CATEGORIES FeaturesWhen looking for top of the line drama and intense debates, where better to look than in a courtroom. As lawyers defend the innocent, prosecute the guilty, and captivate audiences on countless movie screens, justice is brought swiftly to our hearts. Here, we recognize the best and most lionhearted guardians of the law. When looking for top of the line drama and intense debates, where better to look than in a courtroom. As lawyers defend the innocent, prosecute the guilty, and captivate audiences on countless movie screens, justice is brought swiftly to our hearts. Here, we recognize the best and most lionhearted guardians of the law.
10. Matthew McConaughey as Baldwin ('Amistad,' 1997)
I know what you're thinking. Matthew McConaughey?! It's not about him, but the character of Baldwin. To be an abolitionist lawyer in 1839 is being just ahead of the times. Baldwin is defending an African tribal leader who led a revolt on a slave ship and tried to sail to freedom. He not only communicates with his client (Djimon Hounsou) who speaks little to no English, but puts up such a case that John Quincy Adams himself (Anthony Hopkins) delivers a moving speech on their behalf. Freedom is won, and slavery takes another serious blow.
9. Al Pacino as John Milton ('The Devil's Advocate', 1997)
The most powerful attorney in the history of our earthly existence may in fact be he who wins more than just money, but souls. John Milton can't lose and since he is in fact Lucifer himself, has more than just great forensic debate skills on his side. Eventually though, Lucifer falls, maybe even from this list.
8. Paul Newman as Frank Galvin ('The Verdict,' 1982)
If you're a good enough lawyer to be stumbling drunk through settlement proceedings and figure out there is an actual case that needs to be in court, missing rehab was probably a good choice.
7. Jim Carrey as Fletcher Reede ('Liar, Liar,' 1997)
A lawyer telling the truth is hilarious to most of America, especially with the comedic timing of one of the greats. Fletcher's most important case is to prove he really is a good father to the most judgmental jury he'll ever face-his family. Everyone wants to be a good father, even liars.
6. Joe Pesci as Vincent "Vinny" Gamboni ('My Cousin Vinny,' 1992)
"Everything that guy just said is bullshit." I rest my case.
5. John Payne as Fred Gailey ('Miracle on 34th Street,' 1947)
"I am here today to prove that THIS man, is in fact Santa Clause himself." Normally a jury would laugh and the case would be over. But Fred Gailey proves that not only is Kris really Santa, but that adults can truly find believing as they once did as children can bring Christmas back to their hearts.
4. Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich ('Erin Brockovich,' 2000)
One might think to make this list, the person must be a lawyer. But Erin Brockovich does not need a degree in law to take down the largest real estate cover up in her state. Southern attitude, the absence of a tie, and the drive of a protective mother is all you need to stop illegal dumping.
3. Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffee ('A Few Good Men,' 1992)
This rogue lawyer finds himself not playing by the book in a military case which requires following the rules. A normal lawyer would shy away from Jack Nicholson yelling "You can't handle the truth!" but Lt. Kaffee stands strong, and with the support of Demi Moore and Kevin Pollak the truth is brought back into Patriotism.
2. Tom Hanks as Andrew Becket ('Philadelphia,' 1993)
How powerful of an attorney does one have to be to sue his own law firm for firing him? Bringing equal rights and the heartfelt journey with Becket's partner in law (Denzel Washington), one can't help but shed a tear at the cause being fought for.
1. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch ('To Kill a Mockingbird,' 1962)
Racism takes a knockout punch when Atticus Finch defends a young black man accused of raping a young white woman. Not only is he black, but crippled as well. Finch proves to the courtroom that to convict this man of such a hateful crime, would be like killing a mockingbird.