English Movies for English Learners

The following is a list of movies that are great for English learners. They are not only filled with great dialogue but also great Entertainment as well. A few may have even won the Academy Award. A good handful are about the legal profession.

to kill a mockingbird

1.To Kill A mockingbird (1962) – Gregory Peck (Murder Case)

This is a great movie based on a book by Lee Harper. It won the Pulitzer Prize. Atticus Finch défends a black man in the Deep South against fabricated rape charges.

IMDB Youtube

The Reader

2. The Reader (2008) – Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes

This is a great movie because the plot is pretty arresting. Set in Nazi Germany, a law student meets a former lover (an older woman) who is accused of murder.


The Sound of Music

3. The Sound of Music (1961) – Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

This is a great movie because English learners get to hear a British English accent. In addition it has a wide appeal for all age groups with easy to follow dialogue and music.

Angry Men

4.12 Angry Men (1957) – Henry Fonda (Murder Case)

This is a great legal thriller type of movie where a juror convinces the other jurors that the case is not such a “slam dunk.”


[one_fourth]My Cousin Vinny

5.My Cousin Vinny (1992) – Joe Pesci, Marissa Tormei (Murder Case)

This is a great movie because the plot is so intriguing. Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in Alabama (deep South) and a recent law school grad (Italian New Yorker) who is rough at the edges goes down to defend them.



6.Philadelphia (1993) – Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

This is a great movie even though the plot is passe. “When a man with AIDS is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.”


[one_fourth]Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

7.Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004) – Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet

Great flick. “A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.”


[one_fourth_last]Analyze This

8.Analyze This (1999) – Robert Di Niro, Billy Crystal

This is a great movie because it is so hilarious. It is about a psychiatrist and his insecure patient who is a mob boss.


9. The Good Girl (2002) Starring Jennifer Anniston

This is a great movie because Jennifer Aniston is great in it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0279113/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

10. The Social Network

This is great movie because it is all about how Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at Harvard. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285016/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

11. Erin Brockovich (2000) Starring Julia Roberts (Class Action suit)

This movie is great because Julia Roberts is superbe as a legal secretary who took on a multinational that had polluted the city’s water supply. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195685/

12. Presumed Innocent (1990) Starring Harrison Ford and Raul Julia (Murder case)

This movie is a great legal thriller. A prosecutor is framed for murdering the murder victim. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100404/?ref_=nv_sr_1

13. The Verdict (1992) Starring Paul Newman (Medical Malpractice Case)

This Paul Newman movie is great for those ambitious young litigators trying to make a name for themselves as well as for English learners looking for vocabulary help. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084855/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

14. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)Starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard

This is a great classic movie starring Audrey Hepburn as a Manhattan socialite http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054698/?ref_=nv_sr_1

15. Chinatown (1974) Starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway

Great Entertainment, great dialogue, great clothes and Jack is in it. A young detective gets caught up in a murder. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071315/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

16. Annie Hall (1978) Starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton

This is a great Woody Allen flick for English language learners. Filled with irony, angst and great dialogue, of course. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075686/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

17. A Few Good Men Starring Jack Nicolson and Tom Cruise (Military court martial case)

This movie is just one of the greatest Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson classics. Tom plays a military lawyer who is defending a bunch of marines accused of murder. Very good plot, clear dialogue, dramatic, entertaining. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104257/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

18. Chicago (1992) Starring Richard Gere and Catherine Zata Jones (Murder trials)

This movie is a musical of sorts and it stars two attractive actresses, Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger both of whom are on trial for having murdered their “significant others.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0299658/

19. Kramer v Kramer (1979) Starring Dustin Hoffmann and Meryl Streep (Divorce Case)

This movie is about a couple who gets divorced and then they get into a custody battle for their son. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079417/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

20. And Justice For All (1979) Starring Al Pacino (Rape Trial)

Al Pacino is a lawyer ordered to defend a judge he hates and who has been accued of rape – or face disbarrment. Any movie with Al Pacino is great experience and English learners wil learn a lot of words and English expressions as well. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078718/?ref_=nv_sr_1

21. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) Starring Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster (Nazi War Crimes Trial)

This is a great Post-World War II legal drama when an American court tries former nazis for their crimes. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055031/?ref_=nv_sr_1

22. 12 Years a Slave (2013) , Michael K. Williams and Michael Fassbender, Lupita N’Young

This is considered a great film about slavery in the United States. It won the 2014 Oscar for Best Motion Picture. Great plot and dialogue for English learners. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024544/

23. A Beautiful Mind (2001) Starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly

This is an interesting story about a mathematician who gets into trouble when he accepts some “secret work.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0268978/?ref_=nv_sr_1

24. Secretary (2002) Starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal

This movie is great for English learners because it has great dialogue and a great plot about a young psychiatric patient who gets a job as a lawyer’s secretary only to begin a torrid, sado-masochistic affair with him. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274812/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

25 Father of the Bride (1991) Starring Steve Martin

This is a delightfully funny movie that English learners will find very entertaining. it is about a father who is having trouble dealing with the fact that his daughter has grown up. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101862/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

26. Remains of the Day (1993) Starring Anthony Hopkins

This movie is a great classic about misguided loyalty. Great acting, dialogue and accent. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107943/?ref_=nv_sr_1


1. http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110711/top-30-must-see-movies-for-business-students#slide18

2. http://www.businesspundit.com/50-best-business-movies-ever

3. http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/19/work-film-roles-lead-careers-cx_mk_1019movies.html

4. http://www.forbes.com/2002/12/16/cx_da_1216bizmovies.html

5. http://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2013/09/20/20-finance-films-for-entertainment-and-education/

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