A Lesson Before Dying (1999)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Don Cheadle, Mekhi Phifer, and Cicely Tyson star in this drama set in the 1940s about a black man sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit and teacher who is to counsel him as he awaits execution. A Lesson Before Dying is based on a novel by Ernest J. Gaines.

Rating: PG-13 (for a scene of violence, brief strong language and some sensuality)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ann Peacock
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 1, 2000
Home Box Office

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as Grant Wiggins

as Tante Lou

as Jefferson

as Miss Emma

as Rev. Ambrose

as Vivian Baptiste

as Sheriff Guidry

as Henri Pichot

as Clarence

as Louis Washington

as Farrell Jareau

as Estelle

as Joe Claiborne

as Edna Guidry
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Critic Reviews for A Lesson Before Dying

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

May 29, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

This riveting drama stands far above most straight-to-tube efforts; in fact, its many virtues surpass many films that receive theatrical release.

Full Review… | January 12, 2007

What the film lacked was a tension; everything seemed too dry and predictable except for the theme, which was right on the money.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

July 7, 2005

March 27, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for A Lesson Before Dying


The storyline is a very worthy one to tell and there was no problem with the acting abilities, but to me this film should have been more powerful to make the message and heart of the film come across better

Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


Great book made into a good movie. It's the story of a young man named Jefferson who has been convicted of a murder he did not commit and a school teache Mr Wiggins road to redemption.

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