With racial tensions rising across the country, TVGN’s decision to air the film A Time To Kill is apt. The 1996 movie is an adaptation of John Grisham’s first novel of the same title. Matthew McConaughey plays the white lawyer defending a black man (Samuel L. Jackson) who’s on trial for killing his daughter’s rapists in a small, segregated Mississippi town. Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd and Kevin Spacey also star. When first released, nearly 20 years ago, film critic Roger Ebert described A Time To Kill as “a skillfully constructed morality play that pushes all the right buttons and arrives at all the right conclusions.”
The question that propels the story is “Can a black man get a fair trial after murdering two white men, even in the ‘new’ South?” In Hollywood, anyway, the answer is yes.