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The Best Courtroom Drama Movies

Updated February 23, 2020 11.5k votes 2.0k voters 206.8k views92 items

List RulesVote for your personal favorite Courtroom drama films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

This list of courtroom drama films includes only the best movies about the legal system. If it features a trial, judge, and jury, then it should be on this list.  This courtroom drama movie list can be sorted by cast, year, director and more. Including films such as Degree of Guilt and The Gift, this list includes some of the best courtroom movie dramas made. A classic court movie like 12 Angry Men is a quintessential example of the genre, but is it one of the best courtroom movies ever? Gregory Peck may have delivered an iconic performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, but how does that legal defense drama stack up against the rest? 

Which is your favorite courtroom drama movie? Whether you like the classic old school courtroom movies or the more modern ones starring familiar faces like Al Pacino, this list is sure to have what you love. And if it's not on the list, add it yourself at the bottom!  

The films on this list cover the most famous courtroom drama movies of all time and are voted on by people who really care about courtroom drama movie lists. Vote up the ones you think are best and vote down any dramas that are guilty of not being very good. 

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  • 1
    A Few Good Men is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    A Few Good Men

    Tom Cruise, Demi Moore

    Released1992

    Directed byRob Reiner

    A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner, based on the play... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 2
    12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    12 Angry Men

    Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney Lumet

    12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 3
    My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    282
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    My Cousin Vinny

    Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci

    Released1992

    Directed byJonathan Lynn

    My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 4
    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 5
    A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    A Time to Kill

    Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey

    Released1996

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name,... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 6
    Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    Erin Brockovich

    Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger

    Released2000

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 7
    Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    Primal Fear

    Edward Norton, Richard Gere

    Released1996

    Directed byGregory Hoblit

    Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 8
    The Verdict is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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    The Verdict

    Bruce Willis, Paul Newman

    Released1982

    Directed bySidney Lumet

    The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom drama film that tells the story of a down-on-his-luck... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 9
    Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    258
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    Philadelphia

    Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

    Released1993

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 10
    Witness for the Prosecution is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    189
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    Witness for the Prosecution

    Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton

    Released1957

    Directed byBilly Wilder

    Witness for the Prosecution is a 1957 American courtroom drama film set in the Old Bailey in... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 11
    The Firm is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    201
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    The Firm

    Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman

    Released1993

    Directed bySydney Pollack

    The Firm is a 1993 American legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 12
    Runaway Jury is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    162
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    Runaway Jury

    Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman

    Released2003

    Directed byGary Fleder

    Runaway Jury is a 2003 American thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring John... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 13
    The Client is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    111
    35

    The Client

    Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released1994

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    The Client is a 1994 American legal thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, based on the... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 14
    The Lincoln Lawyer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    179
    63

    The Lincoln Lawyer

    Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei

    Released2011

    Directed byBrad Furman

    The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American thriller film adapted from the novel of the same name by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 15
    The Rainmaker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    148
    50

    The Rainmaker

    Matt Damon, Claire Danes

    Released1997

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Rainmaker is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 16
    Anatomy of a Murder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    167
    55

    Anatomy of a Murder

    James Stewart, George C. Scott

    Released1959

    Directed byOtto Preminger

    This film is a 1959 American courtroom drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 17
    The Accused is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    136
    59

    The Accused

    Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis

    Released1988

    Directed byJonathan Kaplan

    The Accused is a 1988 American drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, loosely based on the... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 18
    Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    121
    45

    Judgment at Nuremberg

    Judy Garland, William Shatner

    Released1961

    Directed byStanley Kramer

    Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and with the... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 19
    The Pelican Brief is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    110
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    The Pelican Brief

    Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington

    Released1993

    Directed byAlan J. Pakula

    The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal thriller based on the novel of the same name by John... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 20
    Presumed Innocent is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    108
    54

    Presumed Innocent

    Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy

    Released1990

    Directed byAlan J. Pakula

    Presumed Innocent is a 1990 legal drama. It is a film adaptation of the best-selling novel of... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 21
    Inherit the Wind is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    105
    35

    Inherit the Wind

    Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly

    Released1960

    Directed byStanley Kramer

    Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the 1955 play of the same name,... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 22
    Sleepers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    115
    47

    Sleepers

    Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro

    Released1996

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Sleepers is a 1996 American legal drama film written, produced, and directed by Barry... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 23
    ...And Justice for All is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    116
    52

    ...And Justice for All

    Al Pacino, Craig T. Nelson

    Released1979

    Directed byNorman Jewison

    ...And Justice for All is a 1979 courtroom drama film, directed by Norman Jewison, and... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 24
    The Devil's Advocate is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    125
    68

    The Devil's Advocate

    Charlize Theron, Al Pacino

    Released1997

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 25
    Kramer vs. Kramer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
    100
    57

    Kramer vs. Kramer

    Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1979

    Directed byRobert Benton

    Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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