31 Best law movies of all times: How many have you watched?

Do you like legal dramas? Do you like courtroom battles between the witty lawyers and shrewd defendants, or vice versa? Follow the list for some of the best legal movies that have ever been made.

Twelve angry men (1957)
Rotten Tomatoes score 100%

best-law-movies-twelve angry men

A juror’s attempt to prevent a miscarriage of justice by casting a different perspective on what may have happened in a case in which a teen’s life hangs in the balance; and asking his fellow jurors to reconsider the evidence.

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Rotten Tomatoes score 100%

 witness for the prosecution

A famous lawyer must defend the client who is charged with the murder of a rich woman. However, the case has layer upon layer of surprises.

Anatomy of a murder (1959)
Rotten Tomatoes score 100%

best law movies anatomy of a murder

A semi-retired lawyer takes the defending of an army lieutenant who says he murdered a local bar owner due to temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. But is he telling the truth?

Compulsion (1959)
Rotten Tomatoes score 100%


Based on the 1924 murder trial of notorious Leopold and Loeb, two sociopath students murder a boy and to commit the perfect crime, take every precaution imaginable. But like any crime, they leave a piece of evidence left behind them and it is up to their lawyer to save them from execution.

The Verdict (1982)
Rotten Tomatoes score 96%


An alcoholic lawyer tries to salvage his career and personal reputation by taking a difficult medical negligence case.

The Insider (1999)
Rotten Tomatoes score 96%

best law movies the insider

A research scientist decides to expose the major cigarette companies and their practices of not disclosing the harm their products cause to the public. However, the task soon becomes ridden with death threats and harassment.

True Believer (1989)
Rotten Tomatoes score 95%


A cynical former civil rights lawyer who now defends drug dealers takes on an eight years old murder case, which according to the defendant’s mother, he (the defendant) did not commit.

Reversal of Fortune (1990)
Rotten Tomatoes score 94%

best law movies reversal of fortune

When a wealthy wife slips into a coma because of an overdose of insulin, the husband is held as the prime suspect and charged with attempted murder. But he says he is not guilty – is he telling the truth or just fibbing?

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Rotten Tomatoes score 91%

best law movies to kill a mockingbird

A Hollywood masterpiece set in an Alabama town during the Great Depression. The movie is a recollection of events seen through the eyes of a six-year-old girl whose father is the defending lawyer for a black man falsely accused of rape.

Michael Clayton
Rotten Tomatoes score 90%

best law movies michael clayton

Exhausted through overwork and broke ex-prosecutor Michael Clayton is a fixer for his employer’s dirty work. However, it all changes when a guilt-ridden lawyer from his firm has a breakdown.

The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Rotten Tomatoes score 87%

best law movies the people vs-larry-flynt

Based on a true story of Hustler magazine’s publisher Larry Flynt who fights against the censorship which tries to shut down his pornographic magazine.

Presumed Innocent (1990)
Rotten Tomatoes score 86%

best law movies presumed innocent

When a female DA is found brutally murdered, the DA’s office assigns the case to the Chief Deputy. Little the DA’s office knows that the Chief Deputy and the murdered DA were having an affair. The evidence further suggests that it was the Chief Deputy who murdered the victim.

My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes score 85%

best law movies - my cousin vinny

When two young New Yorkers travelling through south are arrested for a murder they did not commit, their only hope hangs with the newly qualified lawyer Vincent Gambini.

A witty yet hilarious performance by Joe Pesci as a brash, newly qualified New York lawyer who still has to learn the ropes. And equally impressive is Marisa Tomei who won her Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress.

The Paper Chase (1973)
Rotten Tomatoes score 85%

best law movies the paper chase

A first-year Harvard law student finds it difficult to strike a balance between his coursework and the dating with the daughter of the school’s most dreaded contract law professor.

Erin Brockovich (2000)
Rotten Tomatoes score 84%

best law movies erin brockovich

A single, outspoken, and unemployed mother takes up the job of a legal clerk and helps to win a lawsuit against a big power company accused of poisoning the water supply to a city.

The Hurricane (1999)
Rotten Tomatoes score 83%

best law movies the people the hurricane

The story of a top-ranked middleweight boxer “Hurricane” and his shattered dream of becoming a world champion when he is wrongly accused of murder and imprisoned, and his fight for justice.

Denial (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes score 83%

best law movies denial

When a university professor mentions a British historian in her book who has been known as a Holocaust denier, the historian takes her to court over libel and a legal battle ensues. As the legal battle takes place in the United Kingdom, it is the professor and her legal team to prove that the writer is nothing more than a falsifier of history.

Jagged Edge (1985)
Rotten Tomatoes score 82%

best law movies jagged edge

A female lawyer takes up the case of a publisher who is accused of murdering his wife for money. However, as the trial unfolds, she cannot be sure if she is defending an innocent person or a cunning and manipulative individual.

The Rainmaker (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes score 82%


A struggling lawyer takes on a corrupt insurance company that refuses to pay out a legitimate claim for a dying young man.

…And Justice for All (1979)
Rotten Tomatoes score 81%

best law movies and justice for all

An idealistic lawyer who tries to defend innocent clients stuck in a judicial system rife with corruption is forced to defend a corrupt and condescending judge accused of rape.

Nothing But the Truth (2008)
Rotten Tomatoes score 81%

best law movies nothing but the truth

When a female reporter writes a story that exposes the identity of an undercover CIA agent, the authority demands that she reveals the source of the story or face prosecution. She defies the demand and is thrown in jail while her lawyer fights her case all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Lincoln Lawyer
Rotten Tomatoes score 81%

best law movies the lincoln lawyer
A charming defence lawyer who most of the time deals with petty criminals is pleasantly surprised when he lands a case to defend affluent Beverly Hills playboy accused of attempted murder. But as the layers unfold, the case is not what it initially looked.

A few good men (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes score 81%

best law movies a few good men

A gripping and provocative courtroom drama in which Tom Cruise plays a young lawyer defending two US Marines charged with the murder of their fellow Marine. The marines contest that they did it because they were “following orders”.
Jack Nicholson was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor for his role as an arrogant conniving Commander.

The Client (1994)
Rotten Tomatoes score 80%

best law movies the client

A boy witnesses a politician’s murder leading him to the attention of a mafia as well as the FBI. His lawyer is the only person who might protect him; but can she?

Philadelphia (1993)
Rotten Tomatoes score 78%

best law movies philadelphia

The first mainstream Hollywood movie to raise the political, social, and medical issues at the time when it was all hush hush about HIV/AIDS, and homosexuality.
Tom Hanks received the Academy Award for his role in the movie.

Amistad (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes score 76%

best law movies amistad

In 1839, the ship Amistad sails from Cuba to the USA with 53 slaves held captive and being transferred in inhumane conditions. During the journey, the captives set themselves free and take control of the ship.  However, without the navigation skills, the captives cannot sail back home and are eventually held prisoners. Whether they should be free or kept slaves becomes a national debate and the court must decide their fate.

Class Action (1991)
Rotten Tomatoes score 75%

best law movies class action

A lawyer who specialises taking on big corporations takes up a client’s case who is suing an automobile company. Little he knows that the defence lawyer is no one else but his own daughter and the trial soon becomes a nasty personal matter.

Primal fear (1996)
Rotten Tomatoes score 74%

best law movies primal fear
A neo-noir thriller that tells the story of an altar boy who is charged with murdering an influential Catholic priest. Richard Gere plays a hotshot, slick lawyer who takes on the defending of the boy.
Edward Norton leaves his first-ever movie appearance with impression and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Runaway Jury (2003)
Rotten Tomatoes score 72%

best law movies runaway jury

A trial against a big gun company soon turns into a cat and mouse game when one of the jurors and his girlfriend claim they can sway the jury to deliver any verdict they want.

The Star Chamber (1983)
Rotten Tomatoes score 71%

best law movies the star chamber

When a judge is disappointed by the legal loopholes that let the criminals go free, he is introduced to a secret organisation that deals with such criminals by its own rules to serve justice. But do such rules always deliver justice?

Fracture (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes score 71%

best law movies fracture

A lawyer who is on his way out of the DA’s office to a lucrative job in corporate law has to prosecute one last case which seems to be an open and shut case in the first instance. However, the defendant, a jealous husband who shot his wife at point-blank, has made sure that it is a perfect crime.

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