Smart lawyers. Gripping cases. Complex plotlines. This is what pretty much describes courtroom dramas. Lawyer movies offer a sense of justice and present complicated legal issues in a way that everyone can understand, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that people want to add them to their watch list. Numerous films have used the courtroom to present sensational elements of the justice system – some are classics, some are newcomers, and some are not so famous. If you want to gain some insight into the legal world, these are the best lawyer films of all time. Make sure your popcorn is ready.
My Cousin Vinny
Two New Yorkers, Bill Gambini and Stan Rothenstein, are arrested in Alabama and arrested for a crime they didn’t commit, finding themselves in an unfortunate case of mistaken identity. Their fate lies in the hands of Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci), Bill Gambini’s cousin, constantly admonished by Judge Haller. Vinny has little to no experience, so his fiancée, Mona Lisa (Marisa Tomei), helps him with his defence. As a matter of fact, he’s so inexperienced that he doesn’t even know where to stand when the judge enters the courtroom. The individual moments of the movie are very funny and ultimately satisfying.
If you take a peek at some of the biggest movies from that time period, such as Beverly Hills Cop, you’ll understand that My Cousin Vinny rises above the rest. The screenwriter had to balance a courtroom comedy with the Southern stereotype, and he succeeded because he didn’t focus on the comical aspect. The film was applauded for its accuracy in legal strategy and courtroom procedure, as it was close to reality even in its details. It’s a pleasing progression, with comedy and energy, not to mention decent and likeable people.
Kramer Vs Kramer
Who could forget Kramer vs Kramer? The story follows Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) and Johanna Kramer (Meryl Streep), a couple whose divorce affects their young son and changes their views on parenting. It’s a film about parenthood, gender roles, and, of course, the process of getting a divorce. Ted Kramer learns to separate work and personal life and develops a stronger relationship with his son, which causes issues afterwards when his wife tries to regain custody. As a viewer, you’re free to assign fault to the characters. Let’s not forget that Johanna Kramer walks out on her husband, leaving him and their young son.
Filmed and set in the city with the same name, Philadelphia depicts the story of Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), an associate attorney who struggles to hide his sexual orientation and positive HIV status from the rest of the law firm. The privacy issue becomes a central theme in Beckett’s claim against the firm. To be more precise, he keeps a secret due to the atmosphere of intolerance present at the time, fearing the truth would negatively impact his career. As you’ll see, his secret is exposed by a coworker.
Denzel Washington plays Beckett’s attorney, Joe Miller, who displays a negative attitude towards homosexuality and a lack of knowledge about AIDS. Not many know that the part of Joe Miller was written for a white actor, namely Robin Williams or Bill Murray. Even if Joe Miller takes on the anti-discrimination case, many scenes show he is still homophobic and trying to work things out. Philadelphia managed to change the national conversation about HIV/AIDS. At present, it still resonates with many. If you have to resolve a problem at work, don’t blindly trust the law in movies. Visit Accident Claims (https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/).
The Firm is based on John Grisham’s legal thriller, one of the two movies released in 1993. A young lawyer by the name of Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) joins a top law firm only to discover that it’s filled with corruption. More precisely, it’s involved in laundering money for the Mafia, which gives rise to a moral dilemma that should be resolved based on principles like dignity, honour, ethical standards, and integrity. McDeere is eventually blackmailed by the law firm’s security chief and the FBI. Oops! Spoiler alert! McDeere has a difficult choice to make: gather evidence about the actions of his colleagues or make the decision that will keep him alive.
A new attorney, fresh from passing the Bar exam, Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), is desperate to find work, so when he’s given a chance to defend an elderly couple against an insurance company, he takes it. He must fight an unscrupulous corporate attorney, Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight), and corrupt judges to win compensation for the couple’s dying son. Francis Ford Coppola, who wrote and directed the film, managed to bring John Grisham’s book come to life, mocking pomposity and privilege. The book proved that the courtroom is just as violent as the streets outside.
Along the way, Rudy Baylor finds that it’s sometimes necessary to resort to deceptive practices. The action in The Rainmaker doesn’t stop for love scenes; Baylor’s legal life is so complex that there’s no time whatsoever for personal matters. Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito) manages his court appearance and finds crucial evidence. The film stands up for victimised people with low socio-economic status who still fight for supportive and affordable healthcare. Every client is necessary, and they need a lawyer, more than anything else, who does more than clock the hours.
Wrapping It Up
Every once in a while, you deserve to take a break, even if it means watching movies for the rest of the day. Movies about the law can be exciting, thrilling, and, above all, relatable. If you love a good movie, there are plenty of options to choose from. After watching a few films, don’t be fooled into thinking that lawyers have a great life, get a fabulous salary, and wear nice suits every day. More often than not, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. In real life, it’s necessary to work day and night to prepare for a case.