Michael "Mick" Haller, a slick, charismatic Los Angeles criminal defense attorney operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental sedan. Having spent most of his career defending petty, gutter-variety criminals, Mick lands the case of a lifetime: defending a rich Beverly Hills playboy. However, what initially appears to b...more
Michael "Mick" Haller, a slick, charismatic Los Angeles criminal defense attorney operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental sedan. Having spent most of his career defending petty, gutter-variety criminals, Mick lands the case of a lifetime: defending a rich Beverly Hills playboy. However, what initially appears to be a clear-cut case with a big money pay-off swiftly develops into a deadly match between two masters of manipulation and a crisis of conscience for Haller. less
“Great energy, dialogues, performances with some amazing twists. Its got everything that makes you stick to your seat.”
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Few actors have had such a promising opening and delivering so little as Matthew McConaughey. His breakout role in 'A Time to Kill' (1996) as a southern lawyer defending a black man of dishing out vigilante justice was heralded as the birth of a new star. Nearly every high profile director from Spielberg to Zemeckis to Ron Howard signed him on for their next project. As destiny would have it, all the movies had unimpressive commercial and critical runs pushing McConaughey into a downward spiral of action-flick roles and romantic-comedies where his chief achievement was going topless when required to. But I have always maintained he has it in him to give a good performance when he's not busy sleepwalking through roles and collecting a paycheck. Heck! I'm a huge fan of his turn as a maniac dragon-slayer in the campy yet vastly underrated, 'Reign of Fire' (2002). So does he redeem himself in 'The Lincoln Lawyer'? I would give a very emphatic, yes.
'The Lincoln Lawyer' is based on the novel by Michael Connelly whose book 'Blood Work' was adapted into a movie by Clint Eastwood. Lawyer Mick Haller (McConaughey) travels around in a chauffeur driven Lincoln town car and conducts most of his business from the back seat. He's smart but also more than willing to take up any case where he gets the right price. So when a bail bondsman (John Leguizamo) approaches him with a case involving multi-millionaire Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), Mick thinks he's hit the jackpot. Louis has been accused of assault and attempted rape and it seems like a clean-cut case for Mick who has to prove how Louis is being framed for the crime. Trouble starts to brew when ugly details of the case start to show when Mick's P.I. (William H. Macy) starts to snoop around. The case is not what it seems and is the hiring of Mick for a certain reason? Will Mick be able to save Louis and probably himself too?
The best part about the movie is the way the characters are constructed. They aren't two dimensional cut-outs who acquire and loose intelligence on the whims of the script. They remain constantly engaging for most of the running length. The four standout characters are those of Mick, Louis, the opposition lawyer Ted (Josh Lucas) & Mick's ex-wife Maggie (Marisa Tomei). Their conversations contain some real dialogue, a commodity rare in todays movies. Each character is given time to build and create a credible relationship to play off against, this is easily one of the strongest points about the movie.
The performances complement each of the characters well and the particular standouts are McConaughey & Tomei. Ryan Phillippe as always done the quiet but slightly unhinged role well and he performs admirably here too. The real scene stealer is William H. Macy who doesn't have a great character but brings in his usual quirkiness to make it interesting to watch.
The Lincoln Lawyer positively sizzles with energy and some great dialogue to go with the fantastic performances & the twists that unravel slowly towards the end only serve to keep you engaged.