Something about courts and legal matters just lends itself well to drama movies. There is a lot of drama within the courtroom, and awaiting a judge or jury’s decision can be incredibly suspenseful. Like most things, Hollywood has cashed in on this over the years with much success. Of course, there are the occasional flops, (Body of Evidence comes to mind) but there have also been some enduring classics. For your next movie night, check out one of these wonderful movies.
- To Kill a Mockingbird. Nearly everyone knows this movie, and if you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Just as highly acclaimed as the famous novel it was based on, this movie from 1962 has gone down in history as one of the greatest films ever made- no wonder it is at the top of our list. The plot is focused on the defense of a wrongly-accused black man in the racism-ridden 1930s Alabama. Of course, he is defended by the unforgettable small-town attorney Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck. With his stoicism and strong moral compass, Atticus has since become of Hollywood’s favorite heros.
- 12 Angry Men. Another old classic, 12 Angry Men is a staple of many high school class movie days, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t a wonderful movie. Based off a play, this movie centers around, well, you guessed it, twelve angry men in a room. Of course, there’s more to it than that- they are all members of a jury discussing the fate of young man accused of murder. Convicting him will mean the death sentence. At first, he seems guilty without a doubt, but with some clever reasoning, it soon becomes much less clear.
- My Cousin Vinny. Taking a break from the heavy, serious dramas, we included My Cousin Vinny. Released in 1992, this movie focuses on the defense of two innocent college kids wrongly convicted of murder while in Alabama. They call their cousin vinny to their defense. The movie is best remembered for the comedic flair of seeing blunt, brash New Yorkers clashing with old-fashioned, deadpan serious southerners.
- Philadelphia. A lesser known great, this movie is hailed as one of the first mainstream hollywood films to deal with homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic. When a homosexual lawyer is fired from his firm after lesions of AIDS appear on his face, he hires another lawyer to defend his case. A deep, powerful human drama, this one is definitely worth checking out.