You know how some movies have those magic scenes that no one can forget about? Most of those scenes come from films that present trial cases, and the most intense of emotions are found during the courtroom scenes. Great actors have been born from courtroom scenes, great movies have been loved or hated based on those scenes. We all love a memorable trial scene, that’s why we put together a list with some of the best courtroom scenes in movie history.

Best Courtroom Scenes in Movie History


Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

The perfect cast, the bold script and an impressive running time made Anatomy of a Murder one of the most memorable courtroom movies, people are still watching it and talking about it even after all these years. People will always remember Ben Gazzara’s masterful performance, which is why this movie could not have missed a list of such kind.


Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Although old, this emotional drama will forever be in the hearts of courtroom movie lovers, young and old. Judgment at Nuremberg is a tough movies, packed with emotional and dramatic scenes. The spectacular cast played a major role in making the courtroom scenes hard to forget, especially Montgomery Clift.


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

A powerful book, an even more powerful movie and outstanding performances from the cast are the ingredients that makes To Kill a Mockingbird one of the most loved movies in history. The courtroom scenes get tougher to watch by the minute, and by the time you reach the middle of the movie you already know that despite all efforts, there will be a wrongfully conviction. Movies like these, with scenes that make you scream at your screen are the ones that remain in our memory forever.


Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

The courtroom scenes in Kramer vs. Kramer are definitely the most shocking scenes from a movie that addresses a PG audience. Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep’s performances were emotional and made almost everyone go to tears as the lawyers of the characters took turns at ripping the couple apart.


A Few Good Men (1992)

You thought about this one right after you read the title, didn’t you? The truth is that A Few Good Men gave us one of the most remembered courtroom scenes in history, and Jack Nicholson did an amazing job turning a mediocre movie into a movie that will always be remembered.


Philadelphia (1993)

Philadelphia is one of the first mainstream movies to talk about AIDS and homosexuality and it was that powerful subject that caught the public’s attention, but the performance of the cast sealed the deal. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington give a convincing performance in their roles as Andrew Beckett and his lawyer, Joe Miller. Although the audience was probably not that prepared for such a subject and for such emotional courtroom scenes, the movie was well-received and its popularity kept on growing during the years.


A Time to Kill (1996)

Some consider A Time to Kill as having one of the most persuasive closing arguments ever. The drama adaptation of John Grisham’s novel has made quite an impression on the audience. Kevin Spacey and Matthew McConaughey gave some of the best performances of their careers, and even though there are some people saying that the movie is too similar to others of the same genre from older days or that some of its judgment ruling is not that legal, A Time to Kill Remains in movie history for the outstanding courtroom scenes they have brought to the public.


Primal Fear (1996)

This movie surprised the audience with a story that had so many twists and turns that by the time you got to the end you did not know what to think anymore. But it also brought us one of the most amazing courtroom scenes in movie history, through Edward Norton’s outstanding performance.


The Insider (1999)

Directed by Michael Mann, the Insider is a powerful drama based on the true story of Jeffrey Wigand, a whistleblower in the tobacco industry. The movie carries a lot of emotional load and the cast made it even more emotional with their stunning acting. The courtroom scenes are packed with intensity, Russell Crowe and Bruce McGill truly gave it their best.


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