7.4/10
110,282
245 user 74 critic

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 violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,999 ( 562)

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse
The Client (1994)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A lawyer defending a wealthy man begins to believe his client is guilty of more than just one crime.

Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe
Runaway Jury (2003)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tiempo de matar  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,630,000, 28 July 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$108,766,007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$152,266,007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Matthew McConaughey was originally cast as Freddie Lee Cobb. After reading the script, he preferred the role of Jake Brigance. He went to director Joel Schumacher, who granted him a private screen test. See more »

Goofs

The Klan leader tells Freddie Lee Cobb that if he brings five friends who share similar ideals, they can all be part of the Klan. However, during their introduction to the group, Cobb only brings three guys. See more »

Quotes

Freddie Lee Cobb: [Freddie Lee Cobb handling out Klu Klux Klan application forms to Winston, Willie Hastings, and others] Boys, I am very proud to invite you to become soldiers in a war to protect our Christian homes and families, to resurrect our country from the fires of racial degradation, and to make white people the sole masters of our country's destiny, what I'm saying fellas, it's time for niggers to pay.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.11 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Take My Hand Precious Lord
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey
Produced by Matthew Johnson and Bruce Watson
Performed by The Jones Sisters
Courtesy of Fat Possum Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
..most people missed the point the movie is not present-day..
1 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

I had to stop reading the commentaries, because some people thought they were attorneys and rambled-on about injustice. My Friends, in the era this film is about, none of the story would be unusual. There are prejudices much worse even now - I was amazed that one person actually compared this wonderful film to "Crash": give the world a break!! If "Crash"...Ugh!...proved anything, is was to reassure EVERYONE racism is still America's cancer.

I am from Biloxi, Mississippi - along the Gulf Coast. That city has always been a melting-pot, so many different races live together. In my youth, it was Czechs and other European races. Today, can you believe, it is Vietnamese ! The city has also always been a tourist-area, and always had some form of gambling before it became The Las Vegas of the South - perhaps that has tempered the people there from the state's interior's citizens. Canton - during the '60s - would have been just as it is portrayed in this film.

Because of the many TV-courtroom sitcoms, etc., today's population would wonder why there was no strongly-worded assurance the district attorney planned "to appeal". What? We are not talking about modern-day justice in this film - Shamefully, this is Mississippi at its worst, and I know about that. We didn't have this kind of racism in Biloxi then, perhaps because African-Americans "stayed in their place", a shameful statement if there ever were one. All the foreigners and citizens of other states who are not aware of those days - how can you comment on the film, except to give a critique ? Like many of the people who wrote commentaries, I can watch this film once-a-month. ALL of the cast gave a superb performance; the story did not drag; the places that were filmed were true-to-life; to some folk's surprise, there ARE people who live in the state who do not speak like idiots: people think I'm English!; Mathew Mc was astounding and Sandra Bullock's performance was exactly as it should have been, as an activist "little rich girl"; Southern gave a true performance of a alcoholic lawyer; Sam Jackson was masterful and expressed the difference in being "white" and "black"; Kevin Stacy's portrayal of a Southern lawyer with all the connections, right on; I can think of no one who wasn't brilliantly cast.

Missed by many people who made comments, this film is a statement that today we are brutally MEAN to one another: "Crash" re-states this fact, although it is not nearly as poetic. Do I own this film? You betcha!! I'll most likely have to buy another, and it will be money well-spent. Grishom knows how to get our attention, and "A Time to Kill" clearly demonstrates all who were involved in its making were determined to keep his story pure. Wake-up, People - many parts of our world are not pretty today......


136 of 190 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 245 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017