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A Time to Kill (1996)

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A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K.



(novel), (screenplay)
1,793 ( 839)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carla Brigance
Tonya Hailey (as RaéVen Larrymore Kelly)
Darrin Mitchell ...
Skip Hailey
LaConte McGrew ...
Slim Hailey


In Canton, Mississippi, 10-year-old Tonya Hailey is viciously brutalized by two white racist rednecks -- James Louis "Pete" Willard and Billy Ray Cobb. Almost immediately after Tonya is found and rushed to a hospital, Pete and Billy Ray are found at a roadside bar, where they had been bragging about what they did to Tonya. Tonya's understandably distraught and enraged father, Carl Lee Hailey, remembers a case from a year ago, when four white men raped an African-American girl in a nearby town, and got acquitted. Carl is determined to not let that happen in this case. While deputy Dwayne Powell Looney is escorting Pete and Billy Ray up a flight of stairs to a court room, Carl emerges from the building's basement with an assault rifle, and he kills Pete and Billy Ray for what they did to Tonya. Carl is later arrested at his house by African-American sheriff Ozzie Walls, and Carl is scheduled to be placed on trial. Despite the efforts of the NAACP and local African-American leaders to ... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A lawyer and his assistant fighting to save a father on trial for murder. A time to question what they believe. A time to doubt what they trust. And no time for mistakes.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some graphic language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tiempo de matar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,630,000 (USA) (26 July 1996)


$108,706,165 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Joel Schumacher reunites Oliver Platt and Kiefer Sutherland, who were all part of Flatliners (1990). See more »


Early in the film, Carla is doing something on the floor (painting?) and is shiny with sweat. Her face is absolutely dry when she gets up, but her body and neck are shiny. See more »


Jake Tyler Brigance: I don't know what to say.
Ethel Twitty: There's nothing you can say. I know you didn't want any of this to happen, but it happened all the same. You wagered all our lives on this. You just went ahead and did what you felt you had to do, no matter what the cost. Some folks think that's brave. Not me, Jake. Now, you may win, but I think we've all lost here.
See more »


Slippin' Through The Oaks
Written by Richard Paddison
Performed by Jesse Johnson
Courtesy of Dinosaur Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A time to thrill!
9 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who in this movie does'nt play there part perfectly? The judge looks like a judge, a hanging judge at that. The sheriff is not a sugar coated law man, rather a tough Mississippi fair law man who knows what to do realistically. All the actors are cast in the only part they could be. THEN when the intensity of the movie gets to the boiling point who comes in to give us a break? You ALL know who. There she is to give us a break, and a laugh as Sandra swoops in on us. She is by far and away the most delightful actress I have ever seen. Even after she is beaten up and in a hospital bed she gives us a couple of chuckles. She has a delivery second to none. Every one, every one plays their role perfectly. Great movie, easy to follow, great story line, great all the way around. Do I like it? Yea about fifty times viewed like it.

33 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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