Legal Research and Writing:  Ted Tjaden

 


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Law-Related Movies Prison-Related Movies

 

Movies - Home Page
"A to Z" List of Law-Related Movies
Movies Organized by Substantive Law Subject
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Top 10



13th. Directed by Ava DuVernay. This documentary, nominated for best documentary in 2016 by the Academy Awards and by the same film-maker of Selma, takes its title from the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, which abolished slavery. By focusing on the disproportionate amount of African-Americans (and other people of color) in US jails, the film discusses US history following the abolishment of slavery and the extent to which the exception in the 13th amendment for "punishment for crime" has substituted the initial form of abolished slavery into one that has seen Jim Crow laws, segregation, and mass incarceration as a new form of slavery. The movie has a very high approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, hovering the 96% range.

Chicago (2002): This Rob Marshall-directed musical is on the periphery of being considered a law-related movie, but the character of Billy Flynn as a sleazy lawyer, played admirably by Richard Gere, puts it on the edge of falling within my definition (plus I liked it not too many law-related movies can claim good dancing and music). Read Roger Ebert's review here.

Dead Man Walking (1995). Starring Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn. A well told story of a nun (played by Susan Sarandon) who visits and cares for a prisoner on death row (played by Sean Penn). The movie raises important questions about the ethics of the death penalty versus the impact of crime on victims and their families and spirituality and forgiveness. Read Roger Ebert's review (4 out of 4 stars).

The Hurricane (1999). Starring Denzel Washington. Directed by Norman Jewison. Tells the true story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's wrongful imprisonment on murder charges and the efforts made by his lawyers to free him from prison. Read Roger Ebert's review (3.5 out of 4 stars). Carter was an Executive Director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, an organization based, in part, out of Toronto.

Incident at Oglala (1992). A documentary narrated by Robert Redford and directed by Roger Apted. Tells the story of Leonard Pelletier who was, some say, wrongfully convicted of the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Read Roger Ebert's review (3 out of 4 stars).

Murder in the First (1995). Starring Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon and Gary Oldman. Christian Slater plays a young lawyer who takes on the case of a prisoner of Alcatraz who is wrongfully put into solitary confinement for years and becomes insane as a result. Strong courtroom (and prison) scenes Read Roger Ebert's review (2 of out 4 stars).

Red Corner (1997). Richard Gere stars as an American television executive in China who ends up being charged with the murder of a Chinese girl he meets in the bar the night before, Bai Ling plays his defence lawyer with the movie focusing on the "challenges" within the Chinese criminal legal system. Roger Ebert, who was not a fan of this movie, describes it in part as "a xenophobic travelogue crossed with Perry Mason." Read his 2 star review here.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman. A prison drama telling the story of Andy Dufresne (played by Robbins) who is sentenced to jail in the 1940's for the murder of his wife and her lover. He develops a unique friendship with a prisoner named "Red" (played by Morgan Freeman) as the two men pass their lives, seeking for meaning, in a drab, dreary prison environment. Read Roger Ebert's review (3.5 out of 4 stars).

Last updated: March 2017   |    Legal / Terms of Use    |    Ted Tjaden 2010-2017


 

  Cover of 4th edition of Legal Research and Writing
                (Irwin Law)

Legal Research and Writing:
4th Edition

by Ted Tjaden

Softcover 512 pgs.
Published: January 2016
ISBNs:
Paperback: 978-1-55221-414-5
e-book: 978-1-55221-415-2

Purchase here

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