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|IMDB Rating:||7.5 out of 10 (5079 votes)|
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Matt Haller is a defense lawyer who works out of his Lincoln. When a wealthy Realtor is accused of raping a prostitute, Haller is asked to defend him. The man claims that the woman is trying to get some money out of him. But when Haller looks at the evidence against him, he learns that this case might be linked to an old case of his.
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The name is a bit of a misnomer, because there really isn't muchhappening from the Lincoln, except for a few add on scenes - its seemsmore a gimmick to promote the car...not that it detracts from theoverall quality of the film, not at all. A gripping drama right fromminute one onwards without any letup. Excellent direction anddialogues, MM was just perfect for the role, and mind you he was laidback and smarty pants in just the right proportions...and no, at notime did he come across as a manipulative weasel as some reviewers havesuggested. Just a street smart criminal lawyer, but not a crooked one.Ryan Phillipe was excellent as the accused but what was missing was apretty face to add the obligatory glam factor to the otherwise fastpaced script. Marie Tomei looked a bit peaked (a euphemism forhaggard). All in all, well worth a look see.
'THE LINCOLN LAWYER': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Matthew McConaughey stars in this litigation battle thriller in whichhe plays a lawyer who operates out of a Lincoln town car and gets hisbig court room break defending a rich brat accused of rape. It's basedon a popular book of the same name and a recurring character named MickHaller. The author of the book, Michael Connelly, has said that he"could not be happier" with the film and that McConaughey "nails" thelead role. The screenplay was written by John Romano and the film wasdirected by Brad Furman (a former assistant to Julia Roberts). The filmhas a very impressive supporting cast including Ryan Phillippe, MarisaTomei, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo Michael Pena andBryan Cranston. The film as a whole is just as impressive as the sum ofit's parts. It's a very engaging and involving suspense thriller fullof twists and clever turns.
As the film opens Mick Haller has a bad reputation around LA fordefending murderers and rapists. He makes a decent living doing so andcurrently has an old client driving him around town while he conductsbusiness in his Lincoln town car. When he's hired to defend a highprofile realtor's snobby son, Louis Roulet (Phillipe), in an attemptedrape case he sees it as a big break. Roulet says his accuser saw him asan easy mark and is just trying to milk some money out of him. At firstHaller believes him and is excited at the chance to defend an innocentman but things soon get complicated as he sees a connection to anearlier case. Nothing is of course as it originally appeared and Hallersoon finds himself in over his head as well as in grave danger.
The movie is very smartly written; full of witty dialogue and cool plotdevices. The directing is impressive (and it's only the director'ssecond feature) and the characters are all interesting and well thoughtout. Most impressive about the film is the performances though; Macy,Tomei and Cranston are all impressive as usual and so is Phillippe fora change. I've never been a fan of Phillipe but when he plays an assyou just want to see suffer he's perfect. Some people don't think muchof McConaughey but I've always liked his work and here he reallyshines. The movie is nearly flawless at what it attempts to do. It'snothing new or original but it's definitely a well made and enjoyablecourt room thriller. If you're a fan of the genre you'll definitelywant to check it out.
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...with some exception. My first impression: it was fairly original;the writer managed to craft a fairly original take on a who-dunnitthriller, which is an achievement in itself. There remains however someroom for improvement. For example, some of the story seemed phoned in,scenes gratuitous, as if the writer were asking us to go along withparts of the story rather than giving us a reason to. There could havebeen much more drama and suspense, especially in the key relationshipbetween attorney and client, especially at the end when you wonder justhow the whole thing is going to resolve. They could have added suspenseby playing up Mccoughnehey's toying with Roulet; in general making moreof a dance out of that. In essence, there were some angles that couldhave been worked more. But I guess sometimes having 80% of a good storyis enough.
Other than that: excellently cast. Frances Fisher was superb. RyanPhillippe's performance is a bit stiff, but he shows incredible abilityand talent in some scenes. Overall, worth seeing.
