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A Time to Kill (1996)

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2:29 | Trailer
In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.

Director:

Joel Schumacher

Writers:

John Grisham (novel), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay)
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Popularity
950 ( 170)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew McConaughey ... Jake Tyler Brigance
Sandra Bullock ... Ellen Roark
Samuel L. Jackson ... Carl Lee Hailey
Kevin Spacey ... D.A. Rufus Buckley
Oliver Platt ... Harry Rex Vonner
Charles S. Dutton ... Sheriff Ozzie Walls
Brenda Fricker ... Ethel Twitty
Donald Sutherland ... Lucien Wilbanks
Kiefer Sutherland ... Freddie Lee Cobb
Patrick McGoohan ... Judge Omar Noose
Ashley Judd ... Carla Brigance
Tonea Stewart ... Gwen Hailey
RaéVen Kelly ... Tonya Hailey (as RaéVen Larrymore Kelly)
Darrin Mitchell Darrin Mitchell ... Skip Hailey
LaConte McGrew 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Time to Kill See more »

Filming Locations:

Canton, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,823,159, 28 July 1996

Gross USA:

$108,766,007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$152,266,007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Sandra Bullock and Mathew McConaughey both own houses around Austin, Texas. See more »

Goofs

It is outrageous to think in a case as volatile as this, after people have been beaten, kidnapped, assaulted, shot by a sniper, & even had their home burned to the ground; after all these things had occurred, there would not be one single officer or bodyguard assigned to protect members of the defense team. However, that is exactly what is shown. This is a huge plot hole. See more »

Quotes

Carl Lee: Ask if he thinks I should go to jail.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Carl Lee, they amputated his leg because you shot him. He's the prosecution's witness.
Carl Lee: You're my lawyer ain't ya? Ask him.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Your Honor, one question.
Judge Omar Noose: Make up your mind, Mr. Brigance.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Deputy Looney, do you think Carl Lee shooting you was intentional?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No sir. It was an accident.
Carl Lee: Ask him!
Jake Tyler Brigance: Do you think he should be punished for shooting you?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No, sir. I hold no ill will toward the man. He did what I would have done.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The first name of the Jake Brigance character becomes ''Jack'' Brigance in the Italian version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Do You Think You Are?: Ashley Judd (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Marilee
Written by Richard Paddison
Performed by Jesse Johnson
Courtesy of Dinosaur Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An entertaining spectacle with a nice comment on justice
22 May 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Courtroom dramas are well known for providing thrilling films, and that is exactly what 'A Time to Kill' thrives on; entertainment value. It is clear that the film, in spite of having some very potent themes, puts most of it's focus on being entertaining and it's actually not a bad film for it. Sometimes, films that want to be entertaining and have themes fall down because they're too entertaining and the themes get left by the wayside; but A Time to Kill puts its cards on the table from the start, and it's always clear what this film wants to do with itself. The plot follows a man who, after his daughter is raped and almost murdered, decides to take the law into his own hands. However, this man is also a black man living in a white supremacy state, and so the film injects a racism theme into it's plot, which is always going to mean that it will have some sort of social commentary within it. However, that isn't the most interesting comment that the film wants to make; as that plaudit falls to the idea of justice, and exactly what justice is.

The film, based on a novel by crime writer John Grisham, presents an impossible situation to the viewer and central characters; what do you do when justice will prevail whatever the verdict? The viewer and the characters must then make a choice between the law and general morality, and it is there where the film draws it's most interesting plot point from. While, as mentioned, it's always clear that this movie is meant to entertain you; it's always nice to be given something to think about as well. A Time to Kill benefits immensely from an absolutely fabulous cast, which includes the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Kiefer Sutherland, his father Donald Sutherland, Ashley Judd, Chris Cooper and more, all of which are lead by Matthew McConaughey. It is the lead that most lets the film down, as although McConaughey can definitely act, he's not quite charismatic enough to deliver a lead performance in front of that cast. Still, the movie is definitely very decent and although you probably wont hurt your brain watching it, it will entertain you.


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