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Movie Review (Legal Dilemna) - The Pelican Brief

Watch a movie that presents a legal dilemma (e.g., Criminal Law, Penalty Phase, Presumed Innocent,The Witness) and analyze the dilemmas of using one of the ethical frameworks.

Suggested Movies:
1. Criminal Law
2. Penalty Phase
3. Presumed Innocent
4. Erin Brockovich
5. A Time to Kill
6. Runaway Jury
7. The Firm
8. A Few Good Men
9. The Rainmaker

* Summarize the movie plot briefly.
* Describe the ethical dilemma from the perspective of each of the main characters involved.
* Describe how the dilemma was resolved.
* Explain the kind of ethical framework that best describes how the dilemma was analyzed and resolved by the characters involved.
* Consider whether the ethical framework used to resolve the dilemma was an effective solution. Suggest a different framework to address the dilemma and predict the outcome.
* Explain why you think dramas and dilemmas make for interesting entertainment.

Follow APA guidelines.

Thank You.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Below is a suggested legal movie review. Usually when a tutor/professor suggests a list, the rest of the class picks from it & the similarities between the works of students (which is okay) does not necessarily help a particular work stand out. I chose The Pelican Brief by Grisham who also authoured two on the list you provided - a time to kill & the client. Adapt it as you will. Movie reviews must cite the movies indicated, if you have to add any media for reference, look at the manner by which I cited the movie.

OTA 105878
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Movie in Review: The Pelican Brief, 1993
Writer/Author: John Grisham
Movie Outfit Producing: Time Warner Entertainment
Book Publisher: Doubleday, 1992 /Dell, 1993

Movie Plot & Main Characters -

Legal crime thrillers are the specialty of John Grisham who himself is a criminal defense attorney with a flair for applying his legal knowledge into acts of fiction that so often expose the various manner in which the law becomes that explosive colour that give life to the fabric of his novels. Alan Pakula who co-wrote the screenplay with Grisham is also the producer & director starring Hollywood heavyweights Julia Roberts & Denzel Washington. Julia Roberts plays the lead role of Darby Shaw, a young law student of Tulane University in New Orleans who wrote a brief (a legal analysis of the adversary systems within a case/legal problem usually presented at trials to resolve a disputed point of evidence), the very one that is the tile of the movie & the book. Astute & critical, Darby is a gifted law student who was challenged to find out the legal basis & connection between the assassinations of two of America's Chief Justices: Rosenberg & Jensen. While not much connects the two - Rosenberg a dignified & aging Supreme Court Justice of the old school, and Jensen, a recent appointment who leads a secretly homosexual longing; Darby's research into the work of the two justices showed their commonality: environmentalism. Further research lead her to an environmental case filed by a green NGO in behalf of the near-extinction brown Pelicans in Louisiana's swampland against the actions of an oil company owned by powerful tycoon Mattiece. Scheduled to eventually find it's' way to the Supreme Court, the Pelicans would for sure trump the industrial will of Mattiece' oil & gas company.

Gray Grantham, played by Denzel Washington is a political columnist & ...

Solution Summary

The solution is the review of the John Grisham penned novel adapted into a movie thriller starring Julia Roberts & denzelWashington - The Pelican Brief (1993). It discusses the movie plot & characters and then goes on to analyse the legal & ethical dilemnas posed by plotline upon each character and their ultimate action. It further looks into the solution provided played out by the chacracters in the movie to resolve the dilemna & provides opinions on possible plot twists as well as a view on why legal dramas & thrillers are found interesting by mainstream moviegoers as a form of entertainment.

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