There’s something about law movies that just seems to resonate with audiences. Maybe it’s the drama, or the intrigue of watching lawyers in action. Whatever the reason, law firm movies have been some of the most popular films over the years. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the best law movie titles of all time!
Just Mercy follows the case of Walter McMillian, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death, and his fight for freedom with the help of lawyer Bryan Stevenson. The film highlights the racial injustice in the American criminal justice system, as well as Stevenson’s efforts to continue fighting for justice for other prisoners on death row.
A Time to Kill
Based on the novel by John Grisham, A Time to Kill is a powerful and thought-provoking story about a young lawyer who must defend a black man accused of murder in the deep south. Despite the inherent danger, lawyer Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) takes on the case, which quickly becomes a media circus. With the help of his assistant Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock), Jake must battle not only the racists in the town but also the corrupt judicial system in order to get his client acquitted. In the end, Jake must decide what is really important to him and whether he is willing to risk everything for what he believes in. A Time to Kill is an intense and gripping drama that will leave audiences debating the lines between justice and vigilantism.
Changing Lanes is a law firm movie with a different twist. The story follows two men who have a chance encounter on the freeway that quickly escalates into road rage. As the two men become increasingly angry with each other, they begin to sabotage each other’s lives in an effort to get revenge. The film stars Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson as the two men, and also features Toni Collette as Affleck’s estranged wife. Changing Lanes is a tense and fast-paced thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Marshall is a 2017 film directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff. The film follows Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) as he takes on the case of Joseph Spell, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Despite the odds being stacked against him, Marshall is determined to give Spell a fair trial. Along the way, he must battle racism, both from within and outside of the law. Marshall is an inspiring and uplifting film that highlights the importance of fighting for justice, even in the face of adversity.
The movie Legally Blonde is about a sorority girl named Elle Woods who gets into Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. She learns that she is capable of much more than she ever thought possible.
The Pelican Brief
The Pelican Brief follows law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) as she becomes entangled in a conspiracy after two Supreme Court justices are assassinated. With the help of investigative journalist Gray Grantham (Washington), Darby races to uncover the truth before she becomes the next target. The Pelican Brief is a thrilling ride from start to finish, and will leave audiences guessing until the very end.
The Firm is a legal thriller directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. The film follows a young lawyer named Mitch McDeere (Cruise) who takes a job at a prestigious law firm. He quickly realizes that something is not right at the firm, and he must race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.
Liar Liar is a movie about a man, Fletcher Reede, who is a lawyer and always has to lie. One day, his son, Max, wishes that his dad would stop lying for 24 hours. Suddenly, Fletcher is unable to lie and this causes problems for him at work and in his personal life. He has to try to win a big case without being able to lie and also has to deal with his ex-wife and son, who he has been lying to for years.
My Cousin Vinny
My Cousin Vinny is a movie about two New Yorkers who go to Alabama for a family wedding. While there, they get arrested for murder. The only lawyer available is Vinny, the bride’s cousin who just got his law degree and has never been in court before. He has to try to save them from going to jail while also dealing with the crazy locals. My Cousin Vinny is a funny and heartwarming movie that will have you rooting for the underdog all the way.
Academy Award winner George Clooney stars as Michael Clayton, a fixer at a top New York law firm who handles the dirtiest of the firm’s dirty work. When Michael’s boss, Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), asks him to take care of a potentially disastrous situation, Michael’s fateful decision will begin to unravel a life-altering conspiracy.
A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men is a movie about a military lawyer who defends two Marines accused of murdering one of their own. The lawyer, Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), must deal with the brutal realities of the military justice system while also uncovering the truth about what really happened.
The Paper Chase
The Paper Chase tells the story of a first-year law student at Harvard who finds himself struggling to keep up with the demands of his program. He turns to a fellow student for help, and the two of them form a study group. But as the semester progresses, the pressures of school and the competition among classmates start to take their toll. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men is a classic film about a group of jurors who must decide whether to convict a young man accused of murder. The film takes place entirely in the jury room, and as the deliberations drag on, tempers start to flare. The movie is a fascinating look at the American justice system, and how one man can make a difference.
