Thursday Movie Picks: Legal Thrillers

Another year fun year of Thursday Movie Picks is upon us! I love this blogaton Wandering Through The Shelves has set up. We start 2017 off with Legal Dramas. When I wrote this post originally I apparently wasn't paying enough attention to "thriller" and thus, none of my picks ended being that, so I did re-did them. That has to be a first for me. 


1) The Lincoln Lawyer
This was a film that looked so generic in the previews that I was surprised at how much I actually liked it when I watched it on DVD. I wrote it off too early, it was very enjoyable. 

2) Primal Fear

The product of one of my past Blind Spot lists. I took way too long to see this fine film. Edward Norton was great. Even Richard Gere who is such a bland actor couldn't ruin this one. 

3) The Rainmaker 

I watched this film in my business class in high school (it took about a week, it seems like) and I was just fascinated with it. I can't explain why. This one mostly isn't a thriller but it does have a very intense scene that I think qualifies. Plus, I have to leave something from my original post. 

24 comments:

  1. I loved Primal Fear. Edward Norton was sensational in it, and I agree on Gere. I almost watched The Lincoln Lawyer once but then I found more important stuff to do. I think sooner or later I'll give it a try though.

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    1. It's pretty good! Not very memorable but enjoyable while you're watching.

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  2. Primal Fear is excellent! I forgot about that film and need to see it again. I haven't seen the other 2 but they also sound quite good.

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    1. It is. I'm really glad I had it on my Blind Spot list.

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  3. Love The Rainmaker! I agree that it's a bit tough to distinguish more procedural courtroom dramas from thrillers but this had an element of suspense to it so it works. A very involving film and a great cast.

    I thought Lincoln Lawyer was okay but only watched it the once.

    We match!! Primal Fear is a really wonderful movie. Gere can be variable but I think this is if not his best one of his best performances.

    Since did a bit of last minute substituting myself with my second pick which struck me as more of a thriller than my original choice, Compulsion.

    Primal Fear (1996)-Martin Vail (Richard Gere) a big time Chicago attorney who loves the spotlight and isn’t overburdened with scruples takes on pro bono, for both the challenge and the publicity, the seemingly unwinnable case of angel faced choir boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) accused of viciously slaying a much loved priest. The case leads him down many dark corridors and ultimately to a crisis of conscience. Expertly acted by a top flight cast, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Andre Braugher and Alfre Woodard (great fun as a tippling no nonsense judge) among many others, but the standouts are top liner Gere and Norton who is simply astonishing in his screen bow.

    Suspect (1987)-An esteemed judge commits suicide shortly after giving his secretary a package. The next morning the secretary is found dead in the Potomac with her throat cut and almost immediately a mute homeless man (Liam Neeson) found with the dead woman’s wallet is arrested for the crime. His case is assigned to public defender Kathleen Riley (Cher) and it seems a straightforward case. Once the jury is empaneled though one of the jurors, lobbyist Eddie Sanger (Dennis Quaid) notices some inconsistences in the case and surreptitiously tries to pass his suspicions to Kathleen without subverting the trial. They secretly team up when those suspicions grow darker and both find their lives threatened. A trifle farfetched but suspenseful legal thriller with good performances, cast and direction. Excellent opening credits set the mood of the film up well.

    Witness for the Prosecution (1957)-In London when wealthy widow Emily French is found bludgeoned to death suspicion falls on struggling inventor Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power in his last film), a somewhat shiftless acquaintance of hers. He turns to well respected but thorny barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) to take the case. Fresh out of hospital and attended by a constantly flummoxed nurse Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester-Laughton’s real life wife) Robarts at first declines but after an entreaty by Vole’s wife Christine (a scene stealing Marlene Dietrich) he takes up the case which is loaded with twists and turns aplenty. Splendid adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic story enacted by a cast that couldn’t be better and superbly directed by Billy Wilder.

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    1. Yay! I don't think we've ever matched before!

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  4. Primal Fear has always been on my watch list - hopefully I get to it this year. Lincoln Lawyer was enjoyable; I wasn't initially going to watch it but it was a good movie.

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    1. I feel like that's how everyone watched Lincoln Lawyer. Supposed to be a "meh" film but ended up being good.

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  5. It's funny, "Mud" (a great film) is often credited with rebooting Matthew McConaughey's career and for good reason. But I firmly believe his turn began with The Lincoln Lawyer. I remember leaving the theater thinking "that was a much better McConaughey". After that his career has been a steady climb to the top.

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    1. I 100% agree. Lincoln Lawyer shouldn't have been as good as it was. I definitely think that was his up hill moment.

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  6. Oh we were just discussing Tom Cruise's legal prowess in the car last night. Must be a lawyerly week.

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    1. It must be! I always think of Matthew McConaughey when I think of actors playing lawyers.

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  7. Yes! We mutually picked Primal Fear. It was a very strong movie!
    The Lincoln Lawyer seems so popular this week. Haven't watched it, but The Rainman is in my Blindspot series for this year.

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    1. The Rainmaker is a different film from The Rain Man ;) I prefer Rainmaker.

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  8. I had 3 different picks in my list. I thought about including Primal Fear but I knew everyone else was going to pick that so I went for something different. I saw The Rainmaker which is an alright film but I went with a different John Grisham film. I haven't seen The Lincoln Lawyer though I heard it was pretty good.

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  9. I haven't seen any of your picks, though Primal fear is getting lots of love

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  10. I really like Lincoln Lawyer! McCoanughey was great in that and the film was very entertaining

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  11. I have only seen The Lincoln Lawyer. Really like that one. I need to see the other two.

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    1. Primal Fear is probably the best out of all of these, IMO.

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  12. The Rainmaker - it's quite one of the forgotten ones. For me it's just not as memorable as Grisham's other adaptations.

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    1. I can see why Rainmaker isn't very popular but there's just something about it I've always enjoyed

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