Whether you refer to them as courtroom dramas or law movies, film centering around crime and justice have been challenging audiences for about as long as movies have existed. Since there is a limited number of resources available for those interested in courtroom dramas, our team at AttorneyDocs decided to compile a list of the most recent and best law movies that you have never even heard before.
Here are the 5 Law Movies to Watch in 2020:
#5 Marshall: Young Thurgood Marshall faces one of his greatest challenges while working as a lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall travels to conservative Connecticut when wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing accuses Black chauffeur Joseph Spell of sexual assault and attempted murder. He soon teams up with Sam Friedman, a local Jewish lawyer who’s never handled a criminal case. Together, the two men build a defense while contending with racist and anti-Semitic views from those who deem Spell to be guilty.
Many of us know about Thurgood Marshall because of the landmark case striking down school segregation, Brown v. Board of Education, which he argued before the Supreme Court. Chadwick Boseman plays a young Marshall as cocky and smart with no inkling of the giant he would become. A rare legal drama that largely avoids giving its subject the Great Man treatment.
#4 On the Basis of Sex: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a struggling attorney and new mother who faces adversity and numerous obstacles in her fight for equal rights. When Ruth takes on a groundbreaking tax case with her husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg, she knows it could change the direction of her career and the way the courts view gender discrimination.
Although this biopic covers just a short period of Bader Ginsburg’s extraordinary career, this is still a vastly inspiring account of the fight for equality. The real Ruth Bader Ginsburg has long been a polarizing figure in American culture—a civil rights hero to some, a liberal villain to others. So with that said, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg we see here, and this movie telling her story, is worth some praise.
#3 Just Mercy: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian’s life.
Although it follows a pretty traditional arc, this prison/courtroom drama is still effectively tense and moving thanks to fine performances. Michael B. Jordan continues to be a reliable actor, quickly getting the audience on-board with Stevenson’s cause. Similarly, it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for Walter McMillian with Jamie Foxx’s powerful portrayal.
#2 The Insult: A minor incident between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee turns into an explosive trial that ends up dividing the two communities.
Lebanon’s official Oscar candidate is about how a personal conflict explodes into something much larger. The film, directed by Ziad Doueiri (“The Attack”), reveals how large-scale social divisions infect even the most banal daily interactions. The Insult suggests that there are no good reasons to hate, and that we can just as easily choose to reject bias in the effort to achieve peace.
#1 Dark Waters: A tenacious attorney uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations. While trying to expose the truth, he soon finds himself risking his future, his family and his own life.
This essential drama feels starker and truer than most issue-oriented movies. It’s patient, unafraid, and stripped of any kind of hollow self-congratulations. Star Mark Ruffalo and Director Todd Haynes are the keys to the success of Dark Waters, which is based on a 2016 New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich.
What do you think of our list?