Martin Vail is a high-powered lawyer in Chicago who specializes in getting his clients off on technicalities. His latest case is Aaron Stampler, a young man from a backwoods Kentucky town who is accused of brutally murdering an Archbishop. Vail is convinced that Stampler is innocent, but as he delves deeper into the case, he realizes that there may be more to it than meets the eye.
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American legal drama film directed by Brad Furman, and written by John Romano, adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Michael Connelly. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Michael “Mick” Haller, a slick, charismatic Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Continental sedan.
Haller is hired to defend a wealthy real estate developer, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), who has been accused of assaulting and attempting to rape a woman he met in a bar. However, as the case progresses, Haller comes to believe that his client is actually guilty of a far more heinous crime. With the help of his investigator, Frank Levin (William H. Macy), and his ex-wife, Maggie McPherson (Marisa Tomei), Haller sets out to uncover the truth and get justice for his client’s victim.
The Rainmaker is a 1997 American legal drama film based on John Grisham’s novel of the same name, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The film stars Matt Damon as Rudy Baylor, a law school graduate who goes to work for a small law firm in Memphis, Tennessee. When the firm takes on a case against a powerful insurance company, Rudy finds himself in over his head. But with the help of his mentor, Leo F. Drummond (Danny DeVito), Rudy might just have a chance at winning the case and getting justice for his clients.
A Civil Action
The film follows the story of personal injury lawyer, Jan Schlichtmann, who takes on a case against two major companies for the death of eight children from leukemia. The case is a major challenge for Schlichtmann and his team, who must go up against the powerful companies and their team of lawyers.
Dark Waters is based on the true story of lawyer Robert Bilott, who takes on a case against the DuPont company. Bilott represents a farmer who has been poisoned by chemicals from DuPont, and he sets out to hold the company accountable for their actions. The film is a gripping tale of justice being served, and an important reminder of the power of one person to make a difference.
The Judge is a 2014 American drama film directed by David Dobkin, and written by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque. The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Hank Palmer, a successful lawyer who returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral. Hank is estranged from his father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), who is a respected judge on the town’s court. However, when Joseph is accused of murder, Hank sets aside their differences to help his father clear his name.
Inherit the Wind
Inherit the Wind is a movie about the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, in which a high school teacher was put on trial for teaching evolution. The film stars Spencer Tracy as Clarence Darrow, the lawyer who defended the teacher, and Fredric March as William Jennings Bryan, the prosecutor.
Philadelphia is a highly acclaimed 1993 film starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. It was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to tackle the issue of AIDS, and remains an important and influential work on the subject. Hanks stars as Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer who is fired from his prestigious firm when they discover he has AIDS. Determined to prove his innocence, he teams up with another lawyer, Joe Miller (Washington), to take on his former employer in a landmark civil rights case. Philadelphia is a gripping and moving film that raises important questions about AIDS, homophobia, and discrimination.
Devil’s Advocate is a 1997 film starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. It tells the story of Kevin Lomax (Reeves), a hotshot lawyer from Florida who is recruited by a New York law firm to work on a major case. However, Lomax soon discovers that his new boss, John Milton (Pacino), is actually the Devil himself. As Lomax becomes more involved in Milton’s case, he starts to lose touch with reality, and his grip on sanity begins to unravel.
Trial of Chicago 7
The Trial of the Chicago is a 2020 American historical drama film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. The film is based on the trial of seven activists who were charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
On the Basis of Sex
On the Basis of Sex is a 2018 American biographical legal drama film directed by Mimi Leder and written by Daniel Stiepleman. The film stars Felicity Jones as United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and chronicles her early years as a lawyer fighting for gender equality.
These are just a few of the great law firm movies out there. If you’re looking for a film that will entertain and educate, then be sure to check out one of these titles. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find yourself inspired to become a lawyer yourself! Thanks for reading.
What are your favorite law firm movies? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more great lists of films to watch.