The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.


Reginald Hudlin
3,316 ( 1,850)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chadwick Boseman ... Thurgood Marshall
Josh Gad ... Sam Friedman
Kate Hudson ... Eleanor Strubing
Sterling K. Brown ... Joseph Spell
Dan Stevens ... Loren Willis
James Cromwell ... Judge Foster
Keesha Sharp ... Buster Marshall
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Walter White
Derrick Baskin ... Ted Lancaster
Barrett Doss ... Bertha Lancaster
Zanete Shadwick Zanete Shadwick ... Irene Lancaster
John Magaro ... Irwin Friedman
Ahna O'Reilly ... Mrs. Richmond
Jussie Smollett ... Langston Hughes
Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas ... Zora Neale Hurston


In 1940, Thurgood Marshall is a young lawyer for the NAACP who criss-crosses the country defending innocent African-Americans from unjust indictments in court. His latest case is in Bridgeport, Connecticut where an African-American chauffeur is accused of rape of a wealthy white society woman. To admit Marshall into the local Bar, insurance lawyer Sam Friedman is picked over his objections to do introductions in court. However, Friedman's commitment changes drastically when the racist judge forbids Marshall to speak in court, forcing Friedman to act as lead counsel. Now in an intolerable situation for the pair, Marshall must guide his new compatriot through this criminal trial even as Friedman endures not only this unfamiliar area of law, but also the bigoted pressure he now must share. However, the case proves more complex than either anticipates with unexpected twists and turns even as it becomes a vital one that would define two careers as well as the fight for justice in America. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Live Hard. Fight Harder. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Sophia Bush and Marina Squerciati both star in Chicago P.D. (2014) and the 'One Chicago' franchise. See more »


When Sam and Thurgood are walking up the steps of the courthouse, and people are holding signs, modern cars and road cones where traffic is being routed are visible in the upper left corner, past Thurgood. See more »


Thurgood Marshall: The Constitution was not written for us. We know that. But no matter what it takes, we're going to make it work for us. From now on, we claim it as our own.
See more »


Featured in Sky News at 10: Episode dated 29 August 2020 (2020) See more »


Marshall Speaks
Written by Marcus Miller
Performed by Marcus Miller
See more »

User Reviews

Revisionist History
9 September 2018 | by samyoung-82648See all my reviews

You would think it would be straight forward to come up with a provocative movie set in the US when segregation was in vogue. Not so! Roger Friedman is a decendant of Sam Friedman and a film critic who wrote an interesting article criticising the many inaccuracies in this film.

So, the director and writers have an easy topic to critique history. They had a great man like Thurgood Marshall and some backward social attitudes that are as backward as our attitudes toward domestic violence today. Instead, the authors fill the movie with false facts and make Marshall look like an arrogant, unrefined twit (which he was neither). The directors and writers play the race card in all the wrong ways* and throw in a few sex jibes to top off a good dose of revisionism, undermining what could have been a great movie.

As others have said, Josh Gad was the better principal actor in this movie. Sterling Brown as the accused was far more nuanced and capable than Chadwick Boseman as Marshall. Boseman is charming, but a totally wrong fit.

I still give it a 6/10, which is very generous given the director and writers who totally failed to capture the essence of the story. The revisionist history and significant number of factual errors cast a large shadow over what could have been a great movie.

Is the truth not interesting enough? The real Marshall is an amazing man - far better than Boseman's insulting copy.

* Hollywood needs to curb its political correctness. I've banned my children from watching new movies until I screen them. That's how bad Hollywood has become. I know quite a few parents who feel the same way.

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Release Date:

13 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marshall See more »

Filming Locations:

Buffalo, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,000,805, 15 October 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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