Enter: Matthew McConaughey. In his best performance (behind A Time toKill). It is obvious he was born to play the lawyer. The next lawyer TVshow, they should cast McConaughey. With the watered down crap he'sdone for the past few years, it's amazing to see him in a good role.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a brilliant movie about the flaws in the justicesystem, and one man who tries to correct them.
I can imagine how some people would have issues with the pacing. Themovie moves along at a very fast speed. If you can pay attention anddigest all of the information quickly, you'll enjoy it even more.
If you enjoy law movies, movies involving crime, movies with greatacting, then watch this.
I found this movie very enjoyable. Matthew McConaughey played a verybelievable and spot on performance as Mick...I think the castingdecisions were great Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy,Josh Lucas, etc. Did a fabulous job. The plot line was fantastic andleft you on the edge of your seat, the script was enjoyable, with bothserious dramatic scenes to funny lines that left the whole theatrelaughing. Over all a great movie thats targeted toward an olderaudience 30's-60's. But I'm 13 and my mother took me and I loved it.Although I'm a teenager and most of us just like a bunch ofromantic-comedies, I have a wider genre of love in movies. Hope youenjoyed this one as much as I did.
I enjoyed this film a lot I thought it followed the book very well andI thought Matthew McConaughey did a great job playing Mickey Haller. Iam a huge Michael Connelly fan and an avid reader and Haller is one ofmy favorite characters and I thought McConaughey nailed this partperfectly. I hope they make other films based off of the books. Ireally hope they make movies based off of another Michael Connelly andmy favorite, Harry Bosch. If one is made I hope the filmmakers make himwell. I thought that the entire cast did a great job and I hope thatthis film is able to win a couple of Academy Awards and continue beingsuccessful.
What an amazingly lucky form the courtroom has presented filmmakers!
It allows us to have one film where we sit in our seats with othersmaking sense of a narrative, where we watch another "film" where alawyer presents a narrative to a seated audience. There all sorts ofoverlaps and touches in what is allowed between the two layers. Eachdepends on very strict formula.
In the outer story, everyone is a stereotype: the rich widow, theviolent but honorable bikers, the exwife, pretty secretary, gruff copand so on. Everyone operates according to rules we know, the onlymystery being what rules apply.
In the inner story, we inherit the rules of the courtroom. These do notcomport with reality any more than say movie spaceships match the worldof physics, but we know what those rules are. We expect and incollaboration with the filmmaker we exploit them.
This is classic folded narrative. Amazingly, the genre is flexibleenough to be stretched in an interesting way. The usual form is:evidence will surely convict an innocent man, and it is up to our(sometimes noirish) lawyer to align the outcome of the two narratives.The variety we have experienced in our small century of film is prettybroad, each one setting new bounds for another.
In this case, we have an early hint that the police are framing a guy.Then we suddenly are told that no, the suspect is guilty not only ofthat crime, but of a previous one that resulted in an innocent'sconviction. Now it becomes the lawyer's job as inner filmmaker to bringthe outer story to the court rather than the usual other way around.
The novelty of how he does this depends on our acceptance of inviolablerules of lawyering and trials, and it really is clever. He uses a THIRDstoryteller, one who as an outlaw follows no story rules. This fellowis manipulated (because he DOES follow the rules of stereotype) intotelling a fabricated story. He is a proved false storyteller, but hisfalsehood is true and allows the main folds to resolve.
Because these things require a twist, and the main narrative does notallow for one, we have an extra bit on the end that surprises a littleon a minor plot point. It features the notable Frances Fisher.
