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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 88,891 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 231 user | 69 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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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:

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

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

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

Quotes

Lucien Wilbanks: You wanted this case, well you've got it. It isn't easy saving the world even one case at a time, but you stick with it. You just might have a knack for it. Don't do what I did. Don't quit.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What are you talking about, quit. You're a hero Lucien.
Lucien Wilbanks: Hero my ass. Do you think the world needed me beating cops heads on that picket line. I was needed here. In that courtroom. And I let them push me, I gave them an excuse to kick me out and now I can never plead a case in there again. But you can. You're...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999) 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
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User Reviews

 
Outstanding actors, timeless story, a must-see!
30 October 2006 | by (Augsburg,Bavaria,Germany) – See all my reviews

For me this is actually one of the best movies I've ever seen, not only 'cause of the great performances of all main- and supporting actors, but most of it all because of the message and the feelings it gave me while I was watching it and even still gives me. People are watching movies for the same reason they listen to music or look at paintings, they wanna feel. We all have to come along with people of different colors, nationalities and whatever. The best and most peaceful way to do that, like it's mentioned in the movie, is to listen to our hearts, which for me is the message that the director and screenplay-writer wanted to bring along. I hope I got the message, on any account it made me cry several times which is a thing not many movies have achieved yet. For me as a German who dealt a lot with the history of his own country and also a little with the history of the Ku-Klux-Clan, it was good to see that those people are shown as just what they are: A bunch of mind-sick, dumb and dangerous Nazis. The whole situation in the movie in my opinion stands at the appropriate rate to reality of that time in the south of the United States,what makes it very authentic and traceable. The reason I call it a timeless story although it's certainly set in a special time is that everyone is almost forced to think, at least subconsciously, about the way he or she is dealing with those problems of difference that are always gonna exist. I highly recommend this movie but I will not say enjoy or have fun 'cause you won't find these things in "A time to kill". I also love the title 'cause when you think about it, everyone can become a murderer in the right circumstances. But what you're gonna find is a captivating story, acting on its highest level and strong emotions.


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