Stellar Courtroom Dramas

By Cecilia Cygnar

Looking for a little legal drama to spice up your life? Well, look no further than these great films set in the world of lawyers and courts.

  • Witness for the Prosecution


    Directed by Billy Wilder, this adaptation of an Agatha Christie short story (and play) takes the more comic, witty road in the courtroom. Charles Laughton's barrister provides much of the humor.

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  • Anatomy of A Murder


    This James Stewart classic is one of the most comprehensive courtroom dramas ever put on screen. Directed by Otto Preminger, this movie allows the audience to follow a man's murder case from arrest to verdict.

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  • 12 Angry Men


    I'm using the term "courtroom" loosely here, since the action in this Sidney Lumet classic takes place in the jury room, rather than the courtroom itself. Nonetheless, one of the most beloved legal dramas ever filmed.

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  • To Kill A Mockingbird


    The courtroom scenes are just a part of this beloved film, but they are some of the best parts of this classic. Gregory Peck's performance as Atticus Finch not only won him a Best Actor Oscar, but a place in our hearts forever.

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  • The Paradine Case


    Had to put this on here, though it is far from my favorite Hitchcock thriller. It's good but not great, as we've come to expect from the Master of Suspense. Still, it is a solid legal thriller, and another starring Gregory Peck.

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  • " ... And Justice for All"


    This Norman Jewison-directed film stars Al Pacino who is excellent here as a brash Baltimore attorney with a love-hate relationship with his client, who happens to be a judge.

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  • The Verdict


    This is the movie for which Paul Newman should have won his Oscar. Directed by Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men), this film is one of Newman's best performances ever, as well as the great James Mason's final film.

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  • Primal Fear


    One of my favorite legal movies, mostly because of the ending. Richard Gere is great here, but it is Edward Norton, in his breakout role, who steals the show.

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  • Chicago


    Had to include this, even though it's much more about the razzle dazzle and less about the legal system. Regardless, it does involve Richard Gere's lawyer character, Billy Flynn, spending some time in the courtroom defending the murderous Renee Zellweger.

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