Most Popular Public Defender Movies and TV Shows

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1. Fracture (2007)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
68 Metascore

An attorney intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike

Votes: 174,032 | Gross: $39.02M

2. Night Court (1984–1992)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An eccentric fun-loving judge presides over an urban night court and all the silliness going on there.

Stars: Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll, Charles Robinson

Votes: 9,560

3. Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The lives and work of the staff of an inner city police precinct.

Stars: Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz, James Sikking

Votes: 6,695

4. The Collini Case (2019)

123 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young lawyer stumbles upon a vast conspiracy while investigating a brutal murder case.

Director: Marco Kreuzpaintner | Stars: Elyas M'Barek, Alexandra Maria Lara, Heiner Lauterbach, Manfred Zapatka

Votes: 1,695

5. Conviction (II) (2010)

R | 107 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
61 Metascore

A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.

Director: Tony Goldwyn | Stars: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, Thomas D. Mahard

Votes: 40,377 | Gross: $6.78M

6. Devil's Knot (2013)

Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
42 Metascore

The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a Satanic ritual.

Director: Atom Egoyan | Stars: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Alessandro Nivola, James Hamrick

Votes: 19,144

7. Suspect (1987)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a homeless man is accused of murdering a Justice Department file clerk, a public defender is tasked with mounting his legal defense.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Cher, Dennis Quaid, Liam Neeson, John Mahoney

Votes: 8,654 | Gross: $18.78M

8. .45 (2006)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

5.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A story of how obsession, addiction and abuse cause a young woman to execute an elaborate plan of revenge.

Director: Gary Lennon | Stars: Milla Jovovich, Angus Macfadyen, Stephen Dorff, Aisha Tyler

Votes: 7,870

9. Hero (I) (1992)

PG-13 | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack

Votes: 20,175 | Gross: $19.51M

10. Nuts (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, Thriller

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A high-class call girl accused of murder fights for the right to stand trial rather than be declared mentally incompetent.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, Maureen Stapleton, Karl Malden

Votes: 5,570 | Gross: $30.95M

11. Ordinary World (I) (2016)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
55 Metascore

An aging punk rocker copes with life after rock.

Director: Lee Kirk | Stars: Billie Joe Armstrong, Fred Armisen, Judy Greer, Selma Blair

Votes: 2,566

12. Low Down (2014)

R | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Music

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
58 Metascore

A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1970s jazz scene.

Director: Jeff Preiss | Stars: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage

Votes: 1,756 | Gross: $0.04M

13. Raising the Bar (2008–2009)

Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Former law school classmates reunite in court when they take on rival clients.

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben, Currie Graham, Melissa Sagemiller

Votes: 1,700

14. Cattle Call (2006)

R | 83 min | Comedy

3.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A guy starts a fake casting agency in hopes that he will meet his soul mate.

Director: Martin Guigui | Stars: Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jenny Mollen, Nicole Eggert, Diedrich Bader

Votes: 1,083

15. Custody (I) (2016)

TV-14 | 104 min | Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The lives of three women are unexpectedly changed when they cross paths at a New York Family Court.

Director: James Lapine | Stars: Viola Davis, Hayden Panettiere, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 921

16. Physical Evidence (1989)

R | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Romance

5.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A police officer suspended and now accused of murder is forced to join forces with his court-appointed attorney to assemble the pieces of a deadly puzzle to find the missing link before time runs out.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Theresa Russell, Ned Beatty, Kay Lenz

Votes: 1,483 | Gross: $3.56M

17. Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001)

R | 104 min | Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
74 Metascore

In New York City, the lives of a lawyer, an actuary, a house-cleaner, a professor and the people around them intersect as they ponder order and happiness in the face of life's cold unpredictability.

Director: Jill Sprecher | Stars: Alan Arkin, John Turturro, Matthew McConaughey, David Connolly

Votes: 9,236 | Gross: $3.29M

18. The Trial (2010)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Mystery

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After the horrific death of his wife and two sons, suicide seems to be the only escape for small-town attorney Kent "Mac" McClain... until he's assigned a capital punishment case that ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Wheeler | Stars: Larry Bagby, Robert Forster, Nikki Deloach, Matthew Modine

Votes: 1,261 | Gross: $0.02M

19. The Hammer (2007)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

Jerry Ferro's 40th birthday has brought his life into sharp relief and it's not a pretty picture. A once-promising amateur boxer -- who quit so he wouldn't risk his perfect record of ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld | Stars: Adam Carolla, Oswaldo Castillo, Heather Juergensen, Harold House Moore

Votes: 5,769 | Gross: $0.44M

20. Hunt the Man Down (1950)

Approved | 69 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The suspect in a 12-year-old murder case is finally caught and tried, but the witnesses are a bit hard to track down...

