1. Presumed Innocent (1990): This movie has the most realistic trial and trial procedures ever. It also has a fascinating story that weaves local politics, obsession, and revenge, and you have no idea what really happened until the end. Harrison Ford plays against type here as the pathetic, obsessed adulterer and possible murder, and Raul Julia plays Sandy Stern, the guy who made me want to be a lawyer.
2. Breaker Morant (1980): Based on a true story, this is an amazing courtroom drama about Britain trying to use a handful of scapegoats to cover up what it did during the Boer War. Well acted, gripping and emotionally frustrating, this is a strong film. It will make you angry.
3. The Caine Mutiny (1954): Another military courtroom drama, this one involves a court martial for mutiny, but who was really to blame for what happened? This one has an amazing performance by Humphrey Bogart as the insecure Lt. Cmdr. Queeg and one hell of a speech by José Ferrer.
4. My Cousin Vinny (1992): A surprisingly accurate courtroom comedy, this one involves the unlicensed Joe Pesci travelling to deep Alabama to defend his young cousin who was driving the wrong car at the wrong time in the wrong place.
5. Sergeant Rutledge (1960): No film that I’ve seen handles race and justice better than this John Ford film in which Woody Strode stands accused of a heinous crime and his race interferes with his ability to defend himself. Complex all around with amazing nuance, I highly recommend this one.
6. Anatomy of a Murder (1959): Directed by Otto Preminger and starring James Stewart, Ben Gazzara and the mayor from Jaws, this is a complicated film that deals with some really troubling subjects and results in an uncomfortable but excellent film.
7. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962): Lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in the South. This was a gripping book and the film does it justice.
Note the lack of Grisham films. Also, note the lack of 12 Angry (Straw)Men, which smears our justice system and manipulates the audience so openly that this film should be considered propaganda.