Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

The second stinker and potential career-sinker for Rob Reiner 
(remember NORTH?) is an odd one.  Here's an earnest, star-studded 
docudrama about slain Sixties civil rights activist Medgar Evers 
that all but ignores him!  Well, to be fair, GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI 
is really about the decades-later retrial of Evers' assassin, white 
supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, played here by a cackling James 
Woods in old-age make-up.  (Calm down.  Though a scene-stealer-- 
and arguably the only character who comes to life in this dreadful 
feature-- Beckwith is on-screen for all of twenty minutes.  Maybe 
thirty.)  At the center of the story, instead, is Alec Baldwin's 
character, an Assistant D.A. who spends years rebuilding the case 
against Beckwith and at the cost of his marriage, reputation, and 
personal safety.  Yawn.  While it's always a treat to see the one-
time Jack Ryan front *any* film, his liberal-white-legal-guy-with-
guilt has been done before, and better, and most recently by Mr. 
McConaughey in A TIME TO KILL.  You've already seen this movie, so 
why bother?  (Rated "R"/130 min.)

Grade: D+

Copyright 1997 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: January 5, 1997

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