I am particularly fond of movies that attempt to articulate something meaningful about the contradictions and prejudices that infect humanity, but yet produce characters the watcher can relate to, if not like. This all has to be surrounded by a compelling story. This is a hard package to find in one movie, but Philadelphia hits a grand slam on all accounts.
Tom Hanks stars as a hot shot and cocky lawyer at a prestigious law firm who is fired because of the firms prejudice against people who have AIDS. In order to fight his dismissal, he turns to an African American lawyer played by Denzel Washington with his own prejudices against homosexuals. The drama between these two characters alone creates a really interesting dynamic as they work often uneasily through their own prejudices.
It is these competing dynamics that make this movie a modern classic and well worth the price of a rental.