Director: George Archainbaud | Stars: Gig Young, Lynne Roberts, Mary Anderson, Willard Parker

Votes: 436

21. Family of Cops (1995 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 90 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A police detective's oversexed daughter is charged with murder when someone kills the wealthy married man she slept with.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Charles Bronson, Angela Featherstone, Sebastian Spence, Kate Trotter

Votes: 804

22. Dark Alibi (1946)

Approved | 61 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A public defender enlists Charlie to exonerate one of his clients, an ex-con falsely accused of bank robbery and murder, scheduled for execution in nine days.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Ben Carter, Benson Fong

Votes: 1,010

23. Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Crime

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade | Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams, Michael Glover

Votes: 4,003

24. The Big Hangover (1950)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A law school graduate is hired by a top law firm but hides from them a secret about a problem he has--he is so allergic to alcohol that one whiff of it and he passes out like a light.

Director: Norman Krasna | Stars: Van Johnson, Elizabeth Taylor, Percy Waram, Fay Holden

Votes: 350

25. Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995 TV Movie)

91 min | Biography, Drama

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The true story of a decorated officer's legal challenge to her involuntary discharge when she admitted she was homosexual.

Director: Jeff Bleckner | Stars: Glenn Close, Judy Davis, Jan Rubes, Wendy Makkena

Votes: 974

26. Sweet Revenge (1976)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young woman with a long rap sheet who steals cars for a living is befriended by a public defender who tries to steer her straight. But her goal is to steal and subsequently sell enough ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg | Stars: Stockard Channing, Sam Waterston, Franklyn Ajaye, Richard Daughty

Votes: 219

27. Ultimate Desires (1991)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

4.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Samantha Stewart is a successful public defender whose life gets turned upside-down one night when a prostitute named Vicki gets thrown out of a limo at Samantha's feet. Vicki slips a ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd A. Simandl | Stars: Tracy Scoggins, Marc Singer, Brion James, Marc Baur

Votes: 99

28. The Town Went Wild (1944)

Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Romance

5.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Feuding fathers deal with the shocking news that their sons were switched at birth, meaning that one of their daughters is about to marry her own brother.

Director: Ralph Murphy | Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Jimmy Lydon, Edward Everett Horton, Tom Tully

Votes: 106

29. I Just Didn't Do It (2006)

143 min | Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young man is falsely accused of molesting a high-school girl on a train. He is arrested and charged, and goes through endless court sessions, all the while insisting that he is innocent.

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Ryô Kase, Asaka Seto, Kôji Yamamoto, Masako Motai

Votes: 1,355

30. The Great O'Malley (1937)

Approved | 71 min | Drama

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A by-the-book patrolman who cares more about the letter of the law than justice feels guilty when his inflexibility sends a family man to prison.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Sybil Jason, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 498

31. Gideon's Army (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
87 Metascore

Follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.

Director: Dawn Porter

Votes: 751

32. Mr. District Attorney (1941)

Passed | 69 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

First screen version of the popular radio series, followed by two sequels.

Director: William Morgan | Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Florence Rice, Peter Lorre, Stanley Ridges

Votes: 93

33. A Mother's Testimony (2001 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 92 min | Drama

4.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

An ex-convict's mother's worst suspicions about her son are confirmed when he is implicated in a murder

Director: Julian Chojnacki | Stars: Kate Jackson, Chad Allen, Susan Blakely, Keith Szarabajka

Votes: 154

34. Better Living (1998)

95 min | Comedy

3.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
21 Metascore

Three grown daughters try to find their own personal ways to deal with their dysfunctional parents. The mother is an unorthodox woman with out-of-the-ordinary ideas, including one where she... See full summary »

Director: Max Mayer | Stars: Scott Cohen, Olympia Dukakis, Jamie Gonzalez, Roy Scheider

Votes: 101 | Gross: $0.00M

35. 15 to Life: Kenneth's Story (2013)

TV-PG | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Kenneth young just keep praying and everything will be alright

Director: Nadine Pequeneza

Votes: 32

36. Gang Bullets (1938)

Approved | 63 min | Action, Crime, Drama

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A ruthless but clever gangster who knows every loophole in the law has the tables turned by a dedicated District Attorney and his assistant.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Anne Nagel, Robert Kent, Charles Trowbridge, Morgan Wallace

Votes: 126

37. Redheads (1994)

R | 107 min | Thriller

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A prominent lawyer has an affair with a girl from juvie who wants a way out. She's taping their tryst when someone enters and kills the lawyer. Now he's after her and the tape. Her only chance is a stand up female public defender.

