Entertainment

The Best Courtroom Drama Movies  

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List Rules Vote 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 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. 

Courtroom Drama movies have been directed by some pretty famous names, including Rob Reiner and John Ford.

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26
A Civil Action is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
willyboymcoy added John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathy Bates
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
27
Michael Clayton is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson
Michael Clayton is a 2007 American legal thriller film written and directed by Tony Gilroy, starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack. The film chronicles the ...more
28
Fracture is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
wiabux added Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins, Rosamund Pike
Fracture is a 2007 American-German mystery thriller film, directed by Gregory Hoblit and starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. It tells the story of a man accused of an attempt on his wife ...more
29
In Cold Blood is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Robert Blake, John Forsythe, Will Geer
In Cold Blood is a 1967 film based on Truman Capote's book of the same name. Richard Brooks prepared the adaptation and directed the film. It stars Robert Blake as Perry Smith, Scott Wilson as ...more
30
Witness is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Harrison Ford, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover
Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a ...more
31
Murder in the First is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy
This film is a largely fictitious 1995 film, directed by Marc Rocco, about Henri Young who is put on trial. The film also stars Christian Slater and Gary Oldman.
32
Ghosts of Mississippi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods
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
33
Kramer vs. Kramer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, JoBeth Williams
Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, and directed by Benton. The film tells the story of a married couple's divorce and its ...more
34
Absence of Malice is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban
Absence of Malice is a 1981 American drama film starring Paul Newman, Sally Field, and Bob Balaban, directed by Sydney Pollack. The title refers to the legal definition of libel defamation, and ...more
35
The Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger
The Hurricane is a 1999 biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Denzel Washington. The script was adapted by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon from the books Lazarus and the ...more
36
Jagged Edge is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Jeff Bridges, Glenn Close, Lance Henriksen
Jagged Edge is a 1985 film starring Glenn Close, Jeff Bridges, and Peter Coyote. Robert Loggia received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in this film. It is a ...more
37
Paths of Glory is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson
Paths of Glory is a 1957 American film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during WWI, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer ...more
38
The Judge is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
v.fizero.0 added Ingrid Thulin, Georg Rydeberg, Gunnar Hellström
The Judge is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Alf Sjöberg. It was entered into the 1961 Cannes Film Festival.
39
I Am Sam is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer
I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film directed by Jessie Nelson. A mentally handicapped man (Sean Penn) fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) and in the process teaches ...more
40
Miracle on 34th Street is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, Thelma Ritter
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund ...more
41
The Caine Mutiny is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Roy Sliz added Humphrey Bogart, Lee Marvin, José Ferrer
The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 American drama film set during World War II, directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Stanley Kramer. It stars Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson and ...more
42
In Cold Blood is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood is a 1996 TV film directed by Jonathan Kaplan.
43
Regarding Henry is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, J.J. Abrams
Regarding Henry is a 1991 American film drama starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening, directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by J. J. Abrams focuses on a New York City lawyer who struggles ...more
44
Reversal of Fortune is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Felicity Huffman
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.
45
Brokedown Palace is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Brokedown Palace Kate Beckinsale, Claire Danes, Paul Walker
Brokedown Palace is a 1999 American drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, and starring Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Pullman and Lim Kay Tong. It deals with two American friends ...more
46
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin
Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen taken and managed ...more
47
A Man for All Seasons is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added John Hurt, Orson Welles, Vanessa Redgrave
A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 British biographical drama film based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. It was released on 12 December 1966. Paul Scofield, who had ...more
48
The People vs. Larry Flynt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson
The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton. It chronicles the rise of magazine ...more
49
Rules of Engagement is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
wiabux added Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Kingsley
Rules of Engagement is a 2000 American drama film directed by William Friedkin and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays U.S. Marine Colonel Terry Childers. James Webb, ...more
50
A Soldier's Story is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Denzel Washington, Patti LaBelle, David Alan Grier
A Soldier's Story is a 1984 American drama film directed by Norman Jewison, based upon Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning Off Broadway production A Soldier's Play. A black officer is sent ...more