In this blog, we will write about the top 10 law-related movies every law student, as well as lawyer, should watch. We have added 5 honorable mentions as well.
1. 12 Angry Men
This is the most high-rated movie on Law. Currently, this is at 5 positions in the top-rated 250 movies of all time on IMDB. Despite the movie being made on 1957, this is still considered to be one of the finest pieces of art in modern cinema. The camera movement, acting, cinematography everything was top-notch.
The plot was based on jury decisions. The accused will be punished according to the 12 jury’s decision. At first, out of 12, 11 juries were voting for one decision and one jury opposed that even though it was very clear at first. Then slowly there was debate, discussion, even quarrel. This movie clearly shows the perspective of the different angels and how a judgment without thinking about the external aspects can be an injustice to the world.
This movie is a pure class of art. If you are a law student you should watch this movie.
Out Rating 10/10.
2. To Kill A Mocking Bird
This is a pure classical one. Right now, this movie is in 120 positions on IMDB’s Top 250 movies of all time. This one was released in 1962 and it is a B&W film. The movie was based on the Great Depression period. Society was prejudiced against black people at that time. One black man was charged with rape. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch defended the black man. This movie shows, how cruel society was toward black people at that time.
This movie was not entirely a law-related issue but it was about the life of Atticus Finch’s two-child as well. Any countryside man can relate to the behavior of these two. Both of these two children will catch your attention.
Overall, the movie is a great one and every law student should watch it.
Our Rating: 9.5/10
3. On The Basis Of Sex
This movie is one of the finest movies ever made on Law. This is a biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. All the law students across the world, to some, extend know who is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In this blog, we will discuss the movie as well as various aspects of the law.
This movie was released in 2018. Mimi Leder directed this one. She is well-known for ‘Deep Impact’ and ‘The Peacemaker’, George Clooney and Nicole Kidman was in this one.
Felicity Jones portraited as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Arnie Hammer was as Martin Ginsburg who was Ruth’s husband. The visage or physiognomy of Felicity Jones completely matches Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The other cast were Justin Theroux, Sam Waterson, Kathy Bates, and others.
Currently On the Basis of Sex has 7.1/10 ratings with 33K votes on IMDB and 72% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes.
As we have already discussed it is a biographical movie. The movie is based on Ruth’s earlier life from 1959-1970. At first, it shows the then period of Harvard Law School and how sexist it was at that time. Only a few females were studying law at that time. Out of 561 students, only 9 were female. Ruth started her academic year in 1959 and her husband started in 1960. They both had a baby at that time. The male students, as well as the professors, were declined towards female students. Their behavior was completely hostile towards female students. The very first class shows it when the professor asked about Hawkins v McGee’s case summary. Even after raising her hand, the professor completely ignored Ruth. Even after all the odds and challenges, she stood first. One of the biggest challenges she had to face was her husband’s testicular cancer. She used to attend both her husband’s classes and used to take notes at the same time she was attending her own class too. After her husband got a job in New York, she had to move to Columbia Law School. She excelled there as well.
But the main problem came while she was searching for a job. She was rejected 12 times because of her gender. Even she was rejected because they already had a woman working for them.
This movie only focused on the gender discrimination part and Section 214 of Tax Codes. It was presented in a way both a law student as well as any layman will understand. The whole scenario in the courtroom was presented brilliantly. Every law student must watch this movie to get inspiration from Ruth.
Our rating is 8/10.
4. Kramer V Kramer
This one is a fictional one and is based on a novel. It is a legal drama film about husband and wife’s fight for the custody of their only child. But it is not completely a courtroom drama rather a very small portion shows the drama in the courtroom. But the judgment is pretty irrelevant considering modern development in modern days. But the movie as well as Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep’s acting were really brilliant. Meryl Streep even won Oscar for her role.
This movie shows the struggle of a single father, how fatherhood affects his job as well as life.
