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MU Law Films Guide: Sn-Sz

Sn-Sz

Snow Falling on Cedars

Title:  Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

Director:  Scott Hicks

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S63 2000

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  127 minutes

Plot:  A murder trial has upset the quiet community of San Piedro, and now this tranquil village has become the center of controversy. For a local reporter the trial strikes home when he finds his ex-lover is linked to the case.

Legal Angles:  Property Law, Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure, Civil Rights & Constitutional Law, Trial Practice

Genre:  Drama, Mystery, Romance

Cast:  Ethan Hawke, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins, Youki Kudoh, James Rebhorn, Sam Shepard, Rick Yune, Max von Sydow

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The Social Network

Title:  The Social Network (2010)

Director:  David Fincher

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  PN1997 .S63 2011

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  120 minutes

Plot:  On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history, but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications.

Legal Angles:  Civil Law & Civil Procedure, Property Law, Business Organizations & Corporate Law

Genre:  Biopraphy, Drama

Cast:  Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Justin Timberlake

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The Soloist

Title:  The Soloist (2009)

Director:  Joe Wright

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S634 2009

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  117 minutes

Plot:  In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist and recent bike accident victim Steve Lopez more than his banged-up face, was his pressing need for story ideas. He soon discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a skid row schizophrenic street musician, who possesses extraordinary talent - even though he only has half-broken instruments to play. Inspired by Nathaniel's story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about him and attempts to do more to help both him, and the rest of the underclass of L.A. have a better life. Lopez's good intentions run headlong into Nathaniel's personal demons and the larger issues of social injustice facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Nathaniel find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations.

Legal Angles:  Civil Rights & Constitutional Law, Mental Health Law, Social Justice 

Genre:  Biography, Drama, Music

Cast:  Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey, Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, LisaGay Hamilton

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Some Like It Hot

Title:  Some Like It Hot (1959)

Director:  Billy Wilder

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S65 2001

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  120 minutes

Plot:  Two unemployed musicians accidentally witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and flee to Miami disguised as female musicians.

Legal Angles:  Family Law, Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure 

Genre:  Comedy

Cast:  Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Joe E. Brown, George Raft, Pat O'Brien

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Sommersby

Title:  Sommersby (1993)

Director:  John Amiel

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S66 2010

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  114 minutes

Plot:  A Civil War veteran returns to his hometown a changed man-- leading his wife and others who knew him to doubt his identity.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure, Trial Practice, Death Penalty, Military Law, Wrongful Convictions 

Genre:  Drama, Mystery, Romance

Cast:  Richard Gere, Jodie Foster, Bill Pullman, James Earl Jones

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Soul Food Junkies

         Title:   Soul Food Junkies (2013)

         Director:  Byron Hurt

        Location:  MU Law RESERVE  TX715 .S68 2013

         Format:  DVD

         Rating:  TV-PG+L

         Length:  63 min.

         Plot:  Filmmaker Byron Hurt looks at the past and future of soul food, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community. Examines the socioeconomics of the modern American diet, and how the food industry profits from producing cheap calories while healthy options remain expensive and hard to find.

Legal Angles:   Food Law

Genre:  Documentary

Cast:   Narrator, Byron Hurt

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Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson's American Journey

Title:  Soul of Justice:  Thelton Henderson's American Journey (2005)

Director:  Abby Ginzberg

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  AV  KF373.H45 S6 2005

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  62 min.

Plot:  "Few judges provoke the ire of conservatives more than Thelton Henderson, Senior Judge of the Federal District Court of Northern California. His career in many ways parallels the larger historic arc of the Civil Rights movement and the changing vision of government -- from Jim Crow laws to Civil Rights victories and back again with recent attacks on affirmative action. Similarly reflected are the changes and conflicts in judicial philosophy during those 40 years. Henderson's decisions on affirmative action, environmental protection and prison reform --and the furors that surrounded them --serve as a prism on these changes and what they mean for American society"--California Newsreel website.

Legal Angles: Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, Judicial Philosophy, Environmental Protection and Prison Reform

Genre:  Documentary

Cast:  Narrator, Carl Lumbly

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Spartan

Title:  Spartan (2004)

Director:  David Marnet

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S737 2003

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  107 minutes

Plot:  Secret Service agent Robert Scott is assigned to the kidnapping case of Laura Newton, the missing daughter of a high-ranking political official. Scott is teamed up with rookie agent Curtis. Aided by the FBI and the CIA, the team discovers a human trafficking operation that may lead to Laura's kidnappers. Meanwhile, political operative Stoddard refuses to cooperate with the rescue mission. Scott and Curtis are forced to quit the investigation when the media reports Laura's death. Believing her to be alive, Curtis is motivated to start up a dangerous unofficial investigation of his own.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Executive Branch, Human Trafficking, Politics

Genre:  Action, Crime, Drama

Cast: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, William H. Macy, Ed O'Neill, Kristen Bell, Tia Texada

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Splice

Title:  Splice (2009)

Director:  Vincenzo Natali

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S655 2010

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  104 minutes

Plot:  Two young scientists become superstars by splicing different animal DNA to create fantastical new creatures. Ignoring legal and ethical boundaries, the scientists, who are romantically involved, introduce human DNA into their experiment and risk the dawn of a terrifying new era.

