A.B asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

what are the best movies about law(court,jury,attorney,...)?

I'm making a list of movies somehow related to law or court or...

what do you suggest?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Law-Related Movies - Court Martial Movies

    Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Starring Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, directed by Otto Preminger. A courtroom drama involving a murder trial where the accused, a lieutenant in the army, is charged with murdering a bar owner who had raped his wife. Will the defence of temporary insanity prevail? Multiple Academy Award nominations. Read an online review.

    Billy Budd (1962). Starring Peter Ustinov, Terence Stamp. The story, based on Melville's novel, of Billy Budd, accused of mutiny on the high seas of the murder of the ship's Master-of-Arms. Read an online review.

    Breaker Morant (1980). Starring Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson. An excellent Australian court-martial movie set in the time of the Boer War. Three Australian lieutenants are treated as scapegoats when prosecuted for executing prisoners of war. Strong performance by their defence lawyer. Read an online review.

    A Few Good Men (1992). Starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, many others. Tom Cruise plays a Navy lawyer charged with the duty of defending two Marines charged with murder who say they were acting under orders of a colonel (played by Jack Nicholson). Good court room and trial prep scenes. Read Roger Ebert's review (2.5 stars out of 4).

    Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster. A strong dramatization of the Nazi war crime trials. Maximilian Schell won the Oscar for his portrayal of the defence lawyer.

    Rules of Engagement (2000). Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson. A court-martial drama in which a lawyer/military man (played by Tommy Lee Jones) agrees to defend his colleague (played by Jackson) who is charged of breach of duty for a botched embassy rescue mission. At issue in the trial are the "rules of engagement" and the pressures that soldiers face when under enemy fire. Read Roger Ebert's review (2.5 out of 4 stars).

    Law-Related Movies - Courtroom Dramas

    The Accused (1988). Starring: Kelly McGillis, Jody Foster. Courtroom drama involving rape victim Sarah Tobias (played by Jody Foster) who at times seems to be the one on trial. Read Roger Ebert's review (3 stars).

    Adam's Rib (1949). Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn. A courtroom drama/comedy where Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, as husband and wife, are on opposite ends of a criminal prosecution where she defends a women charged with murdering her husband with Spencer Tracy prosecuting the case. Conflict of interest?

    Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Starring Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, directed by Otto Preminger. A courtroom drama involving a murder trial where the accused, a lieutenant in the army, is charged with murdering a bar owner who had raped his wife. Will the defence of temporary insanity prevail? Multiple Academy Award nominations. Read an online review.

    And Justice for All (1979). Starring Al Pacino, directed by Norman Jewison (a University of Toronto graduate). Al Pacino defends a judge who is charged with rape, a judge with whom he has had run-ins in the past. A good examination of the justice system, corruption and legal ethics. Read James Berardinelli's review (3.5 out of 4 stars).

    Billy Budd (1962). Starring Peter Ustinov, Terence Stamp. The story, based on Melville's novel, of Billy Budd, accused of mutiny on the high seas of the murder of the ship's Master-of-Arms. Read an online review.

    Breaker Morant (1980). Starring Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson. An excellent Australian court-martial movie set in the time of the Boer War. Three Australian lieutenants are treated as scapegoats when prosecuted for executing prisoners of war. Strong performance by their defence lawyer. Read an online review.

    Capturing the Friedmans (2003). Directed by Andrew Jarecki. A captivating documentary of a high school teacher, his wife and their three sons and their involvement in the criminal justice system when the father and youngest son are charged with sexual crimes involving children. The movie's tagline - "Who do you believe?" - is reflected in the questions raised by the director regarding the prosecution and defence of the accessed. Read Roger Ebert's online review (3.5 out of 4 stars).

    The Chamber (1996). Starring Chris O'Donnell, Gene Hackman and Faye Dunaway. Based on John Grisham's novel, the story of a young lawyer who defends his racist grandfather who is on death row for murdering two Jewish boys. Read Roger Ebert's review (2 out of 4 stars).

    A Civil Action (1998). Starring John Travolta, Robert Duvall. A well told story based on Jonathan Harr's book of a true story involving a class action lawsuit against environmental polluters that involves multiple ups and downs including the potential bankruptcy of the lawyer (played by John Travolta) handling the case. Read Roger Ebert's review (3.5 out of 4 stars).

    Class Action (1991). Starring Gene Hackman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. An unlikely scenario where father and daught

  • wessel
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Jury Movies

  • esau
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Best Court Movies

  • 1 decade ago

    My all-time favorite lawyer movie is "A Few Good Men." It's particularly good not just for the all-star cast (Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Keifer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and the list goes on) but because it shows some of the hard work and emotional adversity lawyers have to overcome. It's an inspiration to me when I'm in a case that looks hopeless. (I wish I could always pull off a win at trial like in this movie!) The examinations in the movie are unrealistically short but the law is more or less right. That it's in a military setting is important, but the real drama is in the chemistry between the characters and how Tom Cruise's character finds a way out of some very, very tough spots. And the movie gets the law right, at least enough for dramatic purposes.

