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Parents' Guide to

The Accused

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Legal drama has scenes of sexual violence, strong language.

Movie R 1988 111 minutes
The Accused movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Based on a real-life trial, this film from 1988 makes an impact not just in the brutality of the crime, but the way in which the victim is treated in the aftermath. In The Accused, Sarah is handled with clinical coldness and suspicion, while behind the scenes, lawyers make decisions based more on tidy outcomes and sure wins than a true concern for justice.

Foster took home an Academy Award for her intense and intimate performance. Sarah is a woman who at first seems powerless, but who then finds strength in her outrage, moving McGillis' practical lawyer into action from the heart instead of the rule book. It's a compelling film with important things to say, particularly back in the '80s when this kind of subject was not often tackled on-screen. That it is still so relevant decades on makes it all the more impactful.

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