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7 Most Iconic Courtroom Scenes in Film

Are you looking for the most iconic courtroom scenes in film? Here are our 7 iconic courtroom scenes…



Are you looking for the most iconic courtroom scenes in film? Here are our 7 iconic courtroom scenes…

Millions of films have been created, from fantastical looks into other universes, to exhilarating adventures, and fascinating insights into the human existence. But no scenes quite keep an audience gripped as a classic court scene.

Courtroom scenes have always served as a pinnacle movie moment, usually concluding the main story. As an audience we watch wide-eyed as characters fight for their freedom, are accused of terrible crimes, plead guilty, and suffer the consequence of their actions.

But what are the most iconic courtroom scenes in film? Let’s delve in…

1.   Legally Blonde

A truly iconic courtroom scene in film has to be the moment that Elle Woods beats the odds stacked against her to prevent an innocent woman from being imprisoned for murder.

This scene really captures the essence of Elle’s character as she uses her knowledge of hair care alongside her sharp intelligence to expose the truth. Although this film is a comedy this court scene does an excellent job of showing the audience the high stakes and displaying the characters’ newly learned legal knowledge and skills.

2.   To Kill a Mockingbird

This 1962 American drama film was based on the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The iconic courtroom scene shows a great deal of understanding regarding the law and courtroom guidelines. A theme that holds strong throughout this film.

In the courtroom, Atticus Finch struggles and eventually fails to prove Tom’s innocence. The direct approach Atticus has to some incredibly difficult topics, and the clever ways he proves his point keeps watchers on their toes throughout.

3.   Kramer vs Kramer

Many courtroom scenes in film focus on things like murder, but not Kramer vs Kramer. This film is more down-to-earth with an intense look into custody battles and divorce.

The fabulous Meryl Streep, playing the mother Joanna, helps this story to capture the emotional turmoil of these events, whilst giving the audience a closer look at the laws surrounding custody.

Joanna’s dedication and love for her son, despite her past mistakes, is shown through the emotionally charged court scene. In the end, her strength and honesty help her to win the custody battle and bring her son home with her.

4.   Skyfall

The James Bond movies are well known for their epic fight scenes, secret gadgets, cars, and of course evil villains. Yet Skyfall’s incredible courtroom scene brings all of this action, into a very serious setting.

M tirelessly defends her department in the hopes of saving it with a speech strong enough to rally people to her cause whilst being filled with emotion. This scene of course ends in chaos, with the villains dressed as police officers opening fire on the inside, making it unforgettable for viewers.

5.   My Cousin Vinny

Adding a touch of comedy to a courtroom scene can be incredibly effective and in My Cousin Vinny that is achieved beautifully.

Bad timing and a few miscommunications have led to two friends being accused of murder and it’s up to their cousin Vinny to clear their names. From witty answers and an incredible host of characters the courtroom scene in My Cousin Vinny really comes to life. In particular, the cross-examination left audiences speechless and played a large part in making this scene so iconic.

6.   The Social Network

Following the rise of Facebook, The Social Network is a captivating watch, with an interesting look at the laws surrounding a social media site and the ownership of intellectual property.

The courtroom debate was tense, to say the least with Jesse Eisenberg’s fascinating portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg keeping eyes glued to the screen. In the end, however, Zuckerberg is sued for the theft of intellectual property.

7.   A Few Good Men

You can’t think of iconic courtroom film scenes without thinking about A Few Good Men. This film focuses on two Marines who have been accused of killing a fellow private, and Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise, who is defending them.

With a number of bold cross-examinations and a compelling storyline this courtroom quickly captures our attention and holds it. Kaffee shows his understanding of the legal process and manages to find evidence in the most unlikely places.

After, a number of setbacks Kaffee is finally successful, and the two Marines are found not guilty. We have this scene to thank for the iconic quote – “You can’t handle the truth!”

Iconic Courtroom Scenes in Film

These iconic courtroom scenes range from serious murder investigations with high stakes to light-hearted comedies. However, all of these films use the court scene to make a massive impact on the story, and the lives of the characters.

The courtroom provides the perfect opportunity for characters to show their intelligence, express emotions and present dramatic reveals.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a legal professional. Be sure to consult a solicitor if you are seeking for advice regarding a court case.



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