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Criminal Law (1988)

Oldman plays a lawyer who defends a killer, but, soon after he wins he finds out that the killer is guilty.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Chase
Sean McCann ...
Karen Woolridge ...
Claudia Curwen (as Karen Wooldridge)
Rob Roy ...
Terrence Labrosse ...
Judge (as Terrence La Brosse)
Barbara Jones ...
Sandra Massina (as Barbara Ann Jones)
Jeannie Walker ...


A rising young attorney successfully defends a man accused of murder, only to have the same type of murder then happen again. Right away the previously defended man hires the attorney again, and although the attorney is quite certain that he is the killer, he agrees to again defend him... much to the consternation of his friends. However, he explains that by being his attorney he will be better able to catch the man in a mistake... and on this the rest of the film develops, with the killer playing a cat and mouse game with the attorney until, at last, they both must recognize that they are not all that different. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." - Nietzsche. See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Frauenmörder  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,974,446 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First use of an American accent in a cinema movie by English actor Gary Oldman. See more »


Fuel pumps display amounts in liters even though the location is supposed to be in Massachusetts. See more »


Martin Thiel: I love the rain... it washes everything away... makes it clean.
See more »


Referenced in Resident Alien (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Give Credit Where Credit is Due...
2 December 1999 | by (Northeastern USA) – See all my reviews

As the last review (by a Mr. J. Sommersby) states, there are some dramatic flaws with Martin Campbell's direction of this film, and, hence, the story line. But if it's got ANYTHING, it's got the magnificence of an early Gary Oldman performance, which is worth just about anything to see. Gary Oldman may play a character who is not very well developed, but he plays him with his usual genius. No matter what movie Gary Oldman is in, he improves it completely.

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