Director: Danny Vendramini | Stars: Claudia Karvan, Catherine McClements, Alexander Petersons, Mark Hembrow

Votes: 65

38. The Defender (2018)

88 min | Drama

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The Defender takes the law as his topic. It really presents is 'systematic dysfunction under allowance for human nature.' As a creator, I must truthfully accept that I have no answer for ... See full summary »

Director: Shih-Han Tsao | Stars: Huan-Ru Ke, Chin-Yu Pan, Wei-Hua Lan, Samuel Ku

39. Presumed Guilty: Tales of the Public Defenders (2002)

116 min | Documentary

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
63 Metascore

Three Years of Trench Warfare in the Jails, Holding Cells and Courts of San Francisco As Public Defenders Seek Justice for Their Clients Go behind the scenes and enter the inner sanctum of ... See full summary »

Director: Pamela Yates | Stars: Jeff Adachi, Michele Forrar, Will Maas, Nigel Phillips

Votes: 13

40. Defending Gideon (2013)

30 min | Documentary, Short

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Fifty years ago, Clarence Earl Gideon was charged with breaking into a pool hall. He could not afford a lawyer to defend him in court, and after a hasty trial, he was convicted. Had Gideon ... See full summary »

Director: Rebecca Richman Cohen | Stars: Thomas Boyd, Clarence Earl Gideon, Bruce Jacob, Robert Johnson

41. Shameless (2011– )
Episode: A Jailbird, Invalid, Martyr, Cutter, Retard, and Parasitic Twin (2014)

TV-MA | 50 min | Comedy, Drama

9.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

In the aftermath of Fiona's release from jail and Frank's illness guardianship of the Gallagher clan falls squarely on Lip - who gets some unexpected assistance from Amanda, his roommate's girlfriend.

Director: Gary B. Goldman | Stars: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, Ethan Cutkosky

Votes: 1,541

42. Better Call Saul (2015– )
Episode: Alpine Shepherd Boy (2015)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After a strange encounter with the police, Chuck ends up in the hospital. Jimmy meets up with a series of unruly clients.

Director: Nicole Kassell | Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian

Votes: 6,944

43. Moyers & Company (2012– )
Episode: And Justice for Some (2013)

TV-G | 57 min | News, Talk-Show

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Fifty years after a landmark decision to give the poor their day in court, they still can't afford justice.

Stars: Martin Clancy, Michael Dukakis, Bill Moyers, Tim O'Brien

44. Chicago Fire (2012– )
Episode: Badlands (2019)

TV-14 | 41 min | Action, Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Brett and Foster question the suspicious circumstances surrounding an attack at a juvenile detention center; new technology at Firehouse 51 tests everybody's patience; Kidd is chosen to represent the district at a leadership conference.

Director: Olivia Newman | Stars: Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Kara Killmer, David Eigenberg

Votes: 132

45. The Purge (2018– )
Episode: Blindspots (2019)

TV-MA | 40 min | Action, Drama, Horror

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The residual effects of Purge Night infect the lives of Ryan, Marcus, and Esme.

Director: Tara Nicole Weyr | Stars: Derek Luke, Max Martini, Paola Nuñez, Joel Allen

Votes: 198

46. Public Defender (1954– )
Episode: Cornered (1955)

30 min | Crime, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An upcoming prizefighter wants to turn himself into Matthews for parole violation but the threats of small time hoodlums and the actions of a clueless police officer cause things to go wrong.

Director: Harve Foster | Stars: Reed Hadley, Charles Bronson, Kenneth Tobey, Thomas E. Jackson

Votes: 7

47. 1000 Ways to Die (2008–2012)
Episode: Death Over Easy (2009)

TV-14 | 22 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

1000 Ways to Die looks at the following cases: "#316 Butt F***ed" a hospital patient suffering from burns accidentally sets his bandages on fire when having a cigarette, "#818 Frightmare" a... See full summary »

Director: Will Raée | Stars: Ron Perlman, Jean Mackie, Joel Teplinsky, David Mok

Votes: 32

48. Queen Sugar (2016– )
Episode: I No Longer Imagine (2019)

TV-14 | 42 min | Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Someone from her past is looking for Violet. Nova deals with family fallout from her book.

Director: Carmen Marrón | Stars: Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Omar J. Dorsey

Votes: 21

49. Shameless (2011– )
Episode: Iron City (2014)

TV-MA | 56 min | Comedy, Drama

9.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The aftermath of Liam's accident lands Fiona in county jail - unsure of Liam's condition or her future. Meanwhile, after almost being killed by the sweat lodge, Frank gets some sobering news about his declining health.

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, Ethan Cutkosky

Votes: 1,493



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