    Another good movie showing how hard lawyering can be and how sweet it can be when you win is "The Verdict" with Paul Newman. Again, there are lots of big-time external problems that Newman has to overcome but the real issue is how he tames his own demons and finds the resolve to do what he needs to do -- in really heartbreaking circumstances.

    "My Cousin Vinny" is funny enough to hold up to multiple viewings, and it does a pretty good job at getting the law right, also. Fred Gwynne as the judge comes close to stealing the show -- and it's pretty clear that he is actually being fair to both sides, and indeed so is the jury and the prosecutor, especially by the climactic examination scene at the end of the movie. And while it's a comedy, you do also get the sense of a newly-minted lawyer finding a way to grow into his role within the system.

    When I give presentations to young people about being a lawyer, I use movies and I usually end with the win-the-case examination scene from "Legally Blonde." The law in that movie is not very good and the depiction of law school not very realistic. But that scene, in itself, is worth watching because in the space of those two minutes, Reese Witherspoon finds her way as a lawyer, too -- she transforms herself from an awkward, uncertain student into a powerful, effective lawyer. And it's a woman doing it (against a woman prosecutor, before a woman judge, while cross-examining a woman witness) so it's especially inspirational to the young ladies in the audience and I like ending on a note like that.

    These are all worthwhile for the reason that they show the lawyers emerging from their shells -- Cruise's lassitude, Newman's alcoholism, Pesci's fish-out-of-water attitude, Withersppon's inexperience -- and grasping the power of the law, and thus the power within themselves as lawyers.

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  • Hakit.
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Military Movies dealing with alleged crimes (court marshals or otherwise) as mentioned by others are outside the jurisdiction / realm of common law relating to civilians etc. Moreover, Military jurisdiction is no more than a cover up, white wash etc, to defend senior officers and their high commanders from the inherent abuse / negligence and criminal activities they daily practice!

    I've witnessed too may incidents of primarily ranker's and NCO's being undeniably charged with outright fabrications and lies promulgated to ensure the finger never point to the senior guilty parties!

    Senior officers, where charged, usually walk away with reprimands, which in time are considered just "bad-luck" and put aside to ensure the respective career can move forward. As is the case when its a politicians, big business offspring and their like parents who knows the ropes, who to deal with etc, etc, etc. The US Military in particular is rampant in every such degree

    As regards Common law, yes, indeed, many brilliant movies over recent years have been realistically made with great emphasis placed on actual facts

    In addition to the many mentioned, Twelve Angry Men, is a hallmark movie in its own right. From the quiet and sometime angry exchanges of the jury there gradually emerges the inherent sense of judgement that eventually triumphs. Thus the 12 completey different men with their totally differing backgrounds, opinions etc, mould into unison and respect, with the realisation that due consideration of the facts and respective honest assessment must be applied and rendered!

    It worth noting that in the following years after the film was made - all the 12 went on to acclaimed careers in the film industry

  • 1 decade ago

    The Verdict. Paul Newman

    Anatomy of a Murder. Jimmy Stewart and George C. Scott.

    12 angry men. Best jury movie, cast starts with Henry Fonda

    The Lawyer. A fictionalized version of Dr. Sam Shepperd.

    To Kill a Mocking Bird--Trying to save a Black Man wrongly accused

    Philadelphia--a man dying of AIDS fight for the right of everyone

    Inherit the wind--the Scopes Monkey trial.

    The Paper Chase--Very close to the real first year of law school

    Source(s): s---attorney 25 years
  • 1 decade ago

    Jo has already given you a great list, but before I went to Law School I saw a movie about a law school, now I know what law schools are like and the movie was a totally accurate depiction, here are my three favorites:

    For Law Schools: PAPER CHASE (Movie)

    A Movie Based on a real Case: Tennessee v. John Scopes (Name of Movie - The Monkey Trial)

    To Kill A Mocking Bird (Movie)

    Source(s): Lawyer
  • 1 decade ago

    Jo left out To Kill a Mockingbird, and 12 Angry Men. They are old, but classic and can be found on the Turner Classic Movie web page.

    And, I recommend Paper Chase, if you want to see a hint of what a lawyer has to go through to get there.

    Good Luck

  • 1 decade ago

    12 Angry Men

    Inherit the Wind

    My Cousin Vinny (Actually used in law schools to show rules of evidence)

    The Chamber

    Life of David Gale

    Primal Fear

    A Time to Kill

    A Civil Action (Also talked about in law school, all about Rule 11 sanctions)

    The Rainmaker

    ...And Justice For All

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Primal Fear. Old school badass movie all revolving around a court trial. Also one of Edward Norton's breakout roles. Winner.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Comedy Movies.Agreed

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