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Almost everyone believes in the law. But when a jury summons shows up in the mail, excuses often take precedence over beliefs.
Stuck at home for a while? We’ve compiled a handy list of movies to help you pass the time.
But this simply isn’t a list of lawyer or courtroom movies—no that’s way too easy.
While this list includes a few no-brainers, we dug a bit deeper to find some less obvious options. We hope that many of these flicks are new to you.
(Oh, and you may want to read our lists of 10 Binge-Watch TV Shows and Five of the Funniest Fictional Lawyers too.)
Check out the list, click on each name to watch some clips, then vote for your favorite at the bottom of the page.
OK, obvious choice is obvious—but let’s get this out of the way first. From “Youts” to screech owls, this comedy classic features few (if any) dull moments. The acting is superb, the scenes are memorable and the script is infinitely quotable. Fun fact: did you know the actor who played the bailiff was also D-Day in “Animal House”?
Another obvious one, but definitely worth mentioning. This could be one of the few times in history where the movie is better than the book. Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch is about as iconic as Superman® and the closing arguments scene should be required viewing for aspiring actors and lawyers alike.
While not a lawyer movie directly, this drama includes plenty of legal intrigue as reporters slowly unravel a massive scandal. It’s one of those movies that demands your attention but rewards it with a compelling, top-notch script.
Take strong elements of a courtroom drama and mix it in with a solid horror story, and here’s the result. The main character is a lawyer in a homicide case—defending a Priest that was involved in a failed exorcism. It’s a good flick for a nightcap (with the lights on).
One of Jim Carrey’s lesser-known efforts, this one has aged pretty well. Released in 1997, it follows a lawyer who’s “cursed” by not being able to lie—and hilarity ensues. Got older kids? It’s solid family viewing, particularly for the “Pen is Blue!” scene.
With all that’s going on in this musical-turned-movie, it’s easy to overlook the fact that a trial is a big part of the plot. Again, not a lawyer movie per se, but a nice change of pace if you’re in the mood. Even if you’re not into musicals, this one is easy to watch thanks to excellent costuming and a compelling storyline.
One of the Marx Brothers' finest films, this war satire features a courtroom scene that’s an absolute clinic in one-liner exchanges. Beyond that, “Duck Soup” is a seminal comedic work that is as laugh-out-loud hilarious today as it was almost a century ago.
How do you make tax law exciting? Ask director Brian De Palma. He called upon the skills of Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner and a host of other superb actors to tell the story of Elliot Ness and Al Capone in prohibition-era Chicago. Heavy on the violence—best to watch this one after the kids go to bed.
The villain is a judge. The hero is an animated rabbit. Toss in Bob Hoskins' most underrated performance and you’ve got a film with universal appeal. It’s part film noir, part animated short with special effects that hold up incredibly well in today’s era of CGI-everything.
Yeah sure, we could’ve put “A Few Good Men” here, but that’d be too obvious. Instead you should watch this. It’s set on a nuclear submarine and centers around the topic of chain of command—while the threat of nuclear war hangs in the balance. Give it a watch and then build your legal argument for either side.
Justice is blind.You don't have to be.
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