Critic Reviews

54

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
If the film doesn't add up to a cogent legal argument, neither does it have trouble delivering 2 hours and 20 minutes' worth of sturdy, highly charged drama.
75
A Time to Kill, based on the first novel by John Grisham, is a skillfully constructed morality play that pushes all the right buttons and arrives at all the right conclusions.
75
ReelViews
Then again, it's worth noting that this Hollywood production is actually saying something, rather than just churning out eye-popping special effects while relying on a regurgitated plot.
75
Joel Schumacher, the director of "Falling Down," "The Client" and "Batman Forever," has a strong feel for this kind of glossy pop entertainment and a way of integrating social issues without sacrificing narrative drive.
67
To its credit, A Time to Kill allows the debate to snake through the entire movie, engagingly pitting characters and speeches against each other, creating a dramatic forum for ethical debate uncommon in most commercial American films.
50
Rolling Stone
Audiences expecting more Bullock or more weighty import from A Time to Kill will have to adjust expectations and settle for the kick of a good yarn.
50
Director Joel Schumacher and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman seem incapable of emphasizing what's important and relegating the rest to secondary status.
30
There's no question the movie's entertaining. But the blatantly schematic depictions of black and white, liberal and hawk, and other tiresome dichotomies turn A Time to Kill into the moral equivalent of a cockfight.
20
In his screen version, Schumacher does a flamboyant job of staging the book without showing the slightest interest in what it's about. Granted, Grisham's original is no masterpiece; it's beach reading, but it deserves credit for addressing its subject with some conviction and integrity.
10
Like many artists today, Grisham and Schumacher exploit racial tension without understanding it.

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