Criminal Law (1988) 720p

Movie Poster
Criminal Law (1988) bluray - Movie Poster
Crime | Drama
Frame Rate:
23.81 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
117 min
IMDB Rating:
5.7 / 10 
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Directors: Martin Campbell [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A rising young attorney successfully defends a man accused of murder, only to have the same type of murder then happen again. Right away the previously defended man hires the attorney again, and although the attorney is quite certain that he is the killer, he agrees to again defend him... much to the consternation of his friends. However, he explains that by being his attorney he will be better able to catch the man in a mistake... and on this the rest of the film develops, with the killer playing a cat and mouse game with the attorney until, at last, they both must recognize that they are not all that different.


  • Criminal Law (1988) bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Criminal Law (1988) bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Criminal Law (1988) bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Martin Campbell directs

Gary Oldham in 1988 is worth your time. He developed into one of the highest grossing actors. Here you can see the power he's containing that will come into full bloom later in his career. Here he plays the at first arrogant lawyer who gets his friend Kevin Bacon off. He does this by asking the eyewitness to explain why she was out that night in the dark and rain. She says that she had to get disposable diapers. "I thought I had seen them in the closet." From that point to a Black man he puts on the stand who said he had been convicted for murder, but the real killer was later identified. Oldham shows a picture of the real killer next to the falsely accused. The similarity is amazing. After Bacon gets off he kills again in a manner that lets Oldham know he is the killer. Now the plot becomes schizophrenic. Oldham wants to catch and convict Bacon, but he is conflicted. When Oldham has sex, he sees Bacon's face. They are a pair. Oldham and Bacon were both born in 1958. They are both handsome and talented. Bacon married once while Oldham many times. Oldham has the requisite gravitas which doesn't make for easy relationships. Here he is more conflicted than Bacon. He is a great actor, because he can convey great inner turmoil. The plot is secondary to the scenes between Oldham and Bacon. Wonderful acting by both.


I really, really like the lawyer's house in this movie for whatever reason; like i absolutely love it, i'd do anything to live there.

Anyway this is a pretty great movie with the best of both worlds from the 80s and 90s. It's pretty forward thinking in some aspects, obviously top of the line equipment and production, and still with the wonderfully bad 80s outfits and hair. I thought it did a really good job with getting us to relate to the main character and showing us development and growth as well. Gary Oldman did a great job. Kevin Bacon too, he was boring at first but ended up truly terrifying. Also he was hot as hell.The plot was fully engaging throughout, I though the pacing was well thought out and just overall the script was obviously very well written. This was a good movie and one I can see myself returning to.

Crime not to watch this

Watching this as being the second Gary Oldman, I watched, after his electrifying performance, it felt quite weird to watch him play a subdued character type, who's great and annoying to watch, in those moments in burning testosterone, rejoicing in those narcissistic wins. He comes to the fatal realization, his latest client, (Bacon) who he's been freed, could well be the serial killer who's been killing women, surreptitiously involving and luring Oldman, in his sick twisted play. Now Oldman must make things right, redeem himself, and beat the smart playing Bacon at his own game. You question how many clients, their defendants believe are guilty, and why would you be one, if you kept thinking they were. The great photography and unsettling mood of the film, it's raining night shots, work beautifully for this tight little thriller, that deserves more acknowledgment. I really loved these nifty little straight to video films, of this late 80's time, DOA, Dead Bang, Stormy Monday, to name a few, and Criminal Law takes pride of place. Oldman is impressive in his opening statement, his character so far removed from Sid Vicious. He rarely plays characters I like, but is a brilliant character actor who can play anything. He's the most underrated and underappreciated actor I've ever seen. But it's Bacon's performance, here, which I really liked. He has the ability and skill of character, to entice you and instill enough menace, to give you the willies. He doesn't ever go overboard, the markings of a successful actor. Another plus is Joe Don Baker as a detective and the female mains are talented as they are beautiful. Great Film cover too. Fitting.
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