A Civil Action
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Based on a true story about a small-time, self-possessed personal-injury attorney whose greed entangles him in a case that threatens to destroy him. The Woburn Case- which appears straightforward- instead evolves into a labyrinthine lawsuit of epic proportions where truth, if it can be found at all, resides not in the courtroom, but buried deep in a network of deceit and corruptions.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Based on a true story, this is an intelligent legal thriller, very much in the mode of 1970s issue-oriented films, that may be too subtle and complex for the damands of today's market."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"A slick, shameless job that takes way too long to make its point (namely, we need the EPA)."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"This is a case in which the material really is better served in book form."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"I expected a harder hitting indictment against the uncaring power of corporate America. Instead, we get a middlin' courtroom drama that lacks the intensity of such films as the 1982 Sidney Lumet/Paul Newman film, The Verdict."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A legal drama that doesn't follow the usual Hollywood-John Grisham formula."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"Delivering the verdict two thirds into the movie is anti-climactic, while Schlichtmann's belated atonement feels beside the point."
‑ , Time Out
"Like John Grisham for grownups."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The movie becomes one more David-and-Goliath morality play."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"the film is slightly overlong and the ending is anti-cathartic."
‑ Dragan Antulov, Draxblog Movie Reviews
"neatly avoids slipping into melodrama, and despite plenty of niggling minor faults along the way the movie finally succeeds. With a more comfortably cast lead actor it could have been even more powerful."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"As proficient a job as writer-director Steve Zaillian and his team do, A Civil Action has unmistakably unraveled by its close."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Schlichtmann may have gone through this conversion in real life, but I just didn't buy it the way Zaillian presents it."
‑ Paul Tatara, CNN.com
"While Travolta is passable as Schlichtmann, it is the outstanding work from Duvall, Macy and briefly Tony Shalhoub that drive the story."
‑ Anthony Miele, Film Threat
"... hints at the complex moral issues that vein the story."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The film is so daring because it features a protagonist that we cannot and do not sympathize with."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
More reviews for A Civil Action on Rotten Tomatoes