10 movies like Dark Waters you must watch

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: May 5, 2023 (Last updated: January 4, 2024)
10 movies like Dark Waters you must watch

This article discusses 10 movies like Dark Waters you must watch. Add these well-recommended films to your watch list.

Director Todd Haynes highlights the importance of corporate defense attorneys in this environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution in Dark Waters. The reason why Mark Ruffalo wanted to bring this story to the forefront is that he has been passionate about climate change and helping make this world a better place. Even though it is a legal thriller, and audiences may find that uninteresting, this particular case educated audiences on what has been happening right under their noses.

The films listed below all have a lead character who fought for people who couldn’t defend themselves and ended up being the good guys. Some lawyers do fight for the truth, and we see that in the films listed below.

10 Movies like Dark Waters

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) 

Writer-director Aaron Sorkin took a seat in the director’s chair for this one to highlight the story of the seven people on trial stemming from various changes surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Stakes were high as these men in The Trial of the Chicago 7 were all revolting, leading to mayhem against the government in the 70s.

Erin Brockovich (2000) 

Director Steven Soderbergh won Julia Roberts her Oscar with her performance in Erin BrockovichThe story is about an unemployed single mother who becomes a legal assistant and almost brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply all on her own. It is eye-opening to see how these corporations treat people when all they care about is money. And it takes one woman who is trying to raise her child to knock some sense into the world.

12 Angry Men (1957)

Even though these 12 men are just sitting in a room talking, it is still one of the most engaging legal dramas to date. In Sidney Lumet‘s film, the jury in a New York City murder trial is frustrated by a single member whose skeptical caution forces them to more carefully consider the evidence before jumping to a hasty verdict.

A Few Good Men (1992) 

A duo that is truly a match made in heaven is Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkin. The words of Sorkin and the style of Reiner made this film thrilling to watch. A military lawyer, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders. This movie made a lawyer out of Cruise and he was incredible in the courtroom.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 

If you read the novel by Harper Lee in school, then you most likely watched the adaptation starring Gregory Peck. To this day, no one has even dreamed of remaking this film, and with good reason. Atticus Finch (Peck) is a widowed lawyer in Depression-era Alabama. He defends a Black man against an undeserved rape charge and tries to educate his young children against prejudice.

Molly’s Game (2017) 

In 2017, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut came with some criticism, but it’s hard to dislike a film when you have Jessica Chastain front and center as Molly Bloom. Bloom was an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Bloom works with many lawyers, including Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba) and it is structured as an outside perspective in a legal drama.

Disclosure (1994) 

Director Barry Levinson and co-writers Michael Crichton and Paul Attanasio create a thriller about a computer specialist who is sued for sexual harassment by his former lover. Michael Douglas and Demi Moore star in this film and it is a twisted tale challenging gender dynamics. His former lover becomes his boss who initiated the act forcefully, which threatens both his career and his personal life.

Philadelphia (1993) 

Director Jonathan Demme took a very emotional story written by Ron Nyswaner. A man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, and he hires a homophobic small-time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit. These two men struggle with their differences, but end up having important conversations that help his case with the public.

The Firm  (1993) 

This is possibly one of the best John Grisham novels and having Tom Cruise star as the lead actor made for a solid legal adaptation. A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side. It is a twisted back-and-forth drama that will keep you invested from beginning to end because of how the story unravels.

And Justice For All (1979) 

Everyone knows how talented Al Pacino is, but once he is in a courtroom he just exceeds expectations. Pacino plays Arthur Kirkland, a lawyer who is forced to defend a guilty judge while defending other innocent clients and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.

Do you have any other recommendations for movies like Dark Waters? Let us know!

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