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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


A killer is back on the streets. The only one who can stop him is the lawyer who set him free. 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:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's opening prologue cites a famous quotation from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The quote reads: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you". 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 Karla (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely worth a look!
2 April 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I guess I'm not amongst the average viewers who found this a mediocre film. For sure it is slow-paced in places, but there are some fantastic scenes and great filmography. Oldman is the undoubted star and this is one of the few films in which I quite liked his character. He's a good actor. Bacon is mediocre in this, but the plot although nothing special does allow a great scene in which the baddie (Bacon) fights with Oldman's lastest flame and that is one very very good scene. She fights like a real woman would fight when cornered - feisty, no rules, all instinct, a real cornered rat. That is one cool scene! I reckoned the film was worth watching, just for that alone, but Oldman is good, very good. Questionable hair, but great acting.

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