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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.18%
Average: 23.53%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap: 11.76%

3 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Time to Kill, A
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by Ryan Arthur

"Ugh, Sandra Bullock."
3 stars

Another Grisham adaptation. Super.

Based on John Grisham's first (and best, I'd argue) novel, A Time To Kill tells the story of a man (Samuel L. Jackson) who goes on trial for the murder of two rednecks who raped his daughter. It's set in Mississippi, so along with the courtroom drama, the Klan's involved, and a young hotshot lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) trying to make a name for himself in defending his client.

What's good? Well, some of the performances. Jackson and Kevin Spacey (as the prosecutor) are outstanding, as always. McConaughey is passable, and the smaller roles filled out by Brenda Fricker, Charles S. Dutton and Donald Sutherland, among others, aren't too bad. The movie looks good: it captures the heat and humidity of Mississippi really well.

What's bad? Sandra Bullock, Sandra Bullock, Sandra Bullock, Sandra Bullock, Sandra Bullock. Horribly miscast as the young sexpot law student who comes down to Mississippi to help McConaughey win the case. She should've been cast as his wife, and Ashley Judd should've had Bullock's role. And is it me, or is the Klan a little too clean? Director Joel Schumacher has made a movie that knowingly and willingly pushes racial buttons (much like the book does). Outside the uniforms, the Klansmen are the epitome of backwoods rednecks. But in uniform, as it were, the Klansmen are dressed in positively pristine outfits. Gleamingly white. It could almost pass for a pro-Klan rally.

Not a horrible film, but like previous Schumacher efforts (including The Client, a previous Grisham adaptation), it's a matter of style over substance.

As courtroom dramas go, it's an average film.

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originally posted: 09/05/98 01:27:06
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User Comments

3/10/14 FireWithFire Should be titled "A Time To Kill Whites", or just plain "Kill Whitey" 1 stars
10/25/10 Jeff Wilder Easily the best Grisham adaptation. Has more emotional connection than they usually do. 4 stars
2/22/09 action movie fan a powerful story-clever and unique and well worth it 5 stars
7/26/08 The Dork Knight The book sucked, too 2 stars
1/28/08 Pamela White Movie reveals how color blind we truely are 5 stars
12/11/07 bronson Mejia Donald Southerland hugging "The bottle" was the final straw for me. Sorry acting. 2 stars
2/09/07 Bitchflaps Laughably overblown and self-important. McConaughy is dreadful. 1 stars
9/11/06 Sepi53 Great cast in a super film!! 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist I hate racism, I hate rednecks, I love equallity, I love this film. Legendary 5 stars
11/23/05 Lennie worth seeing 4 stars
6/12/05 Steve Apparently Chris Parry missed the beginning of this movie or he would have got the shooting 4 stars
12/27/04 mjoc Powerful. Best Grisham on film. 5 stars
10/26/04 Naka McCOnaghey is fantastic, surprisingly; very human preformance. Decent film overall. 4 stars
10/26/04 R.W. Welch Heavily cliche'd legal potboiler has Bullock miscast tho McConaughey does well. 3 stars
10/24/04 Y. Roger Gregory Don't even remember Ashley Judd being in it, but it's just as bad as if I did! 1 stars
6/06/04 john bale Brilliant cast and script make this a fine adaption of the novel 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody fascinating 5 stars
5/30/04 Jess I absolutely love this movie, well explored social issues. 5 stars
4/28/04 LIAM JACKSON fantastic. i wish all depraved racist filth get wot those 2 redneck fucks got! 5 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody wow - this was fucking awesome!!! Read the book too! 5 stars
10/14/03 Holly Awesome movie. Best I've seen yet 5 stars
7/25/03 tina great shit 5 stars
4/17/03 Y. Roger Gregory Don't even remember Ashley Judd being in it, but it's just as bad as if I did! 1 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby Overblown and dramatically obvious. A boilerplate of uncouth sensationalism. 1 stars
2/03/03 Charles Tatum I cannot believe how caught up in this I was 5 stars
11/24/02 Kyle Riveting! 5 stars
3/03/02 Eileen Overstreet W/ Judd, Bullock & Jackson, lacked only John Travolta to complete the four pillars of Satan 1 stars
2/27/02 Shrike Good stuff, JG tale that hits the mark 4 stars
11/27/01 sdfr myopic, skewed and bigoted fantasy with truly objectionable views on white-black relations 1 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean Over the top 3 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk The best Grisham adaptation. McConnaughey shines as does the rest of the cast. 4 stars
6/23/01 Justin Cheung I love this movie, simple as that, Highly reccommend it! 5 stars
4/19/01 Tam Fantastic concept, very original. Fab courtroom scenes, believable performances. 4 stars
4/01/01 ~*Co_Co*~ What words could describe this utterly fabulous film? Scary, thrilling, fantastic! The best 5 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Superior. Excellent. A social message that just can't be ignored. 5 stars
1/24/00 Casey Jarzabek SAMUEL L IS THE FUNNIEST ACTOR I KNOW 1 stars
1/07/00 JussMatt A real solid movie for a change!! Great casting! A must see! 5 stars
9/22/99 Allison Johanning Great movie 5 stars
7/20/99 Matthew Bartley Not particulary intelligent,but gripping and moving 4 stars
1/25/99 Chloe Marie Elestenogoph ( It bit. What can you expect from Joel Shitmaker? 2 stars
1/16/99 Melissa Critics aside, loved McConaughey, Jackson and Spacey. See it if you haven't. 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Well-acted nonsense. 3 stars
11/24/98 Fred The only good Grisham film. But I want to see ALL the Klansmen burn up. 4 stars
9/23/98 Jason Rosenbaum In my top 20 favorites. 5 stars
9/08/98 Johny Who's moronic idea was it to have McConnaughey and Bullock lead a drama? 2 stars
9/04/98 Badass Jackson is good in an otherwise put-on of a drama 3 stars
9/01/98 MikeF This was ok. it got boring in some parts. but it was still ok. 4 stars
8/30/98 Mister Whoopee Bullock and boring man aside, this was quite enjoyable. 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Bullock + McConnaughey = The worst combo in Hollywood. Ever. Truth. 2 stars
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  24-Jul-1996 (R)



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