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The Best Movies About Lawyers 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated April 15, 2020 3.2k votes 646 voters 57.8k views 42 items

List Rules Vote up the top films about lawyers and attorneys.

A courtroom drama can be quite riveting. Movies about lawyers and attorneys are some of the most suspenseful, thought-provoking films in the industry! There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a mystery, an act of crime, and the months that go into a trial. We love movies that feature an in your face kind of lawyer who will bring up questions we never even thought to ask!

The lawyer movies on this list feature some of the greatest attorneys in all of film. Who can forget Jack Nicholson's  "you can't handle the truth!" or the tenacity of Erin Brockovich?

This list has the best movies about lawyers, including: A Few Good Men, The Devil’s Advocate, To Kill a Mockingbird, Philadelphia, The Verdict, A Time to Kill, Presumed Innocent, and Kramer vs. Kramer.

Vote up your favorite lawyer movie below or add one you love that isn't already on the list.

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1
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Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio

Released: 1992

Directed by: Jonathan Lynn

My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan Lynn. The film stars Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Lane Smith, Bruce ...more

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2
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Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson

Released: 1992

Directed by: Rob Reiner

A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner, based on the play by Aaron Sorkin. Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) defends Marines accused of ...more

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3
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Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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4
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Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1996

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more

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5
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Bruce Willis, Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling

Released: 1982

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom drama film that tells the story of a down-on-his-luck alcoholic lawyer who takes a medical malpractice case to improve his own situation, but discovers along the ...more

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6
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Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Julius Erving

Released: 1993

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by ...more

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7
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Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney

Released: 1996

Directed by: Gregory Hoblit

Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of the same name and directed by Gregory Hoblit. The film tells the story of Chicago defense attorney ...more

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Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Bryan Cranston

Released: 2011

Directed by: Brad Furman

The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American thriller film adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly, starring Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy and Marisa Tomei. ...more
9
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Al Pacino, Craig T. Nelson, Jeffrey Tambor

Released: 1979

Directed by: Norman Jewison

...And Justice for All is a 1979 courtroom drama film, directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe, and Lee Strasberg. Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Lahti, Craig ...more

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10
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AriBenarroch added Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis, Garry Chalk

Released: 1988

Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

The Accused is a 1988 American drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, loosely based on the the real-life event involving Cheryl Araujo in New Bedford, Massachusetts and the resulting trial ...more

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11
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Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Gary Busey

Released: 1993

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

The Firm is a 1993 American legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn. ...more

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12
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The Devil’s Advocate

Released: 1997

13
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Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan

Released: 1960

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

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14
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Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy, Raúl Juliá

Released: 1990

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

Presumed Innocent is a 1990 legal drama. It is a film adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Scott Turow, which tells the story of a prosecutor and his female colleague and ...more

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15
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John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathy Bates

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steven Zaillian

A Civil Action is a 1998 American drama film that was directed by Steven Zaillian, that stars John Travolta and Robert Duvall, and that is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Harr. ...more
16
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Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair

Released: 2001

Directed by: Robert Luketic

Legally Blonde is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Robert Luketic, based on the novel by Amanda Brown. Sorority girl Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) decides to enroll in Harvard Law School ...more

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17
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Jim Carrey, Jennifer Tilly, Krista Allen

Released: 1997

Directed by: Tom Shadyac

Liar Liar is a 1997 American comedy film written by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Jim Carrey who was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance ...more

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18
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James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick

Released: 1959

Directed by: Otto Preminger

This film is a 1959 American courtroom drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court ...more

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19
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Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power

Released: 1957

Directed by: Billy Wilder

Witness for the Prosecution is a 1957 American courtroom drama film set in the Old Bailey in London. The film, based on a short story by Agatha Christie, deals with the trial of a man accused. ...more
20
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Lindsay Wagner, Edward Herrmann, John Houseman

Released: 1973

Directed by: James Bridges

The Paper Chase is a 1973 film starring Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, and John Houseman, directed by James Bridges. Based on John Jay Osborn, Jr.'s 1970 novel, The Paper Chase, it tells the ...more

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21
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Jody added Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman

Released: 2003

Directed by: Gary Fleder

Runaway Jury is a 2003 American thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz. It is an adaptation of John Grisham's novel The ...more

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22
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Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson

Released: 1993

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

In the Name of the Father is a 1993 Irish-British-American biographical courtroom drama film co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, ...more

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23
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Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods

Released: 1996

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Ghosts of Mississippi is a 1996 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, and James Woods. The plot is based on the true story of the 1994 trial of ...more

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24
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Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Felicity Huffman

Released: 1990

Directed by: Barbet Schroeder

Reversal of Fortune is a 1990 film adapted from the 1985 book Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case, written by law professor Alan Dershowitz.

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25
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SuzanneLorraine added Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich

Released: 1961

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and with the post-WWII geo-political complexity of the Nuremberg Trials. The picture was written by Abby Mann and ...more

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