A Civil Action Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Norman Green
    100
    The convergence of storytelling mastery, acting virtuosity and star power makes A Civil Action one of the greatest films of the year.
  2. It tells a finely nuanced tale of right, wrong and the gray area in between.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    A smart, tough, yet curiously moving film.
  4. I'm all for films that don't flow from the usual Hollywood test tubes, but A Civil Action is basically the standard formula with a dash of downbeat.
  5. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    60
    All the ingredients are here for both a smashing courtroom drama and a legitimate tearjerker, but the film ultimately doesn't have the technique or the heart to deliver either.
  6. 60
    Millions of people read Harr's gripping bestseller, but Steven Zaillian may be the only one who didn't understand it.
  7. A multifaceted misfire from writer-director Steven Zaillian.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Nov 18, 2012
    7
    A Civil Action proves to be a solid legal drama, and that's mostly thanks to its stellar characters, who are played with quiet control by someA Civil Action proves to be a solid legal drama, and that's mostly thanks to its stellar characters, who are played with quiet control by some talented actors. Expand
  2. Oct 15, 2011
    7
    the movie was interesting to watch, though it has the general flaw of 'based on a true story'-movies of the ending being kind of anthe movie was interesting to watch, though it has the general flaw of 'based on a true story'-movies of the ending being kind of an anticlimax. but the characters were very believable and i watched it all the way through. Expand
  3. May 7, 2013
    4
    It's a good movie and I went back-and-forth between giving this a 7 or 8, but ultimately chose an 8. Travolta is good in the lead role andIt's a good movie and I went back-and-forth between giving this a 7 or 8, but ultimately chose an 8. Travolta is good in the lead role and Macy is great in his supporting role as well. Being that the movie is based on a true story, the empathy you feel for the plaintiffs is certainly more powerful and I think that really helps the film along. Robert Duvall was also great in his role as the defense attorney. Expand

See all 6 User Reviews