Based on John Grisham’s first novel, this film is set in a dusty Mississippi town riven by racism, where the only thing that unites white supremacists and the local black population is the sweat that glistens on everyone’s skin. Rakishly handsome (and perpetually glistening) attorney Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) takes on the case of Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson), who is on trial for shooting and killing the two white men who raped and beat his 10-year-old daughter. Slowly rotating fans (doesn’t anyone have air-conditioning there?) seem to be the only relief from the oppressive heat that bogs down these Southerners. No one not McConaughey, not Jackson and especially not Ashley Judd, who plays Brigance’s wife and is covered in so much sweat that she appears to have a glandular condition escapes this movie dry.
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