Legal Angles:  Bioethics, Property Law, Contracts & Commercial Law 

Genre:  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Cast:  Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, Brandon McGibbon, Simona Maicanescu, David Hewlett

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Spy Game

Title:  Spy Game (2001)

Director:  Tony Scott

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S79 2002

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  125 minutes

Plot:  Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Legal Angles:  Politics, International Law, Law of War, National Security

Genre:  Action, Crime, Thriller

Cast:  Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Catherine McCormack, Stephen Dillane, Larry Bryggman, Michael Paul Chan, Marianne Jean-Baptiste

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Stage Fright

Title:  Stage Fright (1950)

Director:  Alfred Hitchcock

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S83 2004

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  110 minutes

Plot:  A woman disguises herself as a maid in order to clear her friend who's been accused of murdering his mistress's husband.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Law

Genre:  Crime, Drama, Thriller

Cast:  Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd, Alistair Sim

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The Staircase

Title:  The Staircase (2004)

Director:  Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S735 2005

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  360 minutes

Plot:  The eight episodes of The Staircase turn on the question of whether the death of Kathleen Peterson was accidental or whether she was murdered by her husband, author Michael Peterson, presenting behind-the-scenes access to Peterson, his family and friends, investigators, the defense team, and the prosecution as events unfold and each party attempts to come to terms with this bizarre mystery.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Ethics, Lawyering, Trial Practice,

Genre:  Crime, Documentary

Cast:  Featuring Michael Peterson, David Rudolf, Margaret Ratliff, Martha Ratliff

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Standard Operating Procedure

Title:  Standard Operating Procedure (2008)

Director:  Errol Morris

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  AV DS79.76 .S68 2008

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  116 minutes

Plot:  It started as photographs taken by soldiers of the abuse and torture prisoners were suffering in Abu Ghraib prison, and turned into a media frenzy full of scandal and cover-ups. One of the most notorious moments in recent U.S. military history is examined, through interviews with participants and dramatic reenactments of events.

Legal Angles:  Evidence, The Law of War, Terrorism, International Law, Military Law

Genre:  Crime, Documentary, War

Cast:  Lynndie England, Janis Karpinski, Megan Ambuhl, Sabrina Harman, Brent Pack

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State of Play

Title:  State of Play (2009)

Director:  Kevin Macdonald

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S838 2009

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  127 minutes

Plot:  When D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey is assigned to investigate the murder of an assistant to an up-and-coming politician, he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the nation's power structures. In a town of spin-doctors and wealthy power brokers, he will discover one truth: when fortunes are at stake, no one's integrity, love, or life is safe.

Legal Angles:  Politics, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Media Law, Military Law

Genre:  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Cast:  Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman

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Stoker

Title:  Stoker (2013)

Director:  Chan-wook Park

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  PN1997 .S765 2013

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  99 min.

Plot:  Following the tragic death of her father on her eighteenth birthday, India Stoker meets Charlie, her charismatic uncle, whom she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with India and her unstable mother, both are drawn to his charming and calming demeanor. But it soon becomes clear that Charlie's arrival was no coincidence, and that the shocking secrets of his past could shatter India's future.

Legal Angles:  Serial Killers, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Mental Health Law

Genre:  Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Cast:  Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Alden Ehrenreich, Phyllis Somerville


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Stop-Loss

Title:  Stop-Loss (2008)

Director:  Kimberly Peirce

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S76 2008

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  127 minutes

Plot:  Decorated Iraq war hero Sgt. Brandon King makes a celebrated return to his small Texas hometown following his tour of duty. He tries to resume the life he left behind with the help and support of his family and his best friend, Steve Shriver, who served with him in Iraq. Along with their other war buddies, Brandon and Steve try to make peace with civilian life. Then, against Brandon's will, the Army orders him back to duty in Iraq, which upends his world. The conflict tests everything he believes in - the bond of family, the loyalty of friendship, the limits of love and the value of honor.

