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A Time to Kill (1996)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  24 July 1996 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 87,113 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 230 user | 68 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: A Time to Kill (1996)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 10 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:

JPY 130,188,000 (Japan) (27 December 1996)

Gross:

JPY 419,223,800 (Japan) (24 January 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Harrelson wanted to play Jake Brigance, but author John Grisham objected to his casting. See more »

Goofs

During the picnic at the end of the movie, a black youth with a dark scarf on his head stands in the yard. In the next aerial shot of the picnic, the same youth is coming down the front porch steps. See more »

Quotes

Carl Lee Hailey: You're white, and I'm black. See Jake, you think just like them. That's why I picked you. You're one of them, don't you see? Oh, you think you ain't 'cause you eat in Claude's and you out there trying to get me off on TV talking about black and white. But the fact is you're just like all the rest of them. When you look at me, you don't see a man, you see a black man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jackie Brown (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Take My Hand Precious Lord
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Christ Memorial Church Choir/Andraé Crouch Singers
Arranged by Andraé Crouch and Sandra Crouch
Vocal soloists: Andraé Crouch, Cissy Houston and Táta Vega
Cissy Houston appears courtesy of House of Blues Music Company
See more »

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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"?


36 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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