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Criminal Law
(1988)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, Performed and Produced by:
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(December 10th, 1988)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but difficult to find after a few years.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you consider yourself enough of a die-hard Jerry Goldsmith enthusiast to appreciate one of his few all-electronic scores that relies upon brooding texture to provide its dulling effect.

Avoid it... if you prefer Goldsmith's often vibrant combination of electronic and orchestral elements with dynamic thematic and rhythmic development.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,112
WRITTEN 7/12/98, REVISED 10/31/11
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Goldsmith
Goldsmith
Criminal Law: (Jerry Goldsmith) While the 1988 film was absolutely torn apart by critics and audiences alike, Criminal Law was an introduction of two eventually well-known people to the mainstream of American cinema. Young British actor Gary Oldman debuted in Hollywood's spotlight with this unfortunate film, as did director Martin Campbell, for whom the project would be his first leap from the obscurity of television production to a career in cinema that would yield projects like GoldenEye and The Mask of Zorro (and its sequel) down the road. With a plot that attempts to jolt audiences with false scares from start to finish, Criminal Law throws Oldman's cocky character, an attorney, into a series of legal fires created by Kevin Bacon's maniacal counterpart. The attorney manages to get the criminal acquitted on one brutal rape and murder charge before his client then turns around and begins framing (and generally harassing) him for subsequent murders. Painfully hokey dialogue and an unnecessary homoerotic subtext plague the graphic film, and by the time the movie was done jerking around the audience on its ride of dubious logic, Criminal Law qualified as a genuine, grade-A stinker. Campbell would, a decade after this project, rely upon James Horner as a regular collaborator for his original scores, but Criminal Law came at a time when the director rotated between composers frequently and, for this project, he teamed up for the only time with Jerry Goldsmith. In the 1980's, Goldsmith was at the height of a period defined by his experimentation with electronics, often with grand results when combining them with his usual orchestral ensemble and rhythmic sensibilities. Even in scores dominated by his array of synthetics, either a fully orchestral layer or notable collection of soloists accompanied those electronic textures. There were only a few scores for which Goldsmith turned exclusively to his synthesizers, and their succession in the middle to late 1980's included Runaway, Alien Nation (a rejected work) and Criminal Law. Not surprisingly, these were the few scores performed by Goldsmith himself as well, and with their sparse constructs came more frustration from listeners than interest and engagement.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
192 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.43 Stars
***** 16 5 Stars
**** 22 4 Stars
*** 46 3 Stars
** 54 2 Stars
* 54 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 30:59
• 1. The Victim (2:29)
• 2. The Body (3:21)
• 3. Start Remembering (1:30)
• 4. About Last Night (1:24)
• 5. The Closet (2:29)
• 6. The Garden Pavillion (3:15)
• 7. The Drive (1:13)
• 8. Avenger (1:13)
• 9. The Game (1:58)
• 10. The Clinic (2:12)
• 11. Poor Ben (4:37)
• 12. Hostage (0:46)
• 13. Burnout (1:13)
• 14. End Title (2:44)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 1998-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Criminal Law are Copyright © 1988, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/12/98 and last updated 10/31/11.
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