DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher


Will we be adding this to our collection? MAYBE

The lasting appeal of this adapted screenplay of the John Grisham novel  is that it’s a great debate starter. Everyone seems to have very energised view on the subject of corporal punishment but this delves into even murkier territory, as it asks whether a father has the right to murder his 10-year-old daughters rapists.

The film also takes a position on it which turns it into more of a propaganda piece but still, a very effective and somewhat even handed one. Samual L. Jackson is the father, whilst potentially career best turns form Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock steal the show. Oh and Kevin Spacey turns up but there’s little point even mentioning his performance as he makes it all look so easy.

The film follows the events of the rape, the rapist’s murder and the trial which ensues. The K.K.K. takes sides, the N.C.A.A.P. wade in and death threats and bombs are flying through the swamps of the deep south. This is a very good thriller and one of the best Grisham adapts to date, but it’s the question that drives it throughout; the question of is there ever a time to kill which keeps this 149 minute thriller burning, even when the plot falls foul of the clichés.

Worth a watch every time and will certainly polarise opinions.

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