Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Director Joel Schumacher's breathlessly paced and incident-crammed movie will induce a certain sense of deja vu among veteran viewers.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    As originated by Grisham and adapted by Akiva Goldsman, this is a story of elemental emotional and legal issues splashed across a large canvas, and director Joel Schumacher has done a solid job of keeping the many components in focus and balance.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. JaredB.
    Mar 31, 2008
    I have seen almost every one of the movies that have been adapted from John Grishams novels. This is, by a longshot, the best one. Samuel L. Jackson plays Carl Lee, a black man whose daughter is brutally raped by two racist rednecks. As the rapists are being brought to their arraignment, Carl Lee steps in and shoots them both, killing them. Carl Lee is then arrested and charged with murder. He picks Jake Brigance, brilliantly played by Matthew McConaughey, to defend him. When Brigance agrees, he finds himself spending more time on the case, and less time on other things, like his family. This puts a major strain on his marriage. I also liked Sandra Bullock as Ellen Roark, a Boston Law student who badly wants to help. I can't reveal the end of the movie, because then, I'd spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. If you havent yet seen this movie I strongly recommend it. Be warned, however, that, because of some violence and graphic descriptions of rape, this movie is NOT for very young children. Personally, I absolutely adored this film. Full Review »
  2. vbee
    Feb 13, 2007
    This movie is too stupid to address the issues it's about.