The Top Law Movies of All Time

Legal movies are always fascinating to watch for various reasons. Aside from the story lines, they give us a glimpse into a world that is seemingly different to our own with all the legal jargons, intricacies and nuances of procedures, as well as real court room drama. The following are handpicked by category for a look into the different perspective on the law, procedures, crime, and the courtroom.

Top Law Injury Movies

Many popular legal movies depict personal injury attorneys representing serious injury victims or class actions. Some of the top movies involving injury lawyers are:

1. A Civil Action

A Civil Action is a movie based on the true story of a personal injury attorney who represents families in a massive lawsuit brought against companies responsible for polluting their town’s water supply. This legal drama tells the story of a personal injury lawyer who sues a group of chemical companies for polluting the water supply in Woburn, Massachusetts. The case makes it all the way to a jury trial over the injuries, and the movie shows the lawyer’s case to prove that it was the companies’ negligence which caused the deaths of several children.

2. Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich is biographical legal drama that centers on a legal investigator, the process of due diligence and what it takes to put an injury case together. It magnifies the process of collection of evidence, and interviewing the plaintiff/s for their stories, as well as the emotional involvement in the case as an investigator works towards gathering everything together for a lawsuit. The movie is a biographical drama about the story of Erin Brockovich, a legal assistant who stumbles upon a power company poisoning the water supply in a small California town. She helps the residents file a lawsuit of the company.

3. The Rainmaker

The Rainmaker is a law injury movie where a young attorney takes on a powerful insurance company that denies claims for medical treatments of a leukemia patient. Based on a John Grisham novel, a young attorney meets a luekemia patient whose life-saving treatment has been denied by an insurance company. The lawyers take the claim all the way to trial and face a formidable insurance defense attorney fighting the avoid paying the benefits to the injured victim. 

4. Class Action

Class Action is a law injury movie involving an attorney who represents the victim of a car accident. After investigating the claim, he realizes the auto manufacturer has been making cars with a material defect leading to frequent explosions. The lawyer files a class action lawsuit on behalf of all those injured by the defective vehicle. A long and difficult trial commences with both sides putting on riveting cases.

5. Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney, shows the other side of an injury lawsuit. The movie shows a defense attorney as he has a crises of conscious defending a major chemical company he knows to be guilty of injuring many members of the public. Michael Clayton, played by Clooney, is embroiled in a high-stakes case involving a massive cover-up by a powerful agrochemical corporation. The company sells a weed killer product causing birth defects that the company knows is dangerous. In the movie, he unravels the dangerous conspiracy while confronting his own moral dilemma. He’s forced to decide whether to protect his firm’s interests or expose the truths, making it a gripping tale of corporate intrigue and personal struggle.

The Top Law Crime Movies

1. 12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men is a movie is about the deliberation of 12 jurors on whether an 18-year old defendant was guilty of murder. It shows the process of juror deliberation that eventually results to an outcome of a case – in this movie whether the son was guilty of murder and should be executed. It shows how personality, personal perspectives, morals and values influence the jury process as well as the power of one person that can change the whole playing field with emphasis on reasonable doubt. Critics say the movie is gripping and powerful as it depicts a capital murder case. The director of the film, Sidney Lumet, has strong chops in developing the characters in the story. As the movie progresses, it showcases bias and a human side of the jury deliberation process. This examination of justice in the U.S. makes it one of the top legal movies of all time. 

2. The Client

The Client is a film is about protecting a minor who’s a witness to a crime committed by a criminal organization. It shows how individuals with different agendas and intentions were put together in the preservation of the law and justice. The Client’s emphasis is on the various personalities –a recovering addict/alcoholic, an ambitious lawyer and a helpless minor with distrust towards adults—and that with all these frailties, law and justice prevails.

3. To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the novel, is a movie about a man falsely accused of rape and the ensuing process of defending his innocence. The film is a classic example of how the law protects the marginalized and no man is above or below it. It is a courtroom drama based on a book with the same title that’s an American classic, dealing with racism, morality and trust in due process of the law.

4. A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men, starring Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, shows a murder case as it makes it way through the court martial and military legal process. The movie centers around two Navy lawyers assigned to defend two Marines accused of murdering a fellow Marine. With themes of honor, duty, and the limits of military justice, Nicholson and Cruise put on stunning performances during the trial over the allegations. 

5. Primal Fear

Primal Fear, starring Richard Gere, is a legal crime movie which features a criminal defense attorney defending a young altar boy accused of murdering a priest. With tons of twists and turns, the movie shows a thrilling depiction of the trial that ensues over the murder case.

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Dennis P. Sawan

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Christopher A. Sawan


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