Legal Angles:  Military Law, The Law of War, Politics

Genre:  Drama, War

Cast:  Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ciaran Hinds, Timothy Olyphant, Victor Rasuk, Rob Brown

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The Story of Qiu Ju

Title:  The Story of Qiu Ju (1993)

Director:  Yimou Zhang

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  PN1997 .Q25 2006

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG

Length:  100 min.

Plot:  An ordinary, courageous woman in a small villlage does not relent  in her quest for justice.

Legal Angles: Comparative Law, Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution, the Chinese Justice System's layers of appeal

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Cast:   Gong Li, Lei Lao Sheng, Liu Pei Qi, Ge Zhi Jun, Ye Jun, Yang Liu Chun

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The Strange Demise of Jim Crow

Title:  The Strange Demise of Jim Crow (1997)

Director:  David Berman

Location:  MU Law RESERVE E185.61 .S88 1998

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  57 minutes

Plot:  Told by the participants themselves, this documentary reveals the behind-the-scenes compromises, negotiations, and the controversial news black-outs which helped bring about the quiet desegregation of commercial establishments in Houston, Texas.

Legal Angles:  Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Business Law, Labor Law, Employment Law

Genre:  Documentary

Cast:  Lorenzo Thomas

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Strangers on a Train

Title:  Strangers on a Train (1951)

Director:  Alfred Hitchcock

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S873 2004

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG

Length:  101 minutes

Plot:  Guy Haines, a tennis star who hates his wife, is approached on a train by a stranger, Bruno Anthony, who hates his father. Anthony offers a plan: each could kill the other's victim. No motive, no clue would link the two murders save the casual meeting of strangers on a train. Haines doesn't take the plan seriously, however, until his wife is suddenly murdered, and Anthony appears to demand that Haines keep his part of the bargain.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence

Genre:  Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Cast:  Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G. Carroll

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Straw Dogs

Title: Straw Dogs (2011)

Director:  Rod Lurie

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  PN1997 .S773 2011

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  110 min.

Plot:  David and Amy Sumner, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father's death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie, which leads to a violent confrontation.

Legal Angles:  Rape, the Sanctity of Private Property and Due Process.

Genre:  Thriller

Cast:  James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård, Dominic Purcell, Rhys Cioro, Billy Lush, Laz Alonso, Willa Holland, Walton Goggins, Anson Mount, James Woods

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Studio One Anthology

Title:  Studio One Anthology (1948)

Director:  Tony Barr

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S785 2008

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length: 978 minutes

Plot:  A pinnacle of the golden age of television, Studio One presented a wide range of memorable dramas and received 18 Emmy nominations and five wins during its prestigious 9-year run on CBS. Showcasing some of the greatest talent of the era, this groundbreaking series created an enormous impact and still remains a treasured part of America' broadcasting history.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Trial Practice, Lawyering,  Professional Ethics

Genre:  Drama

Cast:  NA

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Summer Hours

Title:  Summer Hours (2008)

Director:  Olivier Assayas

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S86 2009

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  103 minutes

Plot:  The divergent paths of three adult siblings collide when their mother, heiress to an exceptional 19th century art collection, dies.

Legal Angles:  Comparative Law, Estates & Trusts, Property Law, International Law

Genre:  Drama, Family

Cast:  Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Rénier, Edith Scob, Dominique Reymond, Valérie Bonneton, Jean-Baptiste Malarte, Isabelle Sadoyan, Kyle Eastwood, Alice de Lencquesaing, Emile Berling

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Sunshine Cleaning

Title:  Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

Director:  Christine Jeffs

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S875 2009

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  91 minutes

Plot:  Rose Lorkowski is a single mother attempting to support her son Oscar and her unreliable sister Norah. She works a mundane job as a maid. Once the head cheerleader in school with plenty of prospects, Rose now has little to show for her life. She still sees the former head football player, but it is little more than a despondent affair. When Oscar is expelled from public school, Rose takes a job as a bio-hazard crime-scene cleaner to help pay for a private education. She brings Norah on to help in her steadily growing business. As the sisters work to clean up the messes left behind by the chaotic lives of others, they must learn to reconcile their own differences and overcome a troubled past if they hope to prosper in their newfound venture.

Legal Angles:  Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Evidence

Genre:  Comedy, Drama

Cast:  Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clifton Collins, Jr., Eric Christian Olsen, Paul Dooley

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Sunshine State

Title:  Sunshine State (2002)

Director:  John Sayles

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S88 2002

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  141 minutes

Plot:  A portrait of a richly diverse town on a sleepy Florida island threatened by real estate developers.

