Injustice revelations, corrupt systems, and politicians and plot twists that make you rewind the entire film back to the start because you missed on one tiny dialogue that was really important. If you watch courtroom movies because of all this, you’re just like me. But courtroom dramas are not a new trend, they’ve been here since ages, not just in movies but books as well, from classics like ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird‘ and ‘The Wrong Man’ to modern emotional movies like ‘The Judge’. Some of these movies can even prove to be educational for aspiring lawyers and some of them hold political and historical significance that can add value to anyone’s general knowledge.
You may have different reasons to watch these kind of movies; maybe you love the intense drama that revolves around courtroom debates or you want to learn more about the historical significance of an event. So keeping all that in mind, we have managed to compile a small list of some of the finest courtroom movies for you. Here’s the list of really good courtroom movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
7. Rustom (2016)
‘Rustom’ is a Bollywood film that is inspired by the true story of a Naval Officer who was accused of murdering his wife’s lover. The film follows a lot of courtroom scenes where the officer, whose name is Rustom, tries to prove his innocence by revealing the deeper truth behind why he killed the man in the first place. The film has some major plot twists by the end and the lead actor Akshay Kumar does a great job playing the role of an officer. The film is great but it’s far from the actual story and the plot has been twisted and turned in a way to make it look like a patriotic movie to please the crowd.
But the real story was actually a story of crime and adultery that was no way even close to the events described in the movie. It still is quite an entertaining film, though, with failed attempts of portraying comedy in a courtroom. But regardless of all the flaws and a little bit of sexism in the film with respect to adultery, the film is actually decent for a one time watch and the last scene where the protagonist shot three bullets is very smartly written.
6. Shahid (2012)
‘Shahid’ is again a Bollywood movie that stars the highly talented Rajkummar Rao in the lead role. This again is the true story of Shahid Azami who becomes a criminal lawyer to fight cases for those who have been accused of participating in some form of terrorist activities. Shahid is ostracized, abused and attacked by many for supporting these criminals, but he still keeps going. The film also covers all the aspects of human emotions that every person goes through which includes sadness, love, hate, failure, and joy of finding one’s true identity.
But the movie might have gone a little overboard with portraying the man as a hero from his perspective, as he was almost on the verge of becoming a terrorist once upon a time. He believed that it wasn’t the terrorist’s fault to choose to walk on the path they went on and this psychology might have actually saved a few “real terrorists”. But I’m not taking sides or concluding anything against the reasonable man. The film is still pretty amazing and has some great engaging courtroom scenes that have a realistic quality to them.
5. Shaurya (2005)
This Bollywood film revolves around a heated courtroom debate that revolves around Captain Javed Khan who is accused of killing his senior officer in public. But the officer is silenced because what he knows can potentially ruin the career of other senior officers involved in the case and also holds the potential to disregard the value of the entire armed forces. But as the officer who is defending his case starts taking the case seriously, he too starts discovering the truth behind the killing and starts to fight for the defense of the killer.
By the end, the film gets very intense and leads to a shocking revelation. The movie overall is a little dull and lacks substance. The great concept could’ve been executed in a better way, but the part where the movie completely turns your opinion about it is the last scene which has been written and enacted with perfection and almost elevates the film to another level. It also shows how a man can completely lose his sanity and become extremely cold towards the rest of the world only after one life-changing incident. Innocence starts to lose itself into the darkness of life as we grow up to see the harsh realities of life.
4. The Arbitration (2016)
‘The Arbitration’, as the name suggests, is about the arbitration of an emotionally charged rape which is a consequence of an office affair. This movie is not set in a courtroom but an office room that consists of various panel members who create a courtroom scenario to serve justice to their employees. The person being sued is actually the CEO of the company and the one accusing him of rape is an employee he had an affair with. This movie is overall just average and can only be watched once is a courtroom film is exactly what you’re looking for. The storyline is predictable, the concept cliched and the performances very average.
3. The First Time (2014)
The original title of this French film is ‘Promakhos’. It revolves around the lives of two attorneys who take legal action against the British Museum, standing against the return of the Parthenon Marbles. Both the attorneys have to learn to stand their ground and fight for what they love. The show actually has a very interesting concept, but somehow all of it gets lost in the uneven script and confusing direction of the movie. The film also takes you through some very sporadic flashbacks and after a while, it becomes hard to tell what is a flashback and what isn’t. If you want to watch a historically significant courtroom film that is correct for the most part of it, then you should go for this one. But otherwise, the film is pretty average and fails to execute a brilliant and fascinating idea.
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2. Milada (2017)
This historical drama movie traces back the story of Milada Horakova, who was a pre-World War II politician. She was arrested and tried in court for the first time by the Nazis during the war. The second time she was again arrested and tried for her refusal to leave the country and cease the activities of the opposition which infuriated the post-war Communist government. The film provides an excellent overview of how Milada fought for the freedom of her own country while giving up on her own personal freedom. The historical accuracy has been presented very subtly throughout the film and pays a very awe-inspiring tribute to the struggles of the national hero.
1. Devil’s Knot (2013)
The news headlines were taken by storm in the U.S when three teenage boys were accused of the brutal murder of three little kids. Based on actual events, this film stars Resse Witherspoon in the lead role and takes us through the various courtroom trials of this case where a satanic ritual practice of delusional teenagers turns out to be fatal for three young innocent little boys. The movie is surely watchable, but it tries to explain the entire trail in only 2 hours which makes its direction a little too messy and chaotic at times.
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