A Time to Kill - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Time to Kill Reviews

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May 3, 2017
really good thriller about a man who seeks revenge on the men who raped his 10 year old daughter .His actions get him into serious trouble and he seeks the help of a top lawyer who must battle for justice
½ May 1, 2017
When we are backed into a corner to fight for what is right, fight for others whom couldn't fight back, fight for our livlihood, and fight to be seen in the face of the law we don't back down. When the flames get too tough, we are backed into a corner, we whether the flames and back out or back fire. When we have all sorts of backing from our supporters, members, friends and a good man whom has a keen eye for justice to have our backs.
April 22, 2017
1962 Was 34 Years Old In 1996 And 1927 Was 69 Years Old In 1996 As Well.
April 15, 2017
The acting is superb, but the plot really did not age well. Legally speaking, it sets a precedent to allow Punisher-style vigilantism. There is also a white savoir complex that becomes noticeable around the same time that the NAACP is painted as a group looking to cash in.
½ February 23, 2017
Pretentious with horrendous overacting. It's not even half the movie that To Kill a Mockingbird is, so let's stop the comparisons. (First and only viewing - 9/17/2009)
½ February 13, 2017
It's solid filmmaking but it could've been a lot better - more complex, deep and less naive when it comes to final speech.
February 1, 2017
Great film. So well done, you know a film is great when it's this long and your not bored. The premise is great and really well executed. Bit to long but besides that it's great
February 1, 2017
It's good movie to watch
January 18, 2017
This was an exceptional film. At no point did I know how it would end and the unpredictability of it was perhaps what kept me glued to my seat. The actors were also very talented and incredible to watch.
January 7, 2017
One of the best movies ever seen
½ December 30, 2016
Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson lead a star-studded cast in the film based on John Grisham's novel, a Time to Kill. McConaughey is Jake Brigance, the young lawyer that is about to get the case of a lifetime on his hands. Two southern racists white boys abduct a young black girl, and they rape her and nearly kill her. The father Carl Lee Hailey (Jackson) in a mad rage gets his revenge and murders the two men in front of a crowded room.

Due to the number of witnesses Jake has no choice, but to say that Carl was temporarily insane when he committed the crime. Due to the location of the murder, Canton Mississippi, Jake feels he must move the trial to a different location, but the stubborn old judge denies him. What the film focuses on more than the trial, is the politics behind the scenes as the nature of the case leads to a racial war. The south and the KKK all stir in an effort to get behind this case, while the NAACP, feels it is a case they must win as well. All of the politics and racial controversy with the case only builds on the pressure of the case. Jake starts getting death threats, his house is burned down and he is assaulted himself. Despite all this intimidation, he feels the need to continue the trial. He enlists a clever young woman Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock), and has his trusty law professor Lucien Wilbanks (Donald Sutherland) on his side. The two must face the tough prosecutor D.A. Rufus Buckley (Kevin Spacey), and the constant violent threats of a young militant racist Freddie Lee Cobb (Kiefer Sutherland).

A Time to Kill is a solid rendition in what is one of Grisham's best books. The star-studded cast does a reasonable job of capturing the essence of the book. Initially the film is more about the hype of the trial and how it scales to get national attention, similar to the O. J. Simpson trial. The trial itself is well played out as well, featuring good cross examinations from both parties. The final closing statement by McConaughey is powerful and an excellent point. The film works because the book itself was brilliant, and the movie can stand alone for those who have not read it. A Time to Kill is a pretty solid courtroom drama, that is unique in depicting some of the background elements of the case.

-12.30.2016
December 4, 2016
There are, I think, some aspects of this movie, which are less than absolutely believable. Mind you, overlooking that - because, let's face it, I am nitpicking - this version of John Graham's debut novel is pretty damn good. It is so good because of the excellent performances of everybody - and I mean everybody - involved.
A Time To Kill is a compelling, well told, superbly acted film that not only is well worth a look, but also bears repeat viewing. I'd even go so far as to say that, despite its flaws, I love this movie a little bit.
November 15, 2016
John Grisham is brilliant. This was the first book he wrote, and of the ones I've read, it was his best. The movie is an excellent portrayal of the story, and all the actors/actresses did a great job.
November 1, 2016
As good as the book.
September 24, 2016
Outstanding performances in this distressing story, but it's so well handled...McConaughey is just so good at playing a lawyers. (See Amistad, the Lincoln Lawyer).
September 11, 2016
Grisham's first novel combines thrills, racism, courtroom drama, all into one suspenseful package. The acting is good, the movie is solid, and it all amounts to a terrific film, highly recommended.
August 28, 2016
Arguably one of the best films of the 1990's. A great script and acting make this a pleasure to watch.
July 18, 2016
A Time to Kill is simply a poorly-written adaptation of a good novel. But that's what I expect from Akiva Goldsman.
½ June 8, 2016
(3.5 stars)
'A Time to Kill' is in need of significant fine tuning but the racially motivated crime narrative on offer is very strong. Samuel L.Jackson hires the services of Matthew McConaughy's lawyer after he goes on trial for killing his daughter's white rapists. The discussions of vigilante justice, though not in-depth, are thought-provoking and the events depicting the wider public aftermath ignited by the litigation do well to shock viewers. Despite appearing to have all the necessary elements for a racial discrimination in Southern America premise, they should have dedicated more time on making these elements better. The Klu Klux Klan are too often treated as pantomime villains, meaning its hard to take them seriously even though we really should given their actions. Kevin Spacey slightly overcooks it when playing the prosecuting lawyer, trying too hard to come across as a dickhead. Furthermore, vocabulary is kept rather simple, meaning we never explore below the surface of most characters. It is only at the end where, in typical Samuel L.Jackson fashion, we get an enlightening speech which highlights an insightful observation of the racism issue. As a result, this story echoing 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is not told in the most poetic manner but manages to hold onto enough of the emotional power inherent to its factual setting.
½ April 28, 2016
The premise: a black man is on trial for murder, and he'll either get off Scot-free or be executed. Nothing in-between. And in a nutshell, therein lies the fault of the movie: all gray areas are instead broadly painted in either black-or-white, and whenever the script screamed for subtlety, we're gently gifted with the overt.

There were a series of overwhelmingly powerful scenes and monologues, and the story as a whole was engaging - as most any dramatic courtroom saga is - but I felt dissatisfied in the end. While I recognize Grisham is the author and there was a need to stick to the original novel, I felt that a more powerful ending would've been for the final verdict to more accurately reflect our country's current state of race relations.

And, you know, for the case to have been closed as soon as the murderer admitted to what he was on trial for.
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