Alisa 💫’s review published on Letterboxd:
To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic film adaptation of a classic novel, an excellently executed way of bringing the iconic and important story to the screen. Gregory Peck is perfectly cast, he embodies Atticus Finch, he is Atticus Finch. And while he is our hero, and is given the attention and respect that he as a character deserves, Robert Mulligan stayed true to the book and focused on the kids. It's seeing it from the perspective of the children which makes everything so impactful and emotional.
Most of us read the book when growing up and many were able to learn things alongside Scout and Jem, albeit on an even deeper level. Having the kids be our eyes and ears is what adds that extra something which has made this story so immortal.
Sure, this is also perhaps the most classic example of the white savior trope. As some things have already been shifted around in the adaptation, we easily could have had more time with Tom Robinson and his family. The scenes when Atticus visited the Robinsons' house were always powerful, this could have been explored more.
If I'm being honest I also would have loved to see the courtroom scene be even longer, it was given greater importance in the novel than here. As it is arguably the focal point, and where Atticus truly shines, you could easily have cut out one of the scenes of Jem just walking around the neighbourhood and extended the trial. It would have made the verdict even more painful.
But at the end of the day, it's a spectacular movie that does the source material justice and has one of the greatest portrayals of a beloved character ever.