We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Watching "The Firm," I realized that law firms have replaced Army platoons as Hollywood's favorite microcosm. The new law thrillers have the same ingredients as those dependable old World War II action films: various ethnic and personality types who fight with each other when they're not fighting the enemy. The law movies have one considerable advantage: the female characters participate fully in all the action, instead of just staying home and writing letters to the front.
In "The Firm," a labyrinthine 153-minute film by Sydney Pollack, Tom Cruise plays Mitch McDeere, a poor boy who is ashamed of his humble origins now that he has graduated from Harvard Law fifth in his class. He gets offers from the top law firms in New York and Chicago, but finally settles on a smaller firm headquartered in Memphis. His decision is salary-driven; he sees money as security, although later in the film he is unable to say how rich he'd have to be to feel really secure.
Mitch moves to Memphis with his wife, Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn, the peculiar psychiatrist in "Basic Instinct"). They are provided with a house and a shiny new Mercedes - both bugged, as it turns out. And gradually McDeere begins to realize his new law firm is in league with the devil. An FBI man spills the beans: only a quarter of the clients are above-board, and the rest are thieves, scoundrels and money-launderers, with the firm's partners acting as bagmen shipping the money to offshore banks.
Some movies about the law oversimplify the legal aspects.