A Lawyer Walks Into A Bar...

"Good"

A Lawyer Walks Into A Bar... Review


If you don't have a lawyer in the family... you're probably not looking hard enough. With some one million lawyers in America, we live in easily the most litigious country in the world, and documentarian Eric Chaikin (whose competitive Scrabble documentary Word Wars is a guilty pleasure) tears the profession down before quietly building it back up again.

Chaikin begins by shredding some of lawyerdom's most notorious facets -- the growth of frivolous lawsuits, ambulance chasers, and absurd warnings on products urging you not to ingest them -- then abruptly turns his attention to a group of aspiring lawyers who are set to take the Bar Exam in a few weeks' time. Here we witness the grueling preparations required for the three-day exam (including sample questions), and the strong likelihood that our subjects will not pass anyway: In California, the Bar has an average pass rate of just 39 percent. What, no more new lawyers!?

Some of these characters are expected parts of the genre -- Tricia, a pretty wannabe actress-slash-attorney who is absolutely certain she's going to pass -- but some are quite unexpected, including Magda, who's been working her way through a fourth-tier law school for years but finds out she doesn't have enough recent coursework to sit for the test, and Don, who graduated law school in 1980 and has failed the Bar a whopping 41 times to date. Their drama is sometimes cloying and sometimes heartwarming, but by the time the big day (or rather, three days) arrives, you can really feel the nerves and anticipation that everyone's dealing with. For some of these characters, failing the Bar will mean an abrupt interruption to their career in law, and the odds are against them. For Don, well, it'll mean another try a few months down the line.

Chaikin intersperses these preparations with interviews with numerous big-name lawyers, from Vernon Jordan and Scott Turow to Alan Dershowitz and Robert Shapiro. All offer interesting perspective or insight on the career, but one still leaves the film with a foul taste in the mouth regarding the legal profession. All this trouble just so we can have more lawsuits? I oughtta sue!

Not for internal use.



A Lawyer Walks Into A Bar...

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Eric Chaikin

Producer: Eric Chaikin, Tasha Oldham

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.