Authored by Sharon Carter in Movies and Television
Published on 06-11-2009
When people hear the word lawyer, they automatically associate it with the words “crook” or “liar”. On stage, comedians tend to have endless material when it comes to insulting lawyers and calling them crooks. However, on the big screen, lawyers always tend to be the heroes. Here’s a list and synopsis, of what I’ve come to know as the top 5 lawyer movies.
5) Ghosts of Mississippi: This 1996 film stars Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin and James Woods. The film is based on the true story of how District Attorney Bobby DeLaughters finally brought Medgar Evars’ killer, Byron De La Beckwith, to trial. The movie revolves around the third time Byron De La Beckwith was put to trial for the crime he committed 30 years prior. Viewers are treated to stellar performances by both Goldberg and Baldwin.
4) 12 Angry Men: This movie might have been released in 1957, but it has made its mark in cinematographic history. Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Ed Begley and Jack Warden are some of the distinguished actors who made up this vibrant cast. The movie centers around these 12 men who serve as jurors in a first-degree murder trial. The movie takes a turn when all but one juror,Juror No. 8, votes not guilty. As this juror tries to convince the other men to change their guilty verdict, the audience begins to learn more and more about these 12 angry men.
3) The Firm: This 1993 thriller will leave you hungry for more at the edge of your seat. The film stars heartthrob Tom Cruise as Mitch McDeere, a young law student about to take his Bar exam. He’s approached by members of a Firm and soon gets wrapped up in the rose colored shades, that these people have placed on his face. McDeere gets more than he bargained for when he has to choose between The Firm or the FBI. The Firm was Cruise’s stepping stone into movie stardom. Just when you think you’ve figured out the direction of this film, it throws you through a loop.
2) A Few Good Men: This 1992 movie left everyone mocking Jack Nicholson’s infamous line, ” You can’t handle the truth!” Kevin Bacon, Demi Moore,Tom Cruise, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Pollack round out this cast of superb actors. Cruise plays a rookie naval lawyer who’s recruited to defend two marines who are accused of murdering a fellow marine. The duo proclaims they were following the orders of Colonel Jessup (Nicoholson). The case turns into a battle of both ethics and rank.
1) Philadelphia: Tom Hanks proved his versatility as a person and actor in 1993 moving tale. Hanks was plays a homosexual AIDS stricken lawyer who sues his former firm after he’s mysteriously fired. Beckett (Hanks) enlists the help of homophobic lawyer Joe Miller (played by Denzel Washington). As Miller and Beckett bond in the city of brotherly love, it’s a race against time to reach a verdict and give Andy the final peace and justice he deserves.
Of course there’s no law stating that these are the ultimate lawyer movies. Even if all of these movies don’t tickle your fancy, one or two certainly will. Everyone has a specific genre of movie that they flock to when they’re bored. However, you can never turn down a movie that entices you with a well-written script; even if it centers around a lawyer.