Alex Connolly

Alex grew up in NYC and studied philosophy and literature at Stanford. He subscribes to several esteemed publications like the New York Times and the New Yorker, but he usually just skips to the movie sections. He loves to write about movies and TV, especially of the courtroom drama variety.

As a teacher, he’s been all over the map, from Los Angeles, to Pasadena, to Hollywood. He’s also taught in Colombia (country not school) and Ethiopia, whose government deported Alex in 2009 when they (erroneously) suspected him of trying to start a revolution.

Author Archive:


And Now, THE Greatest Lawyer Movie of All Time

When I set out on this project almost a year ago, I had many questions: What are the greatest lawyer movies ever? What makes a great lawyer movie great? And how long would Blueprint actually let me keep this up?

Since then, I’ve watched 24 lawyer movies, most of them from the ABA’s Top 25 list. Below, I have attempted to summarize my findings and reflections.


The Greatest Lawyer Movies of All Time: Breaker Morant

This is the final movie I’m reviewing in my search for the Greatest Lawyer Movie of All Time (#GLMOAT #bittersweet). It’s #7 on the ABA’s Top 25, and a worthy entry for consideration.

Breaker Morant
1980 dir. Bruce Beresford

If you tried to draw a Venn Diagram of how lawyer movies fit into other genres, you’d have many overlapping circles. There are legal thrillers, legal family dramas, even legal Christmas movies.


The Greatest Lawyer Movies of All Time: Amistad

Movie lawyers have battled discrimination, hate speech, corporate malfeasance, political corruption, and even Santa skepticism. It is hard to imagine a court case with higher stakes, however, than that at the center of #24 on the ABA Top 25

1997 dir. Steven Spielberg

In 1839, a group of kidnapped West Africans were being transported to America as slaves on the Spanish vessel “La Amistad.” In the middle of the night, they managed to pick the locks on their chains and overthrow their captors.


The Greatest Lawyer Movies of All Time: Kramer vs. Kramer

The search for the greatest lawyer movie of all time is almost over. Of the ABA’s Top 25, only six remain, and one of those is “Chicago,” which I feel pretty okay about skipping. This week, I watched #16…

Kramer vs. Kramer
1979 dir. Robert Benton

Most lawyer movies go where the glory is: criminal jury trials with life or death stakes, multi-million dollar class action suits that change the world, etc. But the legal field is wide and varied, and there are plenty of areas of practice that are less glamorous but still full of dramatic potential.


The Greatest Lawyer Movies of All Time: To Kill A Mockingbird

As America bids farewell to its own real-life Atticus Finch, I thought it would be a good time to watch #1 on the ABA’s List of the 25 Greatest Legal Movies, the legendary…

To Kill a Mockingbird
1962 dir. Robert Mulligan

The world is a confusing place for a child. Our moral instruction – to the extent that we get any – is a thicket of contradictions.


The Greatest Lawyer Movies of All Time: A Few Good Men

This week, after months of procrastinating, I decided to pony up the requisite $7.99 and watch #14 on the ABA’s Top 25, perhaps the most iconic lawyer movie of the modern era. I want to say upfront that I will do my best not to make any “You can’t handle the truth!” puns, but I’m not 100% confident that I’ll be successful.


The Greatest Lawyer Movies of All Time: Um… Miracle on 34th Street?

This dude is just as surprised as you are that he made the ABA Top 25 Lawyer Movies. This week, with ambient Christmas music having burrowed its way deep into my subconscious, I decided to watch a Christmas classic, #25 on the ABA’s list of the 25 best legal movies… Miracle on 34th Street 1947