Writer: Akiva Goldsman (Screenplay) John Grisham (Novel)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S Dutton, Brenda Fricker, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Judd
Plot: A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Story: A Time to Kill starts a we see 10-year-old Tonya beaten and raped by Billy Ray Cobb (Katt) and James Louis Willard (Hutchison) and with the case taken to court it looks like they will get off the charge, her father Carl Lee Hailey (Jackson) takes matters into his own hands.
Carl Lee facing a double murder charge Jake Tyler Brigance (McConaughey) takes the case having to go up against powerful DA Rufus Buckley (Spacey) in what is a case fuelled with racial tension.
When the case brings the Ku Klux Klan back from grave Jake puts his own family in danger but thanks to young law student Ellen Roark (Bullock) and his mentor Lucien Wilbanks (D.Sutherland) to help him keep his business a float and win this case.
A Time to Kill is a racial driven courtroom crime thriller that touches on everything with the nice amount of time. We get left to question what you would do if you were in any of the position between the case which is a huge plus for the film. The idea that we get the racial tension going on because of how the case could be treated differently depending on the skin colour of a character also helps drive the story. when it comes to courtroom drama this is by fair one of the best out there.
Matthew McConaughey: Jake Tyler Brigance is a young lawyer who has taken over a small law firm from his mentor who struggles to keep the business afloat. When this case comes his way he wants to do the right thing because he knows how this can be a difficult decision and believe he can win the case against the odds. Matthew shows early on in his career he could handle the serious films in leading role.
Sandra Bullock: Ellen Roark is a young law student who has helped on many murder cases and wants to help Jake with this case to help clear Carl Lee from the charges. She has different political beliefs to him which they do class on but their passion together can drive the case. Sandra shines in this role in her early career showing how she can pull of the serious roles too.
Samuel L Jackson: Carl Lee Hailey is the man that finds his daughter beaten and raped and decides to take justice into his own hands by killing the men involved. He doesn’t care what happens to him just as long as he makes these men pay but not faces a double murder charge. Samuel is great in this role as a man who got pushed to his limits.
Kevin Spacey: D A Rufus Buckley is the cocky DA who thinks this case is a slam dunk as he knows he can get the white man’s vote on the jury and questions Jake ability in a courtroom. Kevin while playing a standard character for the villain of the courtroom hit it ot the park in every scene.
Support Cast: A Time to Kill has a supporting cast which is filled with stars in nearly every scene and each one gives a brilliant performance throughout the film.
Director Review: Joel Schumacher – Joel gives us one of his best films that balance the racial tension with the crime case perfectly.
Crime: A Time to Kill leaves us in the middle of a court case handle a sensitive subject which poses us questions on where you would stand on such a case.
Thriller: A Time to Kill does keep us one edge wondering where the next twist will come in the story be it in the courtroom or the tension building outside the courts.
Settings: A Time to Kill keeps nearly all the settings within the Louisiana town where racial tension is still strong and you can see the difference in both sides even with the same struggles.
Suggestion: A Time to Kill is one of the most must watch courtroom dramas out there with such a sensitive subject. (Must Watch)
Best Part: Closing speech.
Worst Part: Slightly long if you are being picky.
Believability: Parts could be.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $40 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours 29 Minutes
Tagline: 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.
Overall: One of the all-time best courtroom drams out there.