5.7/10
3,248
23 user 19 critic

Criminal Law (1988)

A lawyer defends a killer, but soon after he wins, he finds out that the killer is guilty.

Director:

Martin Campbell

Writer:

Mark Kasdan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Ben Chase
Kevin Bacon ... Martin Thiel
Tess Harper ... Det. Stillwell
Karen Young ... Ellen Faulkner
Joe Don Baker ... Det. Mesel
Sean McCann Sean McCann ... Jacob Fischer
Ron Lea ... Gary Hull
Michael Sinelnikoff ... Prof. Clemens
Karen Woolridge Karen Woolridge ... Claudia Curwen (as Karen Wooldridge)
Ali Giron ... Isabel Fuertes
Rob Roy Rob Roy ... Ethan Parks
Terrence Labrosse Terrence Labrosse ... Judge (as Terrence La Brosse)
Barbara Jones Barbara Jones ... Sandra Massina (as Barbara Ann Jones)
Jeannie Walker Jeannie Walker ... Mrs. Monroe
Tyrone Benskin ... Jackson
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Storyline

A rising young attorney successfully defends a man accused of murder, only to have the same type of murder then happen again. Right away the previously defended man hires the attorney again, and although the attorney is quite certain that he is the killer, he agrees to again defend him... much to the consternation of his friends. However, he explains that by being his attorney he will be better able to catch the man in a mistake... and on this the rest of the film develops, with the killer playing a cat and mouse game with the attorney until, at last, they both must recognize that they are not all that different. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." - Nietzsche. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Frauenmörder See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$9,974,446
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of two movie collaborations of Martin Campbell and actor Joe Don Baker, who would later both work on the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995). The pair had previously collaborated on the English television series Edge of Darkness (1985). See more »

Goofs

When the defense attorney places the glass of water on the jury box rail for the second time, it is gone in the next view of where it had been placed. See more »

Quotes

Martin Thiel: I love the rain... it washes everything away... makes it clean.
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User Reviews

 
And the winner of the Mystfest award goes to...
5 April 2002 | by =G=See all my reviews

(taaa-daaa)....what the hell is a Mystfest anyway? "Criminal Law", an aging thriller/suspense flick, features a supercharged Oldman plays a hotshot attorney who gets involved with a client who....aw, never mind. This film is so convoluted I felt like I should be taking notes. The problem is, I was too busy yawning. Engaging at first, "CL" wears itself out early on as Campbell steers his crew through a rote production, apparently obsessed propagating his notion of good film to the exclusion of the audience's. A dreary Canadian shoot with a made-for-tv feel, "CL" gives us little with which to empathize and so we quickly disengage and let the movie run wearing itself out to the drooping of audience eye lids.


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