7 Famous Movie Courtroom Scenes (And How They Are Wrong In Real Life)

Hollywood couldn't handle the truth.

A Few Good Men
Columbia Pictures

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." - Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part2, Act IV, Scene 2.

Whether being portrayed as sleazy weasels like in AMC's Better Call Saul, or as ignorant buffoons like in Comedy Central's Scrubs, lawyers are frequently the butt of jokes and the target of public ridicule. Most of the public's perception of lawyers is built on how attorneys or the legal field is presented in film and television, as that is some people's only exposure to the legal community. Then if a person does in fact meet a lawyer or view a trial in court, some times they're let down as reality fell short of the bar set by A Few Good Men.

Yes, we all know Wonder Woman isn't real and neither are her super powers. Watching movies always requires a suspension of disbelief to fully enjoy the story. If you spend your whole time watching a movie, saying to yourself, "Well that wouldn't happen in real life," it can really take away from the experience. But when you watch Wonder Woman, or Beauty and the Beast, or Resident Evil, you know deep down that what you're seeing is made for film. If you're watching a scene that takes place in a court room and it's being presented as true to life, how are you supposed to know that it wouldn't actually happen in reality?

So it's time to clear the air.

As a practicing attorney, I'm going to take the time to point out a few issues with scenes from your favorite legal movies and discuss how little bits of fantasy were added for the purpose of creating a good story.

It might let you down a little, but do you want the truth? You can't handle the truth...

7. Intolerable Cruelty (2003) - The Judge Wouldn't Allow It. Any Of It.

George Clooney plays a divorce attorney who is questioning a gold-digging wife, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

He spends his entire examination berating, belittling, and accusing the witness of improper character, and at each question is met with an objection from the other attorney. To each objection, the judge (played by Isabell O'Connor) responds, "I'll allow it." This becomes such an automatic response from the judge that after another of the opposing counsel's objection, Clooney yells, "Shut up, she's going to allow it!"

This entire sequence is to build to a scene where Clooney's client starts assaulting Catherine Zeta-Jones, who the audience (and the Judge by this time) have grown to despise. When Catherine Zeta's attorney objects, the Judge proclaims in a brief moment of comedy, "I'll allow it."

The problem is: a Judge wouldn't allow any of it. At all. Obviously the judge would never allow a crime to occur in her courtroom (you know, assault and battery), but the entire series of questions from Clooney to Catherine Zeta should have not been allowed.


Jack of all trades, master of none. Husband, attorney, writer, and father-to-be.