Our rating: 8/10
5. A Few Good Men
This movie is a classic one starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson as the main characters. Tom Cruise’s role as a young Navy lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law School. This film is based on two military marine trials for killing a fellow marine. The defense said it was not a murder rather the two marines were doing exactly what they were told to do and by accident, the marine died. The two were merely carrying out the “Code Red”. Code Red is a disciplinary code that means you have to follow suggestions that come from the top rank.
If you are a law student, you must watch this movie. Even if you are not, then should as well.
Our Rating: 7.5/10
6. Erin Brockovich
The main character of this movie is not a person directly related to law. But the whole movie is based on suit. Julia Robert is the main character and the character’s name is Erin Brockovich. She is a single mother in this movie. To earn bread and butter, she kept searching for a job and finally got a job in a law firm and became a legal assistant. As a legal assistant, she worked harder and efficiently than others in that firm. The main focus of this movie was a lawsuit related to water supply pollution. Erin played an important role in that lawsuit and she managed the whole community to win that lawsuit. The compensation will shock you and the money Erin Brockovich got from that compensation will shock you more. Do watch this movie if you are a law student.
Our Rating: 8.0/10
7. Witness For The Prosecution
This is a legal drama. The whole movie is based on law, unlike other movies where there are stories and then some parts are related to law. This is a story about a British expert veteran barrister and his client who is under trial for murder. At first, the barrister did not want to take the case because of his health issues but later he took the case. The story evolves after taking the case. Every time the story takes a different turn. This movie has suspension, thriller, comedy. The acting, directing, and overall all the components made this movie one of the best legal dramas on the silver screen. A law student must watch this movie.
Our Rating: 9.5/10
8. Primal Fear
This is one of the finest movies on the law. One altar boy was charged with murder for killing a church father. It was clear that the altar boy killed the father. But still, the advocate wanted to take the case. At first, there was no way to prove the accused free of charge but somehow the veteran advocate made away. There are so many twists in this movie. The story will hook you up in the movie. The performance of Edward Norton as well as were brilliant. If you are a law student you should watch this movie.
Our Rating: 8/10
9. My Cousin Vinny
This one is one of the most popular and finest movies ever based on the legal film. Joe Pesci is in the lead role. Joe Pesci is one of those legendary actors who is still alive. He acted only in a few movies. So, this is a treat for eyes those who love him. This movie starts with a bit of comedic style but with time it turned into a real dramatic one. Every silly thing is somehow connected to the main storyline. The story starts with a fake murder case and Vinny Gambino a.k.a Joe Pesci took the case because it was his nephew’s case. But it was his first case and he failed 6 times in Bar Examination. Moreover, he didn’t join any law firm previously. You can understand how this movie is going from this. Joe Pesci’s acting was brilliant. Do watch this one if you are a law student.
Our Rating 9/10
10. Michael Clayton
This movie took a different approach unlike other movies in this list. After a lawyer experiences a nervous breakdown while representing a chemical business that he knows is guilty in a multibillion-dollar class-action suit, the legal firm calls in its “fixer” to help. George Clooney and Tilda Swinton are in the lead role.
Our Rating: 8/10
Though not many movies are based on Law the number is not a small one as well. Here are some of the movies you might consider watching.
- Paper Chase: Even though this is not a popular one but if you are a law student you should watch this one.
2. Jai Bhim: This is the best movie ever based on the law in India. This is not a Bollywood film. It is a South Film. Currently, this movie has a 9.4 rating on IMDB with 157K votes. This movie is about a Habeus Corpus writ. When a tribal man is detained for alleged stealing, his wife seeks the assistance of a lawyer. This movie is based on a real-life incident. Do watch this one.
3. Client: One of the main reasons to watch this one is for veteran actor Tommy Lee Jones.
4. The Lincoln Lawyer: Matthey McConaughey did a great job in this movie.
5. Jolly L.L.B: All the movies in this list are mainly Hollywood or British films. This one is from India (Bollywood). If you are from the Indian Subcontinent you may consider watching this one. You will enjoy it considering the cultural impact it has. The second part was not that good.
These were the top 10 best law-related movies that you must watch. Read our other blogs here.