A Time to Kill Reviews
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.