MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,358 this week

Criminal Law (1988)

 -  Crime | Thriller  -  28 April 1989 (USA)
5.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 2,121 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 12 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 24 May 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 21 Mar 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 06 Jun 2012
 
a list of 281 titles
created 12 Jun 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 21 Sep 2012
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Criminal Law (1988)

Criminal Law (1988) on IMDb 5.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Criminal Law.
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Track 29 (1988)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A doctor's wife tires of his obsession with model trains, and spends her days wondering about the son she gave up for adoption at birth. While eating at a roadside cafe, she encounters a ... See full summary »

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Theresa Russell, Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry... See full summary »

Director: Phil Joanou
Stars: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.

Director: Marc Rocco
Stars: Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman
Chattahoochee (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1955 Florida, a Korean vet has a breakdown and is incarcerated in a "maximum security" mental health prison, where patients are abused.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Frances McDormand
Sin (2003)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

When his sister is brutally raped, an ex-cop goes after a mysterious man from his past.

Director: Michael Stevens
Stars: Gary Oldman, Ving Rhames, Kerry Washington
Nobody's Baby (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Skeet Ulrich, Gary Oldman, Radha Mitchell
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Beside all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved and the movie tries to find... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Rose
Stars: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A confused young man (Marsden) takes a journey on a road that doesn't exist on any map.

Director: Bob Gale
Stars: James Marsden, Gary Oldman, Kurt Russell
Henry & June (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1931 Paris, Anais Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Intrigued by them both, she begins expanding her sexual horizons with her husband Hugo as well as with Henry and others. June ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An aimless young man, Johnny, is sent prison. He entrusts his beloved dog, Evie, to the care of his former lover and best friend, Frank. When he gets out of prison, he has to face ... See full summary »

Director: Colin Gregg
Stars: Alan Bates, Max Wall, Liz Smith
Remembrance (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of Devonport-based Royal Navy ratings, due to sail to America for a six-month NATO exercise, go out on the town on their last night in port, hitting Plymouth's notorious Union ... See full summary »

Director: Colin Gregg
Stars: Roger Adamson, John Altman, Dawn Archibald
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Criminal Law  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,974,446 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The musical score contains a sample from "The Rhythm of the Heat" by Peter Gabriel. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Resident Alien (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The imperfections of law examined
29 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In 1988's Criminal Law, Gary Oldman plays Ben Chase, an attorney who defends a man, Martin Thiel (Kevin Bacon) accused of a particularly vicious murder. With clever lawyering, he gets Thiel off, only to realize shortly afterward that Thiel is guilty and out there killing again. This time, though, Thiel is playing a mind game with Chase and wants to retain him when suspicion falls on him for a second murder that Ben knows he committed. Ben wants to right the wrong of the first "not guilty" plea so he agrees to work as Thiel's attorney, hoping for inside information that will convict the man.

This is very interesting premise, though the various themes get lost in an uneven script that tries to do too much. The focus actually becomes the performances of Oldman and Bacon - Oldman giving a very emotional performance and Bacon a very cold one. Posts here have pronounced Oldman as hammy - hammy to me is when a performance is bigger than the emotions underneath so that the performance seems phony. Here, the character of Ben seemed to be truly overwrought, and the emotions came from a real place. Oldman at any rate is an interesting actor, and this material in the hands of a lesser one would have made it dismissible. As it is, the film survives on the basis of the work of the two actors.

Honing in on one theme rather than several would have helped "Criminal Law." It tries to tackle psychosis, legal technicalities, the law versus justice, attorney-client privilege, mystery and romance in one script. When it comes out of the Mixmaster, it's all pretty vague.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gary's accent Snoopymichele
so is it just me or... steviekaps9013
Blanks? algsmail
The tagline Nowear
Discuss Criminal Law (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page