Law Movies That Don’t Suck

Saturday, April 23 by Joseph Gibson

The hunt for law movies that don't suck can be almost as tough as searching for loopholes in a 6-inch-thick legal textbook. But looking for law movies that don't suck can be worth the trouble, much like looking for legal precedent for justifiable homicide can be. And to make that search a little easier, here's a nice list of law movies that don't suck – crystal clear and in black and white.

  1. "Adam's Rib" This is a crack legal screwball comedy featuring the immortal screen duo of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. It also adroitly mixes humor and drama in a way that few movies of any genre are able to pull off, making it not only one of the law movies that don't suck, but one of the best law movies ever made.
  2. "Witness for the Prosecution" This is another law movie that doesn't suck, but it's in the thriller category rather than being a comedy. And what a thriller it is – directed by Billy Wilder and based on a short story by Agatha Christie, it's so suspenseful that for years Wilder complained about people thinking that it was directed by Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock. If this isn't one of the law movies that don't such, I don't know what is. And speaking of Hitchcock:
  3. "The Paradine Case" This is not one of the more well-known law movies that don't suck, nor is it one of the more well-known Alfred Hitchcock films. But it still belongs in the Big Book of Law Movies That Don't Suck. It stars Gregory Peck as an attorney who falls in love with a woman accused of murder! And it lives up to its crackerjack premise as well as you'd expect a Hitchcock movie to.
  4. "12 Angry Men" This definitely belongs on any list of law movies that don't suck. For that matter, it belongs on any list of movies that don't suck, period. It all takes place in one jury room as 12 men argue deliberate over the fate of a young man who's been accused of murder.
  5. "The Social Network" Lest you think all law movies that don't suck come from Hollywood's golden age, here's a selection from just last year. It was previously known as "the Facebook movie," but as a law movie that doesn't suck it escaped its reputation as being merely a movie about Facebook. Instead, it's a great movie about not just the legal maneuvering behind Facebook, but the character of the man behind Facebook.