. You can't miss this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I received the package on time and it was wrapped very well. Unfortunately the movie cut off in the middle. It did not show the ending of the movie. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
As many others have stated their dvd stopped playing half way through the movie as did mine. Very disappointed.Published 6 days ago by Rhalina
I've always loved this movie. So glad I own it now (Blu-ray). Excellent picture.Published 7 days ago by Elaine
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I'd like to know the same thing myself. I've got "A Time To Kill" and "The Pelican Brief" on DVD... but it's the older "flipper disc" release from the 90's. I'm thinking about upgrading these two films to the Blu-Ray format, but only if I know for sure that I won't... Read More
Nov 2, 2010 by M. Crowhurst | See all 7 posts
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