A Time to Kill
A Time to Kill (1996)

Carl Lee Hailey takes the law into his own hands after the legal system fails to adequately punish the men who brutally raped and beat his daughter. When Hailey chooses novice lawyer Jake Brigance to handle his defense, it begins to look… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: July 24, 1996
DVD Release Date: August 22, 1997
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Critic Score: 65% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Overlong and superficial, A Time to Kill nonetheless succeeds on the strength of its skillful craftsmanship and top-notch performances.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

A likable -- maybe even lovable -- movie.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

If the film doesn't add up to a cogent legal argument, neither does it have trouble delivering 2 hours and 20 minutes' worth of sturdy, highly charged drama.

Chris Peachment
Daily Telegraph (UK)

(Grisham) films are... grossly over-inflated examples of that old genre which hardly ever need change, the courtroom drama. A Time To Kill is no different, except that its verdict would be laughed out of any court anywhere in the civilised world.

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Todd McCarthy

Although it has its share of implausibilities, A Time To Kill is generally the most satisfying of the John Grisham screen adaptations to date.

Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle

Untrained as an actor, with only three minor roles to his credit, McConaughey holds the screen against Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey, and completely justifies the buzz surrounding his role...

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TV Guide

What craven offal!

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Justice may be blind, but rarely have courtroom dramas presumed quite so heavily on cultural myopia as this heinous version of John Grisham's first novel.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

McConaughey, 26, is dynamite in a performance of smarts, sexiness, scrappy humor and unmistakable star sizzle.


A gritty, intense and engaging courtroom drama.

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More reviews for A Time to Kill

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
John Manard
I still believe this is one of the best grisham film adaptaions.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Charles S. Dutton, Oliver Platt, Brenda Fricker, Donald Sutherland, Ashley Judd,… More
Eliza Norton
The book must be also powerfull ,nothing left but to find out ...
Jim Careter
The first 20 minutes of Face/Off is the most haunting memory of cinema for me since the end of Se7en. The rest of it is interesting but not as intense. The… More
Jens S.
This incredibly enthralling court drama tries to juggle a lot of themes at the same time and yet succeeds. Race issues in the southern US meet the question of… More
Lady D'arbanville
I can?t remember exactly how many times I?ve watched this film, but it?s one I return to over and over again. The power of the story and the struggle to… More