Legal Angle:  Property Law 

Genre:  Drama, Romance

Cast:  Jane Alexander, Angela Bassett, Mary Steenburgen, Edie Falco, Miguel Ferrer, James McDaniel, Gordon Clapp, Timothy Hutton

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Super Size Me

Title:  Super Size Me (2004)

Director:  Morgan Spurlock

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  AV TX945.5.M33 S87 2004

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  100 min.

Plot:  Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock embarks on a journey to find out if fast food is making Americans fat. For 30 days he can't eat or drink anything that isn't on McDonald's menu; he must eat three square meals a day, he must eat everything on the menu at least once, and supersize his meal if asked. He treks across the country interviewing a host of experts on fast food and a number of regular folk while downing McDonald's to try and find out why 37% of American are now overweight. Spurlock's grueling diet spirals him into a metamorphosis that will make you think twice about picking up another Big Mac.

Legal Angles:  Food Law

Genre:  Documentary, Comedy, Drama

Cast:  Daryl Isaacs, Morgan Spurlock, Bridget Bennett, Lisa Ganjhu, Alexandra Jamieson, Stephen Siegel

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Suspect

Title:  Suspect (1987)

Director:  Peter Yates

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S87 2006

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  121 minutes

Plot:  A Supreme Court justice takes his own life; a woman is found dead--the victim of a grisly murder; a homeless Vietnam vet stands accused. Kathleen Riley, an overworked Washington, D.C. public defender who needs a vacation, is assigned to the case. Lobbyist Eddie Sanger gets saddled with jury duty just when a critical bill is coming up for a vote. Eddie discovers evidence critical to Kathleen's case and contacts her outside the courtroom--a violation of the law. Bizarre evidence leads Kathleen on a dangerous trail from Washington's seamy underbelly to the highest levels of government.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Lawyering, Trial Practice,   Politics, & Professional Ethics

Genre:  Crime, Drama, Thriller

Cast:  Cher, Dennis Quaid, Liam Neeson, John Mahoney, Joe Mantegna, Philip Bosco

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Suspicion

Title:  Suspicion (1941)

Director:  Alfred Hitchcock

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S877 2004

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  99 minutes

Plot:  Alfred Hitchcock weaves a terrifying web of suspicion around a fragile young English bride and captures a classic suspense thriller. Joan Fontaine is the bride, a gently-reared heiress who fears she has married a murderer. Cary Grant is the husband, a dashing ne'er-do-well with a penchant for the high life--and a bank account that's strictly low-life.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Estates & Trusts, Property Law

Genre:  Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance

Cast:  Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel, Leo G. Carroll

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Sweet Land

Title:  Sweet Land (2005)

Director:  Ali Selim

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S944 2007

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG

Length:  110 minutes

Plot:  Inge is a feisty German mail-order bride who has come to Minnesota to marry Olaf, a young Norwegian immigrant farmer of few words. But in a post-WWI, anti-German climate, the local minister openly forbids the marriage. Inge and Olaf fall in love despite the town's disapproval. But when the town banker attempts to foreclose on the farm of his friend Frandsen, Olaf takes a stand.

Legal Angles:  Family Law, Foreclosure, Immigration Law, Politics

Genre:  Drama, Romance

Cast:  Elizabeth Reaser, Tim Guinee, Lois Smith, Ned Beatty, Alan Cumming, Alex Kingston, John Heard, Paul Sand, Tom Gilroy, Jodie Markell, Patrick Heusinger

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The Sweet Hereafter

Title:  The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

Director:  Atom Egoyan

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S943 1998

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  127 minutes

Plot:  Following a tragic schoolbus accident, high-profile lawyer Mitchell Stephens descends upon a small town. With promises of retribution and a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the grieving community, Stephens begins his investigation into the details of the crash. But beneath the town's calm, he uncovers a tangled web of lies, deceit and forbidden desires that mirrors his own troubled personal life. Gradually, we learn that Stephens has his own agenda and that everyone has secrets to keep.

Legal Angels:  Comparative Law, Torts, Trial Practice

Genre:  Drama

Cast:  NA

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Syriana


Title:  Syriana (2005)

Director:  Stephen Gaghan

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .S97 2006

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  126 minutes

Plot:  As a career CIA operative, Bob Barnes begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to. An up-and-coming oil broker, Bryan Woodman faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with idealistic Gulf Prince Nasir al-Subaai. Corporate lawyer, Bennett Holiday faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies Across the globe, a disenfranchised Wasim Khan, a Pakistani teenager, falls prey to the recruiting efforts of a charismatic cleric. Each plays their small part in the vast and complex system that powers the industry, unaware of the explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.

Legal Angles:  Administrative Law, Business Law, Corruption, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, International Law, National Security, Natural Resources Law, Politics

Genre:  Drama, Thriller

Cast:  George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Mazhar Munir, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig

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