Some of the car comings and goings that are usually filler andtransition are used here as settings for genuine storytelling. Theblack chauffeur, our designated representative (named after ErleStanley) in the non-courtroom threads, is always a risky play when thewhole enterprise depends on stereotypes. Fortunately, we are far fromoffended by the special place this actor (Laurence Mason) finds.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" is a good movie! The movie asks the questions whois innocent? How does one defend a killer? I could never become alawyer because of the above mentioned questions. The movie has acon-man 70's Rockford Files feel to it. Mat plays perfectly a smoothmoving con-man lawyer! Mat has to deal with a serial killer client andhas to be smoother then ever to outwit this rich killer. The movie isentertaining, and keeps the viewer guessing. The story unravels nicelywith the perfect con. If you were a fan of the Rockford Files you willlove "The Lincoln Lawyer". Seven out of ten stars for "The LincolnLawyer". I would bet this move will inspires a t v series.
Mick Haller, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a slick private defenselawyer who works for anyone who can pay the bills including gangstersand hookers. When Val, a bondsman, gives Mick a tip on a potential cashcow of a client Mick eagerly tries to swoon Louis played by RyanPhillippe, a rich boy accused of assault on a hooker.
Mick is a bit of a drunk and is separated from his wife, a cityattorney. They also have a young daughter? son? I don't even remembernow.... hahaha. Any hoo....Mick gets attached to the case and with hispartner/friend Frank they work they work on defending Louis. Things getcomplicated as we find out Louis actuallydoes assault hookers and he isthe reason one of Mick's old clients got wrongly sentenced to lifeimprisonment. However because of the legal nature between client andattorney, Mick is put in the awkward situation where he is the only onewho knows Louis' dark secrets, yet he is obligated by his license notto say anything.
This film is packed with amazing actors like Marisa Tomei, WilliamMacy, John Leguizamo and Bryan Cranston to name a few. However theretalents a wasted on bitty parts which makes McConaughey and RyanPhillippe's mediocre acting all the more stark. I'm being a littleharsh on McConaughey, I'm not really a huge fan of him when he has tocarry the whole movie, but he did really improve his performance forthis film. However Ryan Phillippe is fairly forgettable in his role anddoesn't really pull of the "I'm a psychotic and maliciousrapist/murder".
This film is not shot particularly well, there's a lot of hand-held andzoom ins which aren't really motivated camera moves except to addrealism. Also the tension between characters is really hard to get ahold of, sometimes you won't be sure if characters are afraid of eachother, mad at each other, or just indifferent. It's a little confusing.Also there's about a million plot holes that I will go into after thespoiler alert. The film is also weirdly paced with scenes ofMcConaughey and his romantic relationship with Marisa Tomei and hisbuddy buddy relationship with his driver and bonds friend. There's justa lot of relationships to keep track of and they sort of trip eachother up in terms of what are the more important relationships in thestory.
The script is also fairly predictable in some instances and thedialogue can come off as corny at times. Overall the average film goerwill have fun with all its twists and lawyer lingo. Lincoln lawyer willdefinitely keep your attention but afterwards you'll probably eitherstart asking yourself questions like I did, or forget about the film. Ithink with a different cast and a different production team this filmcould have been much better.
***Spoiler Alert***** Things that didn't make sense to me:
-Why did Louis hire Mick if he had already gotten away murdering thefirst girl? Why didn't he just hire a different lawyer to protect himthe way Mick did? Sure they made Mic out to be a good lawyer but hecertainly isn't the best lawyer. Is it because he works with scum? Isit because Louis wanted to torture Mick? Is it because he thought theAttorney/client privilege would protect him? It just doesn't makeenough sense.
-Why does Louis rape and murder women if his mom got raped!!?!? That'slike saying someone ran your beloved dog over with a car so your gonnago out and run over as many dogs as I can.
-So Louis broke into Mick's house took his gun, then got his mom toshoot Frank in the head!?! That seems a little far fetched...there wasno indication that the mom was that evil up until that point.
-How would the police not tie the biker gangs assault on Louis back toMick!?!? He is their lawyer!!!
-I think it's a pretty far fetched shot to set up Ted (John Lucas) touse a bad snitch just cuz he's sort of a douche bag. Is Ted really thatbad of a lawyer that he didn't research his witness? That's prettyunbelievable. Plus why did Mick do that!?! If he hadn't used the badsnitch Louis woulda gone to jail for the assault??
