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5 Best Movies for Lawyers to Watch This Holiday Season

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 21, 2018 | Last updated on January 24, 2023
What would long weekends be without some binge-watching? That's why FindLaw found the five best movies for lawyers this holiday season. We have some oldies, goodies, and more oldies just for you. Speaking of oldies, did you see RBG? The documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg is funny, compelling, and almost an escape from reality.

1. RBG

RBG is the story of "one tough justice." Ginsburg has beaten cancer twice, and just had cancerous growths removed from her lung in her third bout with the disease. The documentary shows how she has risen above her challenges as a person, woman, lawyer and justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the process, she became a pop culture icon. "I ask no favor for my sex," she says in the documentary, one of two movies about her this year. "All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks."

2. The Post

Tom Hanks, who has portrayed lawyers throughout his career, opened 2018 as a newsman in The Post. It was about the battle between the press and the president. The true-life story illustrates how the president is not king, as a struggling newspaper survives Richard Nixon's legal efforts to shut it down. The key moment occurs when Justice Harry Blackman says: "In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam war, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the founders hoped and trusted they would do," he said. [T]he press was to serve the governed, not the governors."

3. My Cousin Vinny

Unlike Justice Blackman or the notorious RBG, there was no real attorney Vinny Gambini. But who cares?! It doesn't even matter that My Cousin Vinny came out 26 years ago. No legal binge-watch is complete without a lesson from Hollywood's best trial lawyer ever. That is just one critic's opinion, but everybody can agree the movie is funny. Played by Joe Pesci, Mr. Gambini hilariously shows how to cross-examine a witness.

4. Inherit the Wind

Speaking of classic examinations, Inherit the Wind is based on Clarence Darrow's cross-examination of William Jennings Bryan during the 1925 Scopes "monkey" trial. A school teacher in a small southern town is on trial for teaching students about evolution, which is a crime. Defense attorney Henry Drummond, played by Spencer Tracy, cross-examines the prosecution's expert witness about the Bible. Drummond mercilessly pulls back the curtain on the Biblical story of creation. It's not exactly a Christmas story, but still a classic lawyer movie.

5. On the Basis of Sex

Thank goodness RBG survived her latest cancer scare, just in time for her latest movie. On the Basis of Sex opens Christmas Day. Critics say the movie doesn't do justice to Ginsburg, which is really more of a tribute to the living legend. If nothing else, RBG should be happy with the portrayal by Felicity Jones. "This is a film for people who think the worst thing about 'Kiki' Ginsburg, as her friends and family called her, is that she doesn't look enough like a movie star," says Mark Jenkins for the Washington Post.

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