When tough, sexy, working-class girl Sarah Tobias (Foster) is gang-raped in the back room of a neighborhood bar, she finds an ally in district attorney Kathryn Murphy (McGillis). Initially considering a plea bargain, Kathryn ultimately persuades Sarah to use the full weight of the legal system against her attackers, knowing they'll impugn her character into the courtroom.
Based on a real-life incident, Jonathan Kaplan's hard-hitting courtroom nail-biter is quite an eye-opener, as it confronts head-on a woman's right to exhibit her sexuality and still not be physically violated against her will. Oscar-winner Foster is riveting in a gritty, largely unsympathetic role, and McGillis provides an ideal counterbalance as a somewhat sheltered lawyer whose social conscience gets re-awakened. Absorbing from start to finish, "The Accused" is definitely not for kids, or the squeamish.