We Need A Good Courtroom Movie Drama, With All Those Hard Lessons About ‘Truth’

We are in dire need of a good courtroom drama.

Not like Johnny Depp/Amber Heard, where everyone is a mess, and the outcome matters less than the spectacle.

Rather, an old-fashioned, high-stakes, plot-heavy movie melodrama—the kind that sees the audience go back and forth, while the truth hangs in an ever-changing balance. First things lean to one side, then the other. A single fact turns the whole story upside down. Sometimes when it comes to judgment, the winner is actually the bad guy, though we only find out later, as, say, anatomy of a murder,

Once a box-office staple, that kind of legal drama—12 angry menSome good people, judgmental, suspicious, And all the movies you’ve seen TCM– Were great entertainment. But, more so, he taught a recurring lesson about the dark and slippery nature of reality. Things are rarely what they seem at first. Under careful scrutiny, the “facts” falter as testimony piles up, motives are revealed, evidence is tested.

This is something that even good journalists learn the hard way—we all have stories that were obvious, until suddenly they weren’t. When Hollywood executive Jose Menendez and his wife Kitty were murdered, I remember working with a colleague to write a heavily reported composition. Los Angeles Times About controversial business relationships, either of which can lead to murders. We never stop thinking about his sons Lyle and Eric, who turned out to be crimes for unrelated reasons.

Lately, many people—including government officials, tech executives, and media types who should know better—have become comfortable with easy assumptions about whether to substantiate, or even regulate, the truth. an attempt, a propaganda board In the Department of Homeland Security – DGB, which sounds like the rogue spawn of the DMV and KGB – would be funny if not sinister. According to various reports, the board should monitor online claims about Russia, “irregular immigration,” election security and COVID.

But do we really want some government bureau to play with facts?

It would be better if we had some good courtroom drama to remind us just how hard the truth really is. The Oscars haven’t helped much over the years; Chicago Trial 7 Got nominated, but that was about a political circus. Between festivals and markets, some potential titles are bound to surface—maybe they already have, though I’m still on the hunt for a true legal thriller on the year’s release schedule. The last time I can remember seeing it in person is marshalReginald Hudlin’s film about a rape trial in which the young Thurgood Marshall, a future Supreme Court judge, made his mark.

It was a good example of the style. Through the movie, you weren’t entirely sure whether the black driver or his white female employer was telling the truth about an encounter that saw him thrown off a bridge. It seemed he had all the evidence. That turned out to be a lie when he claimed that he never had sex with the woman. The “not guilty” verdict was eventually delivered by a Southern white woman, the jury foreman, who seemed ready to go the other way.

marshal There was a great lesson in the complex nature of things. And we can use that kind of film right now.