7.4/10
116,973
242 user 75 critic

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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,678 ( 302)
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:

Tiempo de matar 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

Samuel L. Jackson and Kiefer Sutherland share the same birthday, December 21st. See more »

Goofs

During the sniper shooting on the courthouse steps: Ellen (Bullock's character) switches from one side of the steps to the other between shots after she has first turned around to get back into the building. See more »

Quotes

Ethel Twitty: Will you help an old lady to her car?
Lucien Wilbanks: You don't need any help, Ethel. But I'd be honored to escort you to your automobile.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in Big Fan: Big Fan Matthew McConaughey (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Take My Hand Precious Lord
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Christ Memorial Church Choir/Andraé Crouch Singers
Arranged by Andraé Crouch and Sandra Crouch
Vocal soloists: Andraé Crouch, Cissy Houston and Táta Vega
Cissy Houston appears courtesy of House of Blues Music Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pretty Strong.
6 July 2002 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

A truly tense film that takes place in present-day Mississippi. A young African-American girl has been raped by two backwoods white men. Her father (Samuel L. Jackson) takes the law into his own hands and kills the two. Now the small town becomes a hot-bed of controversy as a murder trial starts that gets national attention. There is the defense attorney (Matthew McConaughey) and his bright-eyed assistant (Sandra Bullock) against prosecutor supreme Kevin Spacey. A really solid film that works because of a screenplay that pulls no punches and revolutionary direction by Joel Schumacher. A great ensemble cast all excel here and the film captures a place that has turned into a media circus very well. A film that you will watch with clenched fists. An intense experience. 4 stars out of 5.


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