By time you read this I will already be fully immersed in one of our great civic duties…that’s right, I have been selected for jury duty. Needless to say my life will be somewhat turned upside down for the duration of the trial. Similar to Fight Club, the first rule of jury duty is that you cannot divulge anything about the case you are serving on. So I will merely list a few of the courtroom based films that popped into my head when I found out I was selected for jury duty.

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men
Having watched the film for the first time two years ago, as part of the Blind Spot Series, this is now where my mind immediately goes when I think of courtroom dramas. Frankly, it is impossible not to think of this film once you factor in the possibility of being sequestered.

Witness for the prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution
Though Billy Wilder’s film came out the same year as 12 Angry Men, it seems to linger in the dark corners of 12 Angry Men’s shadow. The two films tackle completely different subjects, however, this film came to mind simply because it reminded me that what may be said on the witness stand may not always be what it seems.

Jury Duty

Jury Duty
Yep, my mind went here. Yours probably did as well. Truth be told, I found the movie entertaining for what it was. It is not up there with Son in Law in terms of classic Pauly Shore films – is there such a thing? – but the film serves a purpose of providing levity to a genre known more for seriousness and dread.

A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men
“You can’t handle the truth!” Alright I got it out of my system. Though it is doubtful that I will be privy to such theatrics, Rob Reiner’s film set a new standard for courtroom outbursts. Really, more people remember Jack Nicholson’s iconic scene than what the two men in the film stood accused of.

Runaway Jury

Runaway Jury
It seems like this film is on television every other month. While an adequate film at best, there is something oddly appealing about Runaway Jury. It is an intriguing thought that someone would go to such great lengths to manipulate the outcome of a case from the inside out.

What are some films that come to your mind when you hear the words “jury duty”?

6 Comments

    1. If yuo’re American the easiest way to get picked for jury duty is to register to vote in a new place. Juror candidate pools are often formed from the new voter lists.

  1. I got selected for jury duty 12 years ago where I became an alternate juror in a weapons case. It was only for a couple of days. 2 boring days. You spend the morning waiting if you’re going to be selected. Then you’re interviewed to see if you will be selected. If your number is called. It means you have to be a juror. If not, you can go home. Then you have to call before 6 to hear your number whether or not you can go to the courthouse. It’s an excruciating experience. I got selected again a year later but fortunately didn’t have to serve as a juror.

  2. I served on a jury about 15 years ago. It was a simple case where someone was taking a hail mary pass at making some money off a case for which they didn’t have a leg to stand on. The only reason it took 30 minutes to decide was that some of the jury members had to go outside for a smoke break first. The rest of the month I either didn’t have to go in for selection, or didn’t get selected.

  3. Solid list here, CS. Jury Duty… ha, I completely forgot that movie existed. Used to love it as a kid. Watched Witness for the Prosecution for the first time last year, really enjoyed it. Good luck with jury duty!

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