John Grisham Online: A Time to Kill

A Time to Kill

Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) takes the law into his own hands after the legal system fails to adequately punish the men who brutally raped and beat his daughter, leaving her for dead. Normally, a distraught father could count on some judicial sympathy in those circumstances. Unfortunately, Carl and his daughter are black, and the assailants are white, and all the events take place in the South. Indeed, so inflammatory is the situation, that the local KKK (led by Kiefer Sutherland) becomes popular again. When Hailey chooses novice lawyer Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) to handle his defense, it begins to look like a certainty that Carl will hang, and Jake’s career (and perhaps his life) will come to a premature end. Despite the efforts of the NAACP and local black leaders to persuade Carl to choose some of their high-powered legal help, he remains loyal to Jake, who had helped his brother with a legal problem before the story begins. Jake eventually takes this case seriously enough to seek help from his old law-school professor (Donald Sutherland). When death threats force his family to leave town, Jake even accepts the help of pushy young know-it-all lawyer Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock).

Synopsis written by Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

Official website

IMDB user rating: 6.9/10

MPAA: Rated R for violence and some graphic language.

Runtime: 149 min

Awards:

Grammy Nomination (Elliot Goldenthal for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television)

(Elliot Goldenthal for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television) Golden Globe Nomination (Samuel L. Jackson for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture)

(Samuel L. Jackson for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture) MTV Movie Award (Matthew McConaughey for Best Breakthrough Performance)

(Matthew McConaughey for Best Breakthrough Performance) ASCAP Award (Elliot Goldenthal for Top Box Office Films)

(Elliot Goldenthal for Top Box Office Films) 2 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (Sandra Bullock for Favorite Actress – Suspense and Samuel L. Jackson for Favorite Supporting Actor – Suspense)

(Sandra Bullock for Favorite Actress – Suspense and Samuel L. Jackson for Favorite Supporting Actor – Suspense) 2 Image Awards (Outstanding Motion Picture and Samuel L. Jackson for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture)

Trailer:

Cast

Matthew McConaughey – Jake Brigance

Samuel L. Jackson – Carl Lee Hailey

Sandra Bullock – Ellen Roark

Kevin Spacey – Rufus Buckley

Brenda Fricker – Ethel Twitty

Oliver Platt – Harry Rex Vonner

Joe Seneca – Rev. Isaiah Street

Kurtwood Smith – Stump Sisson

Ashley Judd – Carla Brigance

Nicky Katt – Billy Ray Cobb

Rae’ven Kelly – Tonya Hailey

Terry Loughlin – Jury Foreman, Sisco

Benjamin Mouton – KKK militant

Alexandra Kyle – Hannah

Tim Parati – Winston

Rae’Ven Larrymore-Kelly – Tonya Hailey

Beth Grant – Cora Cobb

Jonathan Hadary – Norman Reinfield

Anthony Heald – Dr. Rodeheaver

Doug Hutchison – Pete Willard

Chris Cooper – Deputy Looney

John Diehl – Tim Nunley

Charles S. Dutton – Sheriff Ozzie Walls

Tonea Stewart – Gwen Hailey

Donald Sutherland – Lucien Wilbanks

Kiefer Sutherland – Freddie Cobb

Graham Timbes – Male Juror

M. Emmet Walsh – Defense Psychologist

Patrick McGoohan – Judge Omar Noose

Mark W. Johnson – Hastings

Andy Stahl – Juror

Byron Jennings – Brent Musgrove

Greg Lauren – Buckley’s Asst.

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