The Lincoln Lawyer
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Frances Farmer, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy and Michael Pena
Director: Brad Furman
Scriptwriter: John Romano from the novel by Michael Connelly
Rated R for violence, unsettling images and language
Running Length: 115 minutes
The first time we saw Matthew McConaughey as a lawyer was in the Grisham book-to-screen flick, A Time To Kill. This time around he takes on the role of Mick Haller in a film based on a Michael Connelly novel, The Lincoln Lawyer. It is safe to say that most of us enjoy a well penned legal thriller. And though many will not admit it in public, we all love that McConaughey swagger. He seems to slip easily into a role as if he has been playing the character his whole life; yet with subtle differences that keep away repetition.
Connelly got the idea for the story after talking to a real attorney at a sporting event who just happened to office out of the back of his car. In this movie Mick Haller cruises the streets of LA in a large, black Lincoln with NTGUILTY on the plates. He has a reputation of getting the scum back on the streets. When a wealthy, high profile client (Ryan Phillippe) solicits his services Mick finds himself in a twisty, cat and mouse game of justice juggling. He soon learns that sometimes attorney-client privileges can truly bind your hands from getting to the truth. Luckily in spite of the title this film spends as much time in the courtroom as it does the back seat of a sweet ride.
The cast is not only well known but heavy hitters who deliver exactly what their characters need. Phillippe has the ability to carry himself in pampered, polite society yet can turn on a fire in his eyes that will chill you. His character has been accused of abusing a young woman in her apartment but swears his innocence vehemently. The prosecuting attorney is played by Josh Lucas. The third pretty face in the mix. I like Lucas in this role and he delivers some real emotion as he battles it out with Haller. It is subtle and realistic. Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, and John Leguizamo round out the players.
The writing is intricate and tricky. You have to pay attention to the minor characters early on or you might stumble a bit. Everything is woven together and this makes for a tight, unique take on the courtroom genre. This is a lot more than simply a legal motion. Haller has to creatively manipulate the system, staying one step on the good side of the line. It is a tight rope that would take a shifty mindset. One that Haller certainly has. The dialogue between Haller and his client escalates as the movie continues. This keeps you interested and the tension high until the final scene.
The Lincoln Lawyer is rated R for some violence, sexual content and language. The violence is TV drama in nature with minimal bloodshed. Most of the violence is in the form of visual evidence of the crime. The language is what you would expect from an R rated crime drama but it isn’t overboard or gratuitous. It goes without saying that you should leave your 16 and under members at home. I enjoyed it and it is an above board date film. Just know your mate. I give it 4 out of 5 parking tickets. Films with any sort of depth are often rare this time of year so I was very pleased to see this one deliver. So says Matt Mungle.
Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.
You don't want to pay rent
for an office? Just drive around in a Lincoln Town Car like Matthew
McConaughey as Mick Haller in “Lincoln Lawyer.” Mick can do suave and one-liners
in his job as a lawyer to clients who certainly look guilty and have questionable
ethics. Pay comes first and always tell Mick the truth, though he can shake
things around a bit for his purpose. This film is adapted from the book
by Michael Connelly, and he does wrap the audience round and round with
the interplay between Mick, his ex-wife Marisa Tomei, Mick’s investigator
William H. Macy, and the latest client, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe.)
What a web is woven here, and let’s not forget Mick’s Mom, Frances Farmer.
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