Legal Dramas and Thrillers

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1. A Time to Kill (1996)

R | 149 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

54 Metascore

In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey

Votes: 118,552 | Gross: $108.77M

2. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Crime

68 Metascore

Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.

Director: Jonathan Lynn | Stars: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield

Votes: 95,960 | Gross: $52.93M

3. The Firm (1993)

R | 154 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

58 Metascore

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook

Votes: 105,292 | Gross: $158.35M

4. Runaway Jury (2003)

PG-13 | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

61 Metascore

A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.

Director: Gary Fleder | Stars: John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman

Votes: 85,257 | Gross: $49.44M

5. Primal Fear (1996)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

47 Metascore

An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton, John Mahoney

Votes: 162,681 | Gross: $56.12M

6. The Hurricane (1999)

R | 146 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

74 Metascore

The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 86,080 | Gross: $50.67M

7. The Rainmaker (1997)

PG-13 | 135 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

72 Metascore

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight

Votes: 54,965 | Gross: $45.86M

8. The Client (1994)

PG-13 | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 54,180 | Gross: $92.12M

9. The Pelican Brief (1993)

PG-13 | 141 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

50 Metascore

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard

Votes: 69,556 | Gross: $100.77M

10. A Few Good Men (1992)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon

Votes: 213,257 | Gross: $141.34M

11. Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama

66 Metascore

When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

Votes: 205,262 | Gross: $77.32M

12. The Verdict (1982)

R | 129 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason

Votes: 32,035 | Gross: $54.00M

13. The Devil's Advocate (1997)

R | 144 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss - the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 299,997 | Gross: $60.98M

14. Erin Brockovich (2000)

R | 131 min | Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin, Dawn Didawick

Votes: 157,960 | Gross: $125.60M

15. Amistad (1997)

R | 155 min | Drama, History

63 Metascore

In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 65,701 | Gross: $44.18M

16. Chicago (2002)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

82 Metascore

Two death-row murderesses develop a fierce rivalry while competing for publicity, celebrity, and a sleazy lawyer's attention.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Taye Diggs

Votes: 199,924 | Gross: $170.69M

17. Legally Blonde (2001)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Romance

59 Metascore

Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to law school, while she is there she figures out that there is more to her than just looks.

Director: Robert Luketic | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis

Votes: 163,558 | Gross: $96.52M

18. ...and justice for all. (1979)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

A lawyer is forced to defend a guilty judge, while defending other innocent clients, and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Warden, John Forsythe, Lee Strasberg

Votes: 27,386

19. Liar Liar (1997)

PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy, Fantasy

70 Metascore

A fast-track lawyer can't lie for 24 hours due to his son's birthday wish after he disappoints his son for the last time.

Director: Tom Shadyac | Stars: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Amanda Donohoe, Jennifer Tilly

Votes: 258,231 | Gross: $181.41M

20. A Civil Action (1998)

PG-13 | 115 min | Drama

68 Metascore

A tenacious lawyer takes on a case involving a major company responsible for causing several people to be diagnosed with leukemia due to the town's water supply being contaminated, at the risk of bankrupting his firm and career.

Director: Steven Zaillian | Stars: John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Quinlan, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 25,708 | Gross: $56.70M

21. Michael Clayton (2007)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

82 Metascore

A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multibillion-dollar class action suit.

Director: Tony Gilroy | Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Michael O'Keefe

Votes: 148,287 | Gross: $49.03M

22. The Chamber (1996)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

45 Metascore

A young man fresh out of law school tries to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather who is on death row.

Director: James Foley | Stars: Chris O'Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Robert Prosky

Votes: 11,827 | Gross: $14.55M

23. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 130,228 | Gross: $70.41M

24. Presumed Innocent (1990)

R | 127 min | Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

As a lawyer investigates the murder of a colleague, he finds himself more connected to the crime than anyone else.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Harrison Ford, Raul Julia, Greta Scacchi, Brian Dennehy

Votes: 34,347 | Gross: $86.30M

25. The Accused (1988)

R | 111 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

After a young woman suffers a brutal gang rape in a bar one night, a prosecutor assists in bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Kelly McGillis, Jodie Foster, Bernie Coulson, Leo Rossi

Votes: 28,630 | Gross: $32.07M

26. The Gingerbread Man (1998)

R | 114 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

A lawyer uses his power to help his lover put her father behind bars, but when he escapes, they are all in danger.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Embeth Davidtz, Robert Downey Jr., Daryl Hannah

Votes: 9,979 | Gross: $1.53M

27. Reasonable Doubt (2014)

R | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

19 Metascore

A District Attorney has his life turned upside down when he's involved in a hit and run and another man is arrested for his crime and charged with murder.

Director: Peter Howitt | Stars: Dominic Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson, Gloria Reuben, Ryan Robbins

Votes: 17,346

28. Find Me Guilty (2006)

R | 125 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

65 Metascore

In the late 1980s, a low level gangster named Jackie DiNorscio defends himself in court in what became the longest criminal trial in American judicial history.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver, Alex Rocco

Votes: 30,948 | Gross: $1.17M

29. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

80 Metascore

A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.

Director: Juan José Campanella | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Carla Quevedo

Votes: 171,536 | Gross: $6.39M

30. Jagged Edge (1985)

R | 108 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A wealthy woman is murdered in her beach house. The husband is allegedly knocked out first. He inherits all her inherited wealth. He has a female corporate lawyer, criminal prosecutor 4 years ago, represent him in court. Guilty?

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Glenn Close, Peter Coyote, Robert Loggia

Votes: 12,107 | Gross: $40.50M



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