If you'd like to comment or explain to me some of the plot holes Imissed, please do.
They answer the question of guilt or innocence rather early in themovie but that didn't make a difference because it was still just agreat flick and the ending caught me somewhat by surprise and it wasdone well, even if a bit conveniently. I do think that they could'vedone a better job of casting as Marissa Tomei was a little lacking inher role, not so much because of her acting skills, or lack thereof,but more because the role seemed like it should be cast with a morebelievable character. Marissa never let you forget that she is anactress playing the role of an attorney, she just wasn't credible inthe role at all. But this was a fun movie to watch an kept you guessingfor the most part. I enjoyed it.
A better than expected crime drama here from Brad Furman that is basedon the book of the same name by best seller author, Michael Connelly inwhich the clear driving force is Matthew McConaughey but has a strongsupport cast in Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy, JoshLucas and John Leguizamo. McConaughey plays a cocky and successfuldefense lawyer who is given the case of a supposed attempted murder ona woman by a rich and high profile man played by Phillippe. Whileinvestigating this case he realizes that certain things are amiss and aprevious case in which he lost, could be linked. At the start of thisfilm i really wasn't sure about it as it seemed to be McConaugheypretty much type cast with the cocky, too cool for school attitude andthe hip hop soundtrack blaring and sometimes flashy camera stylecamera-work (that i am not a fan of at all) but this film is actuallyquite intelligently made and has some really nice twists and turns init. It is by know means a by the numbers thriller and is quite grippingat times. I have to give kudos to the director for this as he must haveknew exactly what he was doing with how it starts. Combine these thingswith a tight script, brilliant cast with great performances out of all(the ever reliable Macy as his investigator, the ultra MILF Tomei ashis ex and prosecutor opposite and Phillippe doing the spoilt rich bratimpeccably) and you have a entertaining thriller with a satisfying end.Some may be put off by how it starts but i defy you not to be grippedonce it gets going.
Matthew McConaughey returns to the courtroom- after a string ofrom-coms that had all but typecast him as the romantic cad- to play thesleek, smarmy and hustling defense attorney Mick Haller, a famedMichael Connelly character whose first appearance was in the book onwhich this film is based. It was back in 1996 when McConaughey firstmade his mark in Hollywood with a stunning lead debut in the legalthriller "A Time to Kill", and it seems the years have not dimmed hisability to light up a courtroom.
With his signature slick charm, toothy grin and Southern drawl,McConaughey is dynamic as ever in "The Lincoln Lawyer", the title areference to his character's workplace- the back seat of a LincolnContinental whose registration plate reads "NTGUILTY". Haller ischauffeured from courtroom to courtroom across Los Angeles by Earl(Lawrence Mason), a former client now offering his services in lieu oflegal fees. His clientele belong in the rock-bottom of society- bikergangs, drug dealers, and prostitutes- and because of this, Haller'sexpertise lies in negotiating plea bargains through finding loopholesthat can get crucial evidence thrown out of court.
Cajoling, wheedling and sweet-talking are the tools of his trade- veryearly on, we see Haller sweet-talking a bailiff to get a case advancedon the docket, deliberately delaying the trial of a biker until he getshis fee, and plea bargaining on behalf of a hooker who accepted paymentin crack cocaine- and McConaughey's cocksure ease fits just right withhis character. His latest client however is somewhat different, aBeverly Hills rich kid called Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) who isbeing charged with assault and battery of a female escort. Haller knowsthat he has struck gold, but the case starts becoming more complicatedwhen Louis insists that he is innocent and flatly refuses to accept anyplea bargain.
