Movies that feature court drama can always be interesting, especially when danger and intrigue slip into the film. Sometimes though, it is not about any mystery, but instead the story can be a very human one, touching on very sensitive subjects in our society. Some movies based on attorneys and the legal process are actually based on true events and lawsuits that actually took place.
Philadelphia features Tom Hanks as man with AIDS who has been fired from his job due to the condition. It is then up to Denzel Washington as his lawyer to get him adequate compensation in the wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Washingtons character starts out as a stereotype of an ambulance chasing lawyer, but changes as the course of the movie progresses. This is a wonderful movie that points out the reality of discrimination against people with an illness or because of their lifestyle.
Erin Brockovich stars Julia Roberts as a woman named Erin Brockovich who works her way up from being an unemployed single mother to being an influential and successful lawyer. This movie is actually based on the true events that occurred in a small California town. People in the town were suffering from wrongful deaths, illnesses, and other problems due to a nearby companys dumping of waste into the water supply. A class action lawsuit was brought forth, and it was up to Erin Brockovich and the small law firm she worked for to fight against a huge company.
The Firm is a movie that helped regain interest in lawyers and the legal process, based on a book by John Grisham (whose novels did the same in the literary world). The lead character, played by Tom Cruise, discovers that his law firm is not exactly trustworthy, and must do a lot of careful searching to figure out the truth.
A Few Good Men focuses on a military trial, again starring Tom Cruise alongside Jack Nicholson. When a soldier dies, his death is questioned and reveals a nasty bit of truth on the part of Nicholson and the dead mans fellow soldiers.
In most cases, courtroom battles and lawyer actions are exaggerated and made much more glamorous than they are in the real world. Always remember that these movies are pure fiction and entertainment, and the legal process, in reality, is usually much more mundane.