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A Time to Kill (1996)

In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, inciting a revolt by local racist groups.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1,554 ( 85)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tiempo de matar  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Jake calls Max after the fire, Max tries to run past him, apparently toward the off-screen dog wrangler. See more »

Quotes

Carl Lee: Ask if he thinks I should go to jail.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Carl Lee, they amputated his leg because you shot him. He's the prosecution's witness.
Carl Lee: You're my lawyer ain't ya? Ask him.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Your Honor, one question.
Judge Omar Noose: Make up your mind, Mr. Brigance.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Deputy Looney, do you think Carl Lee shooting you was intentional?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No sir. It was an accident.
Carl Lee: Ask him!
Jake Tyler Brigance: Do you think he should be punished for shooting you?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No, sir. I hold no ill will toward the man. He did what I would have done.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Marilee
Written by Richard Paddison
Performed by Jesse Johnson
Courtesy of Dinosaur Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best movie I had seen in ten years! One of the ten best I've ever seen!
8 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie dealt with such a deplorable subject.. such a sickening act, without so much as one single gratuitously violent scene in the whole perfectly realised masterpiece.

It's a chilling, thought-provoking, hard-hitting piece that's taut, absorbing, and impeccably well-paced.

There are jaw-dropping performances by numerous top-flight actors here, not a-one letting the ball drop even once. Not one actor's time or talents were wasted in this extremely well thought-out project.. not one actor wasted a cent of the money we paid to see it.

Matthew McConaughey's "Jake Brigance" was an incredibly lucky shot of an acting debut that he took and ran with like the wind, turning in an amazing, heart-stopping, truly star-making performance, which may prove to be the crowning achievement of his entire career when all is said and done.. It will be a treacherous climb to try and top it, certainly.

Class act Donald Sutherland is superbly cast in a quiet, and profound role, as "Jake"'s, {now no longer practicing}, professor, a perfect fit, this role, for a man of such rare eloquence~ There is a sizzling sub-story going on between "Jake", a devoted family man, and Sandra Bullock's character that could not have been tighter, steamier, nor more well written and played out.

I recommend this movie to anyone who believes in justice, who has a child, or only knows one.

You want cheap, tawdry, sleazy, violent 'entertainment'? There's not one thing here for you~

Killing cannot be considered "right" by any means; but sometimes it's just not as simple as "THOU SHALT NOT KILL".

So many of us say, "I would kill for my children, {or other loved one's}!".. but would we? ..Would we be in the "right"?


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