The trailer will reveal more, but as with any crime thriller, the lessyou know the better. Suffice to say that veteran crime screenwriterJohn Romano has retained all the elements of Connelly's twisty,cleverly plotted thriller, including Roulet's overprotectivematriarchal parent Mary Windsor (Frances Fisher), Haller's reliableinvestigator Frank Levin (William H. Macy) and Haller'sex-wife-cum-prosecutor Maggie McPherson (Marisa Tomei). Othercharacters that readers of Connelly's book will instantly recognise arethe bail bondsman Val (John Leguizamo) through whom Haller getsRoulet's case, and Haller's former client Jesus Martinez (Michael Pena)intimately connected with his latest case.
Romano had the unenviable task of condensing Connelly's page-turningnovel into a two-hour movie, and he does so superbly without losing anyof the tension or suspense in the story. He also loses none ofConnelly's debates about the vagaries in the justice system, seeing ashow attorneys like Haller manage to put the innocent in jail and theguilty back out on the streets. Haller's crisis of conscience is alsoat the heart of the movie, and McConaughey gets to do some seriousacting when his character is eventually confronted with the magnitudeof his past follies.
On his part, director Brad Furman (The Take) keeps the pace of themovie crackling every step of the way, making this as much of agripping yarn as reading Connelly's novel. Furman's most significantaccomplishment is in employing Lukas Ettlin's cinematography to givethe movie a great sense of place amidst the less glamorous streets ofLos Angeles, an unpretty look that suits the theme of the story justfine. Of course, Furman and Ettlin are equally adept when it comes tocourtroom drama, and the back-and-forth questioning by Haller and theinexperienced prosecutor (Josh Lucas) unfolds with sizzling rhythm.
Kudos to Furman too for assembling a top-notch ensemble cast who dooutstandingly in their various supporting roles- especially William H.Macy as the wisecracking investigator, and Shea Whigham as a colourfuljailhouse snitch called on the prosecution to testify against Roulet.But the actor that holds the movie from start to finish is McConaughey-and just as how "The Lincoln Lawyer" became a star-making turn forConnelly regular Mick Haller, McConaughey's performance here will alsobe a similarly definitive turn as the on screen rendition of thatcharacter.
This movie was terrific in almost every way - except for the incrediblydisturbing camera work. After one hour of wobbly "steady" cam by adrunken cameraman I almost started to hurl. Watching Marisa and Matthewmake love while spinning around was not what I had in mind. Thank Godit only lasted a few frames or I would've chunked all over the seat infront of me. After about an hour I couldn't watch any longer. I couldonly close my eyes to rest from the spin and puke camera work andlisten until I could race out and purchase some Dramamine - none toosoon either. Then I went home and tried to keep from getting the spinslike I did in the Navy from too much tequila.
BTW, The movie followed the book very closely from what I can rememberabout the book.
Take Dramanine BEFORE you see this movie. I'm not joking.
The plot is predictable but worse than that it envelops itself in theTV legal drama atmosphere. The courtroom scenes are just so clichéd andthe flashbacks, recreations are right out of every crime detective TVshow. Furthermore, the movie doesn't ascribe to grandeur or any sort oflife changing event. It's the usual everything was as it was when theshow started framework that TV shows do.
One thing it is ramped up on is eye candy; the women are gorgeous -Mick's wife, her associate and even the janitor are gorgeous and theprostitutes are also very pleasing to the eye. I suppose MatthewMcConaughey and Ryan Phillippe also make great eye candy for theladies. The black 80s Lincoln continental is a good looking car -though I would imagine quite impractical for a variety of reasons.
Overall, it's a tad disappointing a movie but good entertainment. Itjust seems to lack gravity and urgency at most times in the storylinebut the charisma of the cast do make up for quite a bit of it.
If you have trouble keeping track of all the characters in BradFurman's courtroom drama, The Lincoln Lawyer, you probably have plentyof company. One character you cannot miss, however, is Mick Haller, theslick, charming defense attorney skillfully played by MatthewMcConaughey in a performance that is almost certain to produce somesequels. Mick's office is the back seat of a Lincoln Continental,chauffeured by Laurence Mason, which saves money on rent and allows himto wheel and deal away from public scrutiny.
