A Lesson Before Dying (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Lesson Before Dying (1999)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Lesson Before Dying Photos

Movie Info

Don Cheadle, Mekhi Phifer, and Cicely Tyson star in this drama set in the 1940s about a black man sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit and teacher who is to counsel him as he awaits execution. A Lesson Before Dying is based on a novel by Ernest J. Gaines.


Don Cheadle
as Grant Wiggins
Cicely Tyson
as Tante Lou
Mekhi Phifer
as Jefferson
Irma P. Hall
as Miss Emma
Brent Jennings
as Rev. Ambrose
Lisa Arrindell
as Vivian Baptiste
Frank Hoyt Taylor
as Sheriff Guidry
Stuart Culpepper
as Henri Pichot
Elijah Kelley
as Clarence
Wynton Yates
as Louis Washington
Von Coulter
as Farrell Jareau
Cierra Meche
as Estelle
Walter Breaux Jr.
as Joe Claiborne
Dana Ivey
as Edna Guidry
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Critic Reviews for A Lesson Before Dying

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

The remarkable Cheadle, stuck teaching in the same school where he'd first dreamed of escaping from Jim Crow to college, is prevailed on by Cicely Tyson and Irma Hall

February 5, 2018 | Full Review…

This riveting drama stands far above most straight-to-tube efforts; in fact, its many virtues surpass many films that receive theatrical release.

January 12, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

What the film lacked was a tension; everything seemed too dry and predictable except for the theme, which was right on the money.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Lesson Before Dying


The storyline is a very worthy one to tell and there was no problem with the acting abilities, but to me this film should have been more powerful to make the message and heart of the film come across better

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

A Lesson Before Dying Quotes

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