Time killer

In A Time to Kill, the racial conflicts are just too black-and-white

But Schumacher can't abide subtlety for long, as seen in the posture of righteous indignation pervading most every scene. McConaughey and Kevin Spacey, in particular, spend so much time turning their noses up in their contempt for one another, you begin to wonder what they're smelling that makes them look so uncomfortable.

The result of all the endless proselytizing, in which the wicked are defeated only when the good guys condescend to their level, is a film more cynical and jaded than it would care to admit. In the end, it's difficult to say what's more reprehensible--the inveterate, blood-borne, deep-seated racism bred into every resident of Canton, Mississippi, or the presumption made so arrogantly by the makers of A Time to Kill that no one, not even a Southern liberal, is immune to it.

--Arnold Wayne Jones

A Time to Kill. Warner Bros. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson. Written by Akiva Goldsman. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Now showing.

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