The time on my hands inspires me to think of a topic to write about until I get to see a new film. Yesterday I saw on the TV the movie A Few Good Men though I did not plan to see it, I got glued to the TV set until it ended. These genres of films done right just grab you in the process, the strategies and the performances. I wanted to mention those films in this genre that I like and in these days of staying more options of films to see.
- A few good men
I will begin with the film that got me thinking about this genre. This is a great film directed by Rob Reiner, this has two good things going for it, the legal aspect and the army aspect. This is a trial in the army where other codes are implied along with the law. The film keeps you interested as you see the lawyers with little going their way as they build a case. Tom Cruise is really good in the role of the cocky young lawyer who slowly begins to really care about the case. Jack Nicholson, no surprise, steals every scene he appears in. He does not appear in many scenes, but when he does he is just amazing. The final court scene between Tom and Jack is a pleasure to see, I have seen it a lot and every time I can’t take my eyes away from the scene.
- A time to kill
There are a lot of films where racism is involved in the trial. But this one to me is one of the most riveting ones I have seen. A man takes revenge on two white men who abducted and raped his daughter and accidentally he injures a deputy. The closing statement made by his lawyers is one of the most shocking moments I have seen in a movie because of the meaning of what he tries the jury to understand. Directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Mathew McConaughey, also starring Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey.
- And Justice for all
This one is a bit different because it not about a trial but is based on the story of a lawyer fighting with a system that does not allow him to defend his client with justice. It is a riveting look at the flawed system. Al Pacino is brilliant on it and the last scene in the courtroom is classic as Pacino delivers his closing statements and shocks everyone.
- The Verdict
A lawyer trying to comeback after being down on his luck and having problems with alcohol. He takes a malpractice case that was supposed to be an easy settlement. Frank decides to take the case to trial because he was affected by the victim. It is a suspenseful film as Frank goes against all odds to bring justice to the victims. Paul Newman stars as the lawyer and gives yet another Academy Award-nominated performance, truly he is one of the greats.
- My cousin Vinny
Going a different direction in this one. This one is not a serious courtroom drama, it is a comedy film. Vinny is trying to become a lawyer and when his cousin needs one he goes to defend him even if he had not passed the exam yet. What follows is one funny film with Joe Pesci at his best and Marisa Tomei in her break-out role.
When Andrew Becket is fired without real reason he decides to sue them because he feels he was fired because he had AIDS. It is a strong film of overcoming prejudice and fighting for justice. Denzel Washington is great in this film as a homophobic lawyer who overcomes that and not only defends Beckett, but also becomes his friend. Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for this film directed by Jonathan Demme.
I want to mention the Rainmaker, I have not seen it in years, but I remember thinking it was a good film and it stars Matt Damon and Danny DeVito.