A Civil Action
A Civil Action ★★½ 1998 (PG-13)
Lowkey courtroom thriller doesn't contain many thrills. Travolta is Jan Schlichtmann, a flashy lawyer who freely admits that he's an ambulance chasing weasel. When a grieving mother (Quinlan) approaches him with a case accusing two corporate conglomerates of causing an outbreak of leukemia among children, Jan smells a big payoff. As the case drags on (and his firm falls deeper into debt pursuing it), his perspective changes and he begins to seek justice for the lost children. Robert Duvall steals the show as the homespun Harvard lawyer representing one of the companies. Based on a true story. 115m/C VHS, DVD . James Gandolfini, John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Quinlan, Tony Shalhoub, Zeljko Ivanek, John Lithgow, William H. Macy, Bruce Norris, Sydney Pollack, Peter Jacobson; D: Steven Zaillian; W: Steven Zaillian; C: Conrad L. Hall; M: Danny Elfman. Screen Actors Guild '98: Support. Actor (Duvall).