7.4/10
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A Time to Kill (1996)

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2:29 | Trailer

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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
1,804 ( 156)
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:

$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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joel Schumacher originally offered the lead role to Val Kilmer during the production of Batman Forever (1995), which is surprising since Schumacher has always been very open about his strained relationship with Kilmer on the set (while still praising Kilmer's performance). However, Kilmer declined. See more »

Goofs

When Rufus Buckley examines Deputy Looney in court, he addresses him as "Detective" instead of "Deputy". See more »

Quotes

Lucien Wilbanks: I can not promise you riches. What I can offer you the chance to save the world one case at a time.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in Jackie Brown (1997) 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

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User Reviews

 
I was surprised this movie was this good after reading the book.
30 August 2000 | by lspaiserSee all my reviews

I was very much drawn into the book, and thought that it would be hard to get the same feeling out in a movie.

At the beginning I thought I was right. From the beginning I was thinking "they left out a whole mess of details." I was irritated that they did not develop the characters better like in the book.

But by the 3rd quarter of the movie this was the last thought in my mind. And by the end I understood that the screenwriter had very skillfully budgeted his (limited) screen time for the most important parts of the movie, where it is well spent.

I think the acting of the principals was very good, and I found especially for Sandra Bullock as Ellen Roark - who was the most believable character. Although the rest of the acting was very good, I felt she was the most believable.

Which raises the main weakness of the movie, as good as it was, having read the book, I could not help being reminded that most of the characters were in fact, actors in a movie. Except for Ms. Bullock, there was a bit of woodeness to the "folk" in this small southern town. Also the plot is a bit contrived (but true to the novel). Most important is that (for me) it worked. I was moved. Its a very good movie.


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