Drama Movies 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.

list ordered by

1
389 90
12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb 12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Written and co-produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells ...more

2
271 65
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom 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

3
377 79
A Few Good Men is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore, with Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, James Marshall, J. T. Walsh, ...more

4
203 68
Philadelphia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Julius Erving 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

5
182 51
The Verdict is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Bruce Willis, Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling 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

6
203 52
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey A Time to Kill 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 ...more

7
177 52
Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir crime-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 ...more

8
135 41
Witness for the Prosecution is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
wiabux added Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power 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 of ...more

9
154 51
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Julia Roberts, Marg Helgenberger, Aaron Eckhart Erin Brockovich is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant. The film is a dramatization of the true story of Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia ...more

10
114 34
The Accused is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis, Garry Chalk The Accused is a 1988 American drama film starring Kelly McGillis and Jodie Foster, directed by Jonathan Kaplan and written by Tom Topor. Loosely based on the real-life gang rape of Cheryl ...more

11
147 52
The Firm is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Gary Busey 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

12
136 48
Runaway Jury is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Rachel Weisz, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman 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

13
116 37
Anatomy of a Murder is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom crime 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 ...more

14
126 32
The Lincoln Lawyer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
v.fizero.0 added Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Bryan Cranston 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

15
107 35
...And Justice for All is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
wiabux added Al Pacino, Craig T. Nelson, Jeffrey Tambor ...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

16
95 30
Judgment at Nuremberg is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust, with non-combatant war crimes against a civilian population, and with the post-World War II geo-political ...more

17
150 26
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio 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

18
75 41
Kramer vs. Kramer is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
90 28
Presumed Innocent is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
wiabux added Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy, Raúl Juliá 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 charged with the murder of his ...more

20
95 44
The Devil's Advocate is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name. It is directed by Taylor Hackford and stars Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and ...more

21
78 25
Sleepers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman Sleepers is a 1996 American legal crime drama film written, produced, and directed by Barry Levinson, and based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 novel of the same name.

22
66 34
Murder in the First is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy Murder in the First is a largely fictitious 1995 film, directed by Marc Rocco, about a petty criminal named Henri Young who is put on trial for murder in the first degree. The film also stars ...more

23
89 28
The Rainmaker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Mickey Rourke The Rainmaker is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Matt Damon, based on the 1995 novel of the same name by John Grisham. Danny DeVito, Danny ...more

24
59 34
In Cold Blood is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
74 24
Witness is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
59 27
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
67 22
The Client is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker The Client is a 1994 American legal thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, and starring Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones and Brad Renfro in his film debut. It is based on the novel of the ...more

28
71 14
12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Jack Lemmon, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza 12 Angry Men is a 1997 television film directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the Reginald Rose teleplay of the same title. It is a remake of the film of 1957.

29
57 30
Ghosts of Mississippi is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
67 37
Michael Clayton is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
54 18
The Pelican Brief is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, John Lithgow The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal crime thriller based on the novel of the same name by John Grisham. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film stars Julia Roberts in the role of young law student ...more

32
47 29
The Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
71 23
Inherit the Wind is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan Inherit the Wind is a 1960 Hollywood film adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, directed by Stanley Kramer. It stars Spencer Tracy as lawyer ...more

34
52 25
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
68 25
Fracture is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
wiabux added Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins, Rosamund Pike Fracture is a 2007 American-German crime-mystery thriller film, directed by Gregory Hoblit and starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. It tells the story of a man accused of attempted murder ...more

36
40 21
Paths of Glory is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the ...more

37
50 35
Amistad is listed (or ranked) 37 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 abducted for the ...more

38
28 16
Jagged Edge is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
34 25
The Judge is listed (or ranked) 39 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.

40
32 25
Brokedown Palace is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
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

41
34 29
A Soldier's Story is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
30 15
I Am Sam is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Michelle Pfeiffer, Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film written and directed by Jessie Nelson, and starring Sean Penn as a father with a developmental disability, Dakota Fanning as his inquisitive seven-year-old ...more

43
21 21
Reversal of Fortune is listed (or ranked) 43 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. It recounts the true story of the ...more

44
32 25
Class Action is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Gene Hackman, Laurence Fishburne, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Class Action is a 1991 American drama thriller film directed by Michael Apted. Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio star; Laurence Fishburne, Colin Friels, Fred Dalton Thompson, and ...more

45
36 30
The People vs. Larry Flynt is listed (or ranked) 45 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 ...more

46
13 15
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
_denny-wright added Michael Douglas, Amber Tamblyn, Jesse Metcalfe Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, a 2009 American film, is a remake of the 1956 film of the same name by Fritz Lang. Written, directed and filmed by Peter Hyams, the new version starred Jesse Metcalfe, ...more

47
28 26
Suspect is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Courtroom Drama Movies
Cher, Liam Neeson, Dennis Quaid Suspect is a 1987 mystery/courtroom film drama starring Cher, Dennis Quaid and Liam Neeson. Other notable cast members include John Mahoney, Joe Mantegna, Fred Melamed, and Philip Bosco. The ...more

48
19 15
A Man for All Seasons is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
16 11
Regarding Henry is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
25 22
Rules of Engagement is listed (or ranked) 50 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 war-drama film directed by William Friedkin and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays U.S. Marine Colonel Terry Childers, who is ...more