In updating my law-related movies page last night for movies from 2010 for my legal research and writing website, I was only able to come up with the following 4 movies but wonder if I am missing any (and arguably True Grit is on the periphery of being a law-related movie but it was so good that it was hard to resist including it). Thoughts?
The Conspirator (2010). Directed by Robert Redford and starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood and Tom Wilkinson. James McAvoy plays the young lawyer assigned to defend Mary Surratt (played by Robin Wright), the mother of the alleged co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, arrested for failing to provide the location of her son (shown at TIFF, not yet in wide release).
Conviction (2010). Directed by Tony Goldwyn and starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell. Tells the true story of Bette Ann Waters, a single mother whose brother was (as it turns out) wrongfully convicted of murder. Her “conviction” in her brother’s innocence leads to her returning to school – and eventually law school – to help overturn her brother’s wrongful conviction through DNA evidence (with the help of Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project. Read Roger Ebert’s review (3 out of 4 stars).
The Social Network (2010). Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake and directed by David Fincher with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. This dramatization of the early days in the history of Facebook is told largely through flashbacks from examination for discovery transcripts related to lawsuits between the founders of Facebook, including Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg). Aside from the litigation issues itself, there are stories of legal intrigue relating to private equity investment and the role played by Sean Parker of Napster fame (played by Justin Timberlake), issues of intellectual property, and issues of privacy law.
True Grit (2010). Although perhaps more correctly thought of as a Western than a law-related movie, I have included the Coen Brothers version of this movie for the many law-related references made by the young girl Mattie Ross (played by Hailee Steinfeld) in pursuit of the killer of her father, aided in her efforts by Marshall Rooster Cogburn (played by Jeff Bridges) and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (played by Matt Damon). An excellent movie on a tale of justice with an entertaining scene early on of a criminal trial during which the character played by Jeff Bridges gives testimony on his role in capturing and shooting a gang of criminals.
The movie called The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey as a Los Angeles lawyer who works out of his Lincoln car, sounds interesting. It is apparently based on a novel of the same name and is due out March 18th.