Divorced from the very attractive Maggie McPherson (Marissa Tomei),another attorney, Mick knows his way around courtrooms and hasconnections with police, bail bondsmen, and even the Hell's Angels, whoare portrayed as being so gentle they could be mistaken for a churchsocial group if they didn't have bikes and facial hair. Mick pays themfor favors rendered and they never seem to haggle over price. What agreat bunch of guys, ready to beat someone up for a buck whenever Mickcomes-a-calling. Though I wouldn't call Mick unscrupulous, he's nottroubled by too many ethical concerns and defends all sorts of lowlifesincluding murderers, drug dealers, and prostitutes, if the price isright.
In this case, however, his primary client is a wealthy socialite namedLouis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), usually seen with his mother (FrancesFisher). Because Roulet is so fit and proper, we tend to believe himwhen he insists that he is innocent of the crime of brutally beating aprostitute. Soon, however, Louis is caught in a lie and the casebecomes complicated when evidence of Roulet's past begins to surface.
Though Mick begins to have considerable doubt about his client'sveracity, he is committed to defend him. His chief investigator isFrank Levin played by William H. Macy, looking very uncharacteristicwith long hair and a moustache and Levin will play a key role in theunraveling of the case. Many different characters surface includingJesus Martinez (Michael Pena), a man serving time in prison for themurder of another prostitute and who Mick is beginning to think waswrongfully convicted, and Val Valenzuela, a sleazy bail bondsman playedby John Leguizamo.
Based on the best-selling novel by Michael Connelly and a screenplay byJohn Romano, The Lincoln Lawyer is an entertaining film that avoidsgruesome over-the-top violence, chase scenes, and all the otheraccoutrements of what passes these days for entertainment, and Furman'ssure hand keeps us on edge with many plot twists and turns. While, onthe surface, The Lincoln Lawyer is a standard crime drama thattelegraphs its punches, Mick's personality is so compelling that ittakes the film to a different level and renders over-analysismeaningless. So grab some pop corn and enjoy one of thoseentertainments that are such great fun at the time but that we justmight forget the next day.
If you are a fan of the film adaptations of the John Grisham legalthrillers, you might find quite a bit to like about The Lincoln Lawyer,a courtroom drama that treads on familiar ground in an effort to leadto a fairly predictable conclusion. It's not particularly memorable.
Matthew McConnaughey stars as Mick Haller, a high-powered lawyer whooperates (mostly) out of his Lincoln Town Car, shepherded around by abesuited driver. At least that's the idea ? he's in the car for maybethree or four scenes. Anyway, he's been hired by the family of a richlad, played by Ryan Phillippe, who's accused of battering a woman inher home after she picked him up at a local bar. But it's not longbefore Haller realizes that the case may have something to do with anearlier case of his, one in which his client (Michael Pena) wound upbeing sent to San Quentin. Seems like there may be quite a bit more tothis rich kid's case than meets the eye.
Haller is typical of the heroes you see in those Grisham novels/films.He knows when to play the system and when to buck it. He's a familyman, even though he and his wife, played by the luminous Marisa Tomei,are divorced. He puts in long hours to work on his cases ? and why not,he gets a lot of money for doing so. He has an experiencedinvestigator, played by a scruffy-looking William H. Macy. He doesn'thave the affected twang of a Grisham hero, so his shtick here is hisomnipresent Lincoln. Except when it's not present, which is reallyquite often.
Matthew McConnaughey tries his best, just as he does in most movies,but he's just up against too much predictability. As likable as he canbe in character ? even when he's a bit of a jerk, like in TropicThunder, which got him this gig ? his likability can only carry apicture so far. And although it helps that there are a lot of talentedfolks in the movie with him, their cache combined just isn't enough toovercome the overwrought, indifferent, cliché-riddled plot. McConnaughyis charming and sly, working the refs so effortlessly as an ethicallychