- Published Date
- by Frank Wilkins
To Kill a Mockingbird Tops on any list. Gregory Peck's best performance.
Primal Fear Wow. Wow. Wow. The only way to describe Edward Norton's breakout role.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills A gripping documentary that brings into question the entire U.S. judicial system.
12 Angry Men Fascinating dialogue with most of the action taking place in the jury room. Stars Henry Fonda, Ed Begley, Jack Klugman, and Jack Warden.
Erin Brockovich A strong script and a brilliant Oscar-winning performance by Julia Roberts will empower citizens everywhere. Includes a cameo of the real-life Brockovich a single mother who nearly brought down an entire energy company.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Perfectly blends courtroom drama and horror, but with a twist... the Devil. OK, maybe not that unusual.
The Accused Not for the faint of heart as it contains a disturbingly realistic rape scene. Challenging film that makes you think. Jodie Foster is at her best here.
Michael Clayton Strong characters, brilliant performances, and an airtight script add up to a nearly perfect specimen of the courtroom drama.
A Few Good Men One of the best cinematic courtroom dramas of the last 20 years, based on one of the best courtroom plays ever written. Also features one of the most popular quotes ever in a movie.
A Soldier's Story Brilliantly intense adaptation of the Charles Fuller play that features an early Denzel Washington. Combines a legal movie with military and race issues. Powerful drama.
A Time to Kill The only Grisham adaptation worth putting on the list. McConaughay makes a brilliant debut. Samuel L. Jackson seethes.
Witness for the Prosecution A classic from an Agatha Christie novel with lots of twists. Watch for a lesson in brilliant screenwriting.
Presumed Innocent Based on the Scott Turow novel. Harrison Ford's bad haircut aside, a tense courtroom drama that will have you on the edge of your seat
The Young Philadelphians - Interesting tale of Philadelphia's upper crust. Features a young Paul Newman who must choose between his career and his ethics.
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - A hilarious comedy featuring Don Knotts at his funny best. Good, clean entertainment that's perfect for the entire family.
Fury - A Spencer Tracy thriller highlighting the dangers of mob rule. On another note, look for the appearance of Terry, also known as Toto from The Wizard of Oz.
Anatomy of a Murder - A military murder draws the attention of defense attorney Paul Biegler (James Stewart) in this surprisingly accurate portrayal of criminal defense. Otto Preminger also directs George C. Scott as the prosecutor and adversary of Biegler. Fine direction, excellent acting and an accurate script make this one a must see.
Judgment at Nuremberg - Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, and Marlene Dietrich star in this drama set in 1948 occupied Germany as an American court puts on trial four Nazi judges for war crimes. Contains some of the most shocking footage of the holocaust you'll ever see.
Inherit the Wind - This 1960 Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly classic is based on the true events of the Scopes Monkey Trial which took place in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925.
JFK - Say what you will about Oliver Stone, but this 1991 thriller won 2 Oscars and was nominated for six more.
The Verdict - Paul Newman turns in one of the best performances of his career in this riveting drama penned by David Mamet and directed by Sidney Lumet.
Kramer vs. Kramer - Acting, script, and direction all come together to great effect in this terrific drama about an unhappy woman who walks out on her husband and young son.
My Cousin Vinny - Rarely does a comedy ever get the attention of the Academy. This one did. Best Supporting Actress for Marisa Tomei. Well deserved.