A Time to Kill is a film released in 1996 starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey, and was directed by Joel Schumacher. The film was adapted from John Grisham’s novel of the same name.
The story takes place in Canton, Mississippi and involves the rape of a young girl. After her the people that assaulted her are arrested, the young girl’s father goes after the men and murders them. Lawyer Jake Brigance, played by Matthew McConaughey, must represent the father, Carl Lee Hailey, played by Samuel L. Jackson, in the impending criminal trial.
The film was a tremendous commercial success, accumulating $110 million at the United States box office. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the strong performances and story, while others claim that the film tried to squeeze in too much, and that it should have devoted more time to developing the relationship between Carl Lee and Brigance.
Overseas, the film has been a subject of great controversy, as critics claim that that the film is trying to apologize for and promote the abolition of the death penalty.
Grisham, the author of the original novel, enjoyed the film, saying, “When all was said and done I was happy with it, happy we were able to find a kid like Matthew McConaughey. It wasn’t a great movie, but it was a good one.”