JUST CAUSE

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: February 17, 1995

Starring: Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Capshaw, Blair Underwood, Ed Harris, & Ruby Dee

Genre: Suspense Drama

Audience:

Rating: R

Runtime: 102 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(H, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, AB, M) Relativistic, materialistic worldview in which bad guys lose, but good guys are not clearly good; 65 obscenities, 12 profanities (2 exclamatory) & several racial epithets; man threatened & beaten into confession of crime, several gruesome murders, man killed in fight, shooting, woman & child threatened, several dead bodies shown with deadly knife wounds, & man's body taken by alligator; rape discussed in reference to rape/murder case; brief male & female nudity in artwork on wall, brief rear male nudity, & small girl's naked upper body shown in crime photo; brief alcohol use; serial killer portrayed as religious fanatic & former preacher surrounded by religious icons; and, unsuccessful attempt at revenge, racial hatred portrayed & racial stereotypes presented.

Summary:

A white grade-school girl is abducted, raped and brutally murdered in a small South Florida town, and the local lawmen railroad a black suspect straight to death row in JUST CAUSE, starring Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne. The movie is intense, suspenseful and well made and makes an unexpectedly strong case for capital punishment. However, heavy violence, foul language and a troubling portrayal of a serial killer as a religious fanatic and former "boy-preacher," make this movie problematic.

Review:

A white grade-school girl is abducted, raped and brutally murdered in a small South Florida town, and the local lawmen railroad a black suspect straight to death row in JUST CAUSE, starring Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne. Bobby Earl is a young, Cornell-educated black man living in the backwoods town who is picked up by the police and charged with the murder of young Joannie Shriver. The burden of guilt points to Bobby Earl largely due to a similar past near-conviction and an "uppity" attitude. Forced to confess during a brutal, and painful, 22-hour interrogation, Bobby Earl now is in line for Florida's electric chair. His only hope is Sean Connery, not as James Bond but as Harvard University professor, former attorney and civil-rights advocate Paul Armstrong.

JUST CAUSE provides most of the required elements necessary to keep an audience captive. The principal actors shine, the action moves at a good pace, the story unfolds smoothly, and the plot twists and turns keep the suspense at a steady simmer until the climactic, though a bit predictable, finale. The movie is intense, well crafted and makes an strong case for capital punishment. However, heavy violence, foul language and a troubling portrayal of a serial killer as a religious fanatic make this movie problematic.

In Brief: