Although the legal profession is characterised by a busy life and demanding work, lawyers also have free time. Some people like to travel, others like to play sports. However, there are days when laziness gets the better of us and we deserve a day-off. One of the best ways to spend those lazy days at home and still nourish ourselves with culture is to watch a film. That’s why we at Bounsel offer you a list of the 5 best films about lawyers. Here we go!
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
We couldn’t start the list with any other film. Considered a classic courtroom drama, the film ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ takes place in a small town in the southern United States. In it, Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck, is a lawyer of great renown and respected by his neighbours and acquaintances. He is the only one who decides to take on the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, despite the evidence proving his innocence. In a country with active racial segregation, Robinson’s advocacy brings him into conflict with neighbours in the village, but also the respect and admiration of his two sons. The film was awarded 3 Oscars: for Gregory Peck as Best Actor and Best Art Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay for Horton Foote.
Published in 2015, but based in 2002, an investigative team department of the ‘Golden Globe’ newspaper brings to light a scandal involving the Church, in which priests in the state of Massachusetts are accused of having abused minors for decades. The film depicts the conflict of interest between the clergy in keeping the case under wraps and the newspaper’s department, Spotlight – which gives the film its name – in bringing the case to light and justice to be done. With a cast that includes Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo, among others, and awards such as 2 Oscars and 3 Golden Globe nominations, this film is a “must” for lawyers.
The trial of the Chicago 7
This feature film is a cinematic account of one of the most popular trials in US history in 1969, in which young people demonstrated against the Vietnam War. 7 of them will be tried by the new attorney general, who will judge driven by political intentions. However, they will be confronted in a space of social conflict and revolt, in which certain sectors of US power will be portrayed before the new generations, who are demanding change. Nominated for 6 Oscars and 5 Golden Globes, this gripping film is well worth seeing.
Just Mercy: A Matter of Justice (2019)
From Warner Bros. and starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, among others, ‘Just Mercy: A Matter of Justice’ chronicles the historic court battle of Bryn Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan). The protagonist decides to work in Alabama, helping poor people who have been wrongly convicted and turning down offers from prestigious law firms. The main event on which the film is based is the case of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who is sentenced to the electric chair in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence to the contrary. This inspiring feature film starkly depicts the political and overtly racist obstacles faced by the society of the time and, in particular, the protagonist.
On the Basis of Sex (2018)
This film is a drama based on real events. Specifically, a biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice judge, the second woman in history to preside over the Supreme Court. Together with attorney Martin Ginsburg, who is also her husband, she leads the way for equality in the courts through a gender discrimination case. With Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer and many more in the cast, this groundbreaking feature film shows the hard road of feminism throughout history in the judicial world.
2 Bonustracks 😉
We could list many, many more films related to law, but the list has to have an end. However, from Bounsel it was clear to us that these two couldn’t be left out of the list, so we added two ‘Bonus tracks’ to this great album 🤘.
On the Waterfront (1954)
Another classic of the legal world is this feature film, starring Lee J Cobb and Marlon Brando. Johnny Friendly, played by the former, is the head of the dockers’ union and uses illegal methods to exploit the longshoremen in New York harbour. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), working for him, is implicated in a crime. He meets the victim’s sister, with whom he falls in love and thanks to whom a change in personality occurs. He and the victim’s father know each other, and the victim is in a moral dilemma to tell everything he knows. 8 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes attest to the film’s great success.
Dark Waters (2019)
Inspired by real events, a lawyer working for a chemical company discovers that the company is dumping waste into drinking water, which is responsible for the death of people and animals, as well as diseases. In the process of bringing this secret to light, he will be involved in moral battles; risking his future, job and family to uncover it. The cast includes celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway.