Thursday Movie Picks: Legal Thrillers

Welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks where in 2017 I will try to participate every Thursday! Head over to Wandering Through the Shelves to see the upcoming themes this year, including Television Picks which I’m super excited about! In the mean time, here’s to the first Thursday of 2017!

At first glance, I thought legal thrillers was an easy topic, since they appeal to the side of me that loves investigations in any movie. But as it turns out, the picks were not as easy, since most of the movies in this theme seem to be made in the 90’s or early 2000’s. And my movie watching memory doesn’t remember all the movies I saw in the 90’s which is why all my picks come from the 00’s. Two of these movies I remember fondly, one of them possibly needs a re-watch but most importantly, somebody has to tell Hollywood to revive this genre!

1. RUNAWAY JURY, 2003

Runaway Jury features a really great cast including John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. This is also the movie I remember vaguely but after watching the trailer, I still remember how much I liked it. It is pretty much about jury manipulation and buying the verdict, which is just as thrilling as it sounds.

2. ERIN BROCKOVICH, 2000

Frankly, I’m surprised Erin Brockovich was made in 2000! I was certain it was a 90’s movie, but I guess Julia Roberts’s Oscar win was not 20 years ago. Anyway, many of you most likely know of this movie and I still could not mention it because this is such an empowering movie for women. Plus, if you like the so called underdogs, you’ll love this movie because Brockovich was looked down upon due to her inappropriate outfits and quick comebacks, until she slayed!

3. FRACTURE, 2007

Not going to lie, this one is my favourite recommendation for this theme because of three reasons. First, we have young Ryan Gosling, who is good for the eyes, second, we have the always talented Anthony Hopkins, who is great at being a villain, and thirdly, Fracture has an amazing plot! Like, sure, it might not look perfect up close, but I have seen this movie three times, and every time, I’m amazed how well Fracture manages to create plot twists with such ease.

PS: If you ever questioned whether Rosamund Pike aged, well, she doesn’t, she looks just as good now as she did back in 2007, just so you know.


THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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17 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Legal Thrillers”

  1. Geez I haven’t thought of Runaway Jury in years. I thought the movie was a bit rough around the edges but what a great cast it has. I’ll have to give it a rewatch.

    I’m neutral to Julia Roberts’s charms. In comedy she’s one of the best but drama really isn’t her forte.She subsumes her effervescence and comes across as dour usually. That said Erin Brockovich is probably the best she ever was in the dramatic vein…not Best Actress best but decent. But I thought Albert Finney still acted rings around her.

    I like Fracture. Both Gosling and Hopkins work their roles effectively and it has a clever plot. Another I need to give another look.

    This is a genre that’s a favorite of mine so I had many to choose from but it was somewhat tough to pick between what would be a thriller and what’s more of a procedural but these three have a bit of mystery attached so I figured they’d fit.

    Primal Fear (1996)-Martin Vail (Richard Gere) a big time Chicago attorney who loves the spotlight and isn’t overburdened with scruples takes on pro bono, for both the challenge and the publicity, the seemingly unwinnable case of angel faced choir boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) accused of viciously slaying a much loved priest. The case leads him down many dark corridors and ultimately to a crisis of conscience. Expertly acted by a top flight cast, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Andre Braugher and Alfre Woodard (great fun as a tippling no nonsense judge) among many others, but the standouts are top liner Gere and Norton who is simply astonishing in his screen bow.

    Suspect (1987)-An esteemed judge commits suicide shortly after giving his secretary a package. The next morning the secretary is found dead in the Potomac with her throat cut and almost immediately a mute homeless man (Liam Neeson) found with the dead woman’s wallet is arrested for the crime. His case is assigned to public defender Kathleen Riley (Cher) and it seems a straightforward case. Once the jury is empaneled though one of the jurors, lobbyist Eddie Sanger (Dennis Quaid) notices some inconsistences in the case and surreptitiously tries to pass his suspicions to Kathleen without subverting the trial. They secretly team up when those suspicions grow darker and both find their lives threatened. A trifle farfetched but suspenseful legal thriller with good performances, cast and direction. Excellent opening credits set the mood of the film up well.

    Witness for the Prosecution (1957)-In London when wealthy widow Emily French is found bludgeoned to death suspicion falls on struggling inventor Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power in his last film), a somewhat shiftless acquaintance of hers. He turns to well respected but thorny barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) to take the case. Fresh out of hospital and attended by a constantly flummoxed nurse Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester-Laughton’s real life wife) Robarts at first declines but after an entreaty by Vole’s wife Christine (a scene stealing Marlene Dietrich) he takes up the case which is loaded with twists and turns aplenty. Splendid adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic story enacted by a cast that couldn’t be better and superbly directed by Billy Wilder.

    1. Those are great recommendations! I think I’ve seen Primal Fear but I can’t fully recall it so I didn’t want to recommend it.

      I think this is the first time I’ve recommended movies and you’ve ended up wanting to rewatch them, that’s like a personal victory for me!

      Thanks for commenting! See you next Thursday!

  2. Is Rosamund the woman who never ages? She is pretty awesome though. I picked Fracture too but I can’t remember what happened…but I think I liked it….Same with Runaway Jury. I think I liked it, maybe because John Cusack is in it…

    1. She sure looks like part of that group of women who have looked the same for the past 20 years. If you can’t remember what happened it’s really great to give it a rewatch. Sadly, I remember, so it looses some of its charm of being unpredictable, but I’ve still rewatched it a few times.

  3. I should watch Fracture again. I only saw it the one time in theaters, but I remember enjoying it. I haven’t seen your other two picks.

    1. Yay for Fracture! I haven’t seen it being mentioned a lot in general, so it’s great that it is given some love during TMP! You should watch it!

  4. I like fracture and found it a good cat and mouse game. Hopkins is always great. Erin Brokovich is a good movie and I love it when she goes on a rant and then asks the one lawyer to drink the water…hahahaaa. Runaway Jury is better than I thought it would be..great twists and turns

    1. Wow, you’ve seen all 3, that’s a rare thing I’ve noticed throughout my participation in TMP, but I guess this is such a specific theme that it’s hard to pick something that most people haven’t seen.

  5. I watched Fracture a long time ago but I remember enjoying it. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. Eric Brockovich is such a great pick. And she is such a strong woman!

    1. I think Fracture is a great movie that builds confidence over the years. Like, it feels a lot better now, than it did a few years ago, because there aren’t many legal thrillers out there anymore.

  6. Nice picks! Runaway Jury was a huge movie during my teenage years. I think it was mostly for my worship of Rachel Weisz. Still a good movie overall. 😛

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