Welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wandering through the Shelves! I was on a year-long hiatus from this series last year, but I return as immediately as 2017 begins. Should anyone be interested in joining in, feel free to visit the main page here, where the schedule and rules are.
The theme for the first week of 2017 is: Legal Thrillers. I am not a fan of such kind of films, seriously; it often contains most sophisticated dialogues and specific terms that always got me cringed. My personal repertoire for legal thriller films is limited, but there are some wild aces that I personally like.
01. Primal Fear (1996)
Richard Gere & Edward Norton – Primal Fear (1996)
I think Primal Fear represents the term ‘legal thriller’ at ground level. It’s thrilling and full of twist and turn from the very beginning. A public-eyed defense attorney is struggling to prove that an altar boy is innocent from a murder charge. Primal Fear is deceptive at every level and has a penchant to moral ambiguity most of the time. The ending, though, is a traumatizing one, locking down its status as one of the finest legal thrillers (or simply thriller).
02. Erin Brokovich (2000)
Julia Roberts – Erin Brokovich (2000)
This based-on-a-real-event courtroom drama is poignant at multiple levels. Erin Brokovich is a moving tale of grass-root investigation to tackle down a huge company abuse that has been hidden for so long. Steven Soderbergh’s direction is compelling as usual and Julia Roberts gives a stellar performance as a single mother turns a national hero.
03. Michael Clayton (2007)
George Clooney – Michael Clayton (2007)
Tony Gilroy’s legal thriller is sharply scripted. Following a desperate time of the titular “fixer” to save his ass and confront Oscar-winning Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton has all the tension and energy to make this behind-the-court thriller a powerhouse. This film works at similar area as Erin Brokovich about an “evil corps.” but this one, instead of moving, is suspenseful at best.
Afterwords: While legal thriller isn’t a specific theme I would pick at a glance, I believe that there are more fascinating films of the theme that I have missed due to my ignorance to this.