William & Mary

Law Library Movies: Immigration

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Law movies
800 Mile Wall, The (2009)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ***
Format:  DVD  90 min. 
Plot: Highlights the construction of the new border walls along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as the effect on migrants trying to cross into the U.S.
Cast: Participants portray themselves. Directed by John Carlos Frey.
Categories:  Documentary  Immigration  Government

Law movies
Alien Nation (1988)
Rated:  R  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  90 min. 
Plot: When a detective's partner is killed, he sets out to solve the crime with the LAPD's first extraterrestrial cop.
Cast: James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terrence Stamp, Kevyn Major Howard, Leslie Bevis. Directed by Graham Baker.
Categories:  SciFi/Fantasy  Immigration  Criminal Law

Law movies
Better Life, A (2011)
Rated:  PG-13  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  98 min. 
Plot: Carlos Galindo dreams of a better life for his wife and newborn son when they cross the border into the U.S.
Cast: Demián Bichir, Eddie Sotelo, Joaquín Cosio, José Julián, Nancy Lenehan. Directed by Chris Weitz.
Categories:  Drama  Family  Immigration

Law movies
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Rated:  PG-13  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  99 min. 
Plot: An all-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.
Cast: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall. Directed by John Carpenter.
Categories:  Comedy  SciFi/Fantasy  Immigration

Law movies
Coming to America (1988)
Rated:  R  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  116 min. 
Plot: An African prince goes to Queens, New York, to find a wife.
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley. Directed by John Landis.
Categories:  Comedy  Immigration  Employment

Law movies
District 9 (2009)
Rated:  R  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  112 min. 
Plot: An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt. Directed by Neill Blomkamp.
Categories:  Immigration  Politics  SciFi/Fantasy

Law movies
Frozen River (2008)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  97 min. 
Plot: The lure of fast money leads two struggling women on an illegal venture.
Cast: Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott, Michael O'Keefe, James Reilly. Directed by Courtney Hunt.
Categories:  Drama  Immigration  Family

Law movies
Gangs of New York (2002)
Rated:  R  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  166 min. 
Plot: In 1863, a man returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against his father's killer.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Categories:  Immigration  Drama

Law movies
Hester Street (1975)
Rated:  PG  Stars: *****
Format:  DVD  89 min. B&W
Plot: While trying to earn the money to bring his family to the US, a recent Jewish immigrant becomes increasingly Americanized.
Cast: Anna Berger, Ed Crowley, Paul Freedman, Sol Frieder, Lauren Frost, Martin Garner, Carol Kane. Directed by Joan Micklin Silver.
Categories:  Immigration  Family  Drama

Law movies
In America (2002)
Rated:  PG-13  Stars: *****
Format:  DVD  105 min. 
Plot: An impoverished Irish family searches for a better life amidst the dangers of New York City's Hell's Kitchen.
Cast: Samantha Morton, Paddy Constantine, Djimon Hounsou. Directed by Jim Sheridan.
Categories:  Immigration  Poverty  Family

Law movies
Long Way Home, The (1997)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  VHS  120 min. B&W
Plot: After WWII, Jewish Holocaust survivors are moved into Displaced Persons' camps. After delays, more physical hardship, and years of uncertainty, they are permitted to begin new lives in Israel and the U.S.
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Edward Asner, Sean Astin, Martin Landau, Miriam Margoyles, David Praymer. Directed by Mark Jonathan Harris.
Categories:  Documentary  War  Immigration

Law movies
Lost Boys of Sudan (2003)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  87 min. 
Plot: Follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America.
Cast: Santino Majok Chuor, Peter Nyarol Dut. Directed by Megan Mylan.
Categories:  Documentary  War  Immigration

Law movies
Maria Full of Grace (2004)
Rated:  R  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  101 min. 
Plot: A young Colombian girl enters the ruthless world of drug trafficking to escape her country for the United States. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, Jhon Alexander Toro. Directed by Joshua Marston.
Categories:  Immigration  Poverty  Foreign

Law movies
Most Violent Year, A (2014)
Rated:  R  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  125 min. 
Plot: An ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in New York City's history.
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks. Directed by J. C. Chandor.
Categories:  Drama  Immigration  Urban

Law movies
Once (2006)
Rated:  R  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  86 min. 
Plot: An Irish street musician and a pianist record the soundtrack of their lives.
Cast: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová. Directed by John Carney.
Categories:  Musical  Romance  Immigration

Law movies
Other Side of Hope, The (2017)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  100 min. 
Plot: A poker-playing restaurateur and former traveling salesman befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland. In Finnish and Arabic with English subtitles.
Cast: Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Eronen. Directed by Aki Kaurismäki.
Categories:  Immigration  International  Foreign

Law movies
Sacco and Vanzetti (2006)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  81 min. 
Plot: The story of two Italian immigrant radicals who were executed in 1927 offers insights into present-day issues of civil liberties and the rights of immigrants.
Cast: Voices of Tony Shaloub and John Turturro . Directed by Peter Miller.
Categories:  Documentary  Biography  Immigration

Law movies
Scarface (1983)
Rated:  R  Stars: ****1/2
Format:  DVD (2 disc set) 170 min. 
Plot: A determined Cuban immigrant succumbs to greed while building a criminal empire.
Cast: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F. Murray Abraham. Directed by Brian De Palma.
Categories:  Criminal Law  Immigration

Law movies
Sophie's Choice (1982)
Rated:  R  Stars: *** 1/2
Format:  DVD  150 min. 
Plot: A Polish-Catholic concentration camp survivor embroiled in a lovers' drama in post WWII Brooklyn.
Cast: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol. Directed by Alan J. Pakula.
Categories:  Human Rights  War  Immigration

Law movies
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD (2 disc set) 89 min. B&W
Plot: A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise, and unwelcome, visit by his pretty sixteen-year-old Hungarian cousin.
Cast: John Lurie, Estzer Balint, Richard Edson. Directed by Jim Jarmusch.
Categories:  Immigration  Comedy

Law movies
Terminal, The (2004)
Rated:  PG-13  Stars: ***1/2
Format:  DVD  129 min. 
Plot: An Eastern European visitor becomes a resident of JFK airport when a war breaks out and erases his country from the map, voiding his passport.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Chi McBride, Diego Luna. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Categories:  Romance  Immigration  International

Law movies
Visitor, The (2007)
Rated:  PG-13  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  104 min. 
Plot: A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.
Cast: Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass, Haaz Sleiman. Directed by Thomas McCarthy.
Categories:  Immigration  Housing  Drama

Law movies
Well-Founded Fear (2000)
Rated:  NR  Stars: ****
Format:  DVD  119 min. 
Plot: An in-depth look at the asylum process of the federal U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Cast: Participants portray themselves. Directed by Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson.
Categories:  Documentary  Immigration  Politics

The Wolf Law Library welcomes your suggestions for additions to the Feature Film Collection! If there is a law-related movie you feel we might be missing, please submit your suggestion to the Circulation & Reserve Desk at lawcir@wm.edu.

You can view a list of all law library movies in the online catalog.