There has been no shortage of movies made about lawyers and the law over the years, but there are some standouts that Lawyers Weekly have nominated for the Best Law Movie of all Time Honorary Oscar.
And the nominees are:
The Castle (1999)
An Australian comedy about true-blue Aussie battlers, the Kerrigans, fighting to keep their home following a compulsory acquisition order by the government to make way for airport expansion. It was a rollicking David versus Goliath laugh-fest done the Australian way.
The family trip to Bonnie Doon and every time anything goes to "the pool room."
"It's the vibe of the thing, your Honour."
- Dennis Denuto (Tiriel Mora)
Legally Blonde (2001)
This movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, inspired a whole generation of women to study law (seriously!). Witherspoon plays the sassy and apparently vacant Elle Woods, who leaves her much-loved sorority to carve up the courtroom and teach the legal cronies a thing or two about fashion.
Elle taking her legal jargon to the streets ("I object!")
"For that matter, any masturbatory emissions, where the sperm is clearly not seeking an egg, could be termed reckless abandonment."
- Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Now this movie is surely the only reason anyone ever named their child Atticus, and understandably so. Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning novel by Harper Lee, hero lawyer and general inspirational good guy Atticus Finch defends a Negro man against a rape charge in America's racially divided Deep South.
Any scene where Atticus Finch is delivering a speech in court. Sigh.
"Before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
- Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck)
A Few Good Men (1992)
This legal thriller appeared in an era when Tom Cruise was actually still popular. Cruise plays a cocky young navy lawyer who bites off more than he can chew when defending two marines accused of murder.
The courtroom face-off and exchange of spittle between Cruise and Jack Nicholson.
"You can't handle the truth!"
- Lieutenant Kendrick (Jack Nicholson)
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Erin Brockovich (with the help of Julia Roberts) made the law just a wee bit sexy in this classic legal flick. Based on a real-life American legal crusader, this film portrays Brockovich as a mother struggling to balance life with the pursuit of justice.
We hate to give away the ending, but it is awesome to see Brockovich bring down the big corporate bad guys.
"Ya know why everyone thinks that all lawyers are back stabbing, blood sucking scum bags? Cause they are!"
- Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts)
This was a groundbreaking Hollywood movie in that it was one of the first to take a long hard look at the issue of AIDS in the corporate environment. In this drama, the hero is a lawyer fired from his job because he contracts the deadly disease. Warning: there will be tears. Many of them.
When Andrew Beckett shakes his lawyers hand and the lawyer freaks out. What an idiot.
"What do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean? A good start."
- Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks)
One of the best things about this historic saga is Matthew McConaughey's ridiculous hairstyle. The other is the stirring tale about the fight for justice and human rights during a trial following an 1839 rebellion aboard a slave ship.
The ending - it's a happy one! Hurrah!
"What kind of a place is this where you almost mean what you say? Where laws almost work? How can you live like that?"
- Joseph Cinque (Djimon Hounsou)
Apart from the fact that Richard Gere attempts to sing on far too many occasions, this all-singing, all-dancing, fishnet-clad extravaganza is actually quite good. The story revolves around fame-hungry Roxy Hart, a prison full of femme fatales, and serial cad and lawyer to the stars, Billy Flynn.
The scenes that involve Gere NOT singing.
"I don't mean to toot my own horn, but if Jesus Christ lived in Chicago today, and he had come to me and he had five thousand dollars, let's just say things would have turned out differently."
- Billy Flynn (Richard Gere)
And the winner is...
THE CASTLE (Although it must be mentioned that those in the office not hailing from Australia said they "just don't get it," and Erin Brockovich came in at a close second.)
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