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"A to Z" List of Law-Related Movies
Movies Organized by Substantive Law Subject
Comedies
Court Martial Movies
Courtroom Dramas
Documentaries
Inspirational Lawyer Movies
Prison-Related Movies
Top 10

Amistad (1997): A historical drama, directed by Stephen Spielberg, that tells
the true story of African slaves who mutiny against their capture and
transport aboard La Amistad, a slave ship. Focusing largely on the courtroom
scenes in which the slaves are charged with mutiny, the story ends in a
decision from the US Supreme Court ruling that the slaves were wrongfully
kidnapped and in their rights to mutiny and ordered them freed (realize this
summary does not do justice to the movie or the story). Read Roger Ebert's
review here.
The Attorney (2013). Directed and co-written by Yang Woo-suk This Korean
movie tells the tale of an underdog "street lawyer" who, with only a high
school diploma, takes on unpopular cases, including the defence of several
students charged with being communist sympathizers. As of January 2016,
the movie has a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Available here on iTunes.
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 the original New York Times review here.
Bridge of Spies (2015). Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom
Hanks as lawyer James B Donovan. This drama is a fictional re-telling of the
arrest and legal defence of Rudolf Abel, an accused and subsequently
convicted Soviet spy. There are good courtroom scenes as well as scenes
showing the ethical dilemmas facing the lawyer played by Tom Hanks. The
movie currently has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Castle (1997). Starring Michael Caton. An extremely hilarious Australian
comedy dealing with, of all things, expropriation (hence the title, which
stems from the saying "A man's home is his castle"). Some hilarious

the mother of the alleged co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Michelle Pfeiffer. See Roger Ebert's review (3 out of 4 stars). arrested for failing to provide the location of her son. Directed by Tony Goldwyn and starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell. he hires a lawyer (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) to act on his behalf. an organization based. Her "conviction" in her brother's innocence leads to her returning to school . Conviction (2010). Directed by Richard Attenborough. Robin Wright. Tells the true story of Bette Ann Waters.5 out of 4 stars). in part. Read Roger Ebert's review here. Laugh-out-loud funny. Read the New York Times original review here. as the father. Tells the true story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's wrongful imprisonment on murder charges and the efforts made by his lawyers to free him from prison. Read Roger Ebert's review (3. out of Toronto. In the Name of the Father (1993): Based (loosely. Starring Sean Penn. this drama has Emma Thompson playing the hard-working defence lawyer and focuses on the trials and tribulations of Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his father (Pete Postlethwaite) wrongfully convicted for the crimes. Carter was an Executive Director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. who has the mental capacity of a 7-year old. Directed by Robert Redford and starring James McAvoy. Read Roger Ebert's review (2 out of 4 stars). Some good courtroom scenes. An epic story of the life of Mahatma Gandhi who started as a lawyer in South Africa and who end up liberating India from British domination through his policies of non-violence. When is 7-year old daughter is taken by child welfare authorities. Directed by Norman Jewison.to help overturn her brother's wrongful conviction through DNA evidence (with the help of Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project. Starring Denzel Washington. a single mother whose brother was (as it turns out) wrongfully convicted of murder. I Am Sam (2001). according to Roger Ebert) on the true story of the Guildford Four wrongfully accused of an IRA bombing of a British pub in 1974. Starring Ben Kingsley and a cast of thousands. James McAvoy plays the young lawyer assigned to defend Mary Surratt (played by Robin Wright). Read Roger Ebert's review (3 out of 4 stars). Evan Rachel Wood and Tom Wilkinson.courtroom scenes.and eventually law school . The Hurricane (1999). Kevin Kline. The Conspirator (2010). . Gandhi (1982). A nicely told story of a child custody case involving Sean Penn.

confirming for me (which I confirmed after seeing the movie) that the movie . While watching the lawyer played by Stanley Tucci. Denzel Washington. Jr. Well-acted (Hanks got Best Oscar for his performance) and good courtroom scenes. Michael Keaton. Martin Luther King. Based on the true life story where Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz agrees to handle the appeal of the conviction of socialite Claus von Bulow for the attempted murder of his wife. Reversal of Fortune (1990). North Country (2005): For some reason. that resulted in the first class action sexual harassment lawsuit in the United States (the Wikipedia entry here has a nice overview of the reallife lawsuit). but she does a good job in this story as a mistreated female employee in a male-dominated workforce in a mine in Minnesota. Starring Christian Slater. Stanley Tucci. Read Roger Ebert's review here. It has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Philadelphia (1993). Christian Slater plays a young lawyer who takes on the case of a prisoner of Alcatraz who is wrongfully put into solitary confinement for years and becomes insane as a result. Starring Tom Hanks. John Slattery. Spotlight (2015). Directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo. Selma (2015). This movie tells the story of the human rights activism of Dr. lawyers play a role as does the role of public access to court records versus the private arbitration the church was using to settle claims. Read Roger Ebert's review (4 out of 4 stars). Strong courtroom (and prison) scenes Read Roger Ebert's review (2 of out 4 stars). Rachel McAdams. Directed by Tom McCarthy and starring Mark Ruffalo. Kevin Bacon and Gary Oldman. I was never a huge fan of Charlize Theron. Liev Schreiber. Jeremy Irons and Ron Silver. and Billy Crudup. Available here at Netflix. However. Brian d'Arcy James. and his campaign for equal voting rights in the American South. this is a movie about investigative journalism and the efforts of Boston Globe journalists who reported on the cover-up of child abuse by the Catholic church in Boston. based on a true story. Tom Hanks plays a successful lawyer fired by his law firm because he has AIDS. Read Roger Ebert's review (3.5 out of 4 stars).Murder in the First (1995).. Good dramatization of the work done by Dershowitz and his students in preparing for the appeal. I couldn't help but notice that he had a set of the Dominion Law Reports behind him on his office bookshelf (which would be extremely unlikely for a Boston lawyer). The only lawyer willing to act for him in his wrongful dismissal action against his old firm is an ambulance-chasing type lawyer played by Denzel Washington. Ostensibly. Available here on iTunes. Starring Glenn Close.

A solid dramatization of Harper Lee's novel telling the story of Atticus Finch and his daughter Scout and how Atticus defends a black man wrongfully charged with rape in a racially-biased environment. The movie has a 97% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Read the original New York Times review here.was filmed in Toronto (with other scenes shot in the Bay-Adelaide Centre). To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). . Peck won the Best Actor Oscar.

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