A Civil Action
A Civil Action (1998)

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… More

Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: July 13, 1999
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
60%
Flixster
User Score
55%

Available Online



Critic Score: 60% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Intelligent and unconventional.

Emanuel Levy
Variety

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.

Full review…
J. Hoberman
Village Voice

A slick, shameless job that takes way too long to make its point (namely, we need the EPA).

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This is a case in which the material really is better served in book form.

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Time Out

Delivering the verdict two thirds into the movie is anti-climactic, while Schlichtmann's belated atonement feels beside the point.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Like John Grisham for grownups.

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Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com

The movie becomes one more David-and-Goliath morality play.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

As proficient a job as writer-director Steve Zaillian and his team do, A Civil Action has unmistakably unraveled by its close.

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Paul Tatara
CNN.com

Schlichtmann may have gone through this conversion in real life, but I just didn't buy it the way Zaillian presents it.

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Anthony Miele
Film Threat

While Travolta is passable as Schlichtmann, it is the outstanding work from Duvall, Macy and briefly Tony Shalhoub that drive the story.

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More reviews for A Civil Action

Flixster Audience Score: 55% Flixster User Reviews
Mark Walker
"Schindler's List" scribe Steven Zaillian seems to craft meticulous pieces of work. It's hard to put into words but his films seem to have… More
Candy Rose
Excellent movie based on true stories. John tries to find evidence to sue a factory for dumping waste in the local water supply.
Jeremy Smith
Ok Court drama.
Joseph Eastmond
I guess I have many thinks to pick out and chew at with "A CIvil Action", then again "William H. Macy" is one thing I can not tear apart,… More
Dan Schultz
A disappointingly pulse-less legal drama that features an incredibly dull lead performance from John Travolta, despite the rest of the cast being fairly on… More
Erin Collins
Good legal movie. Great cast and story. I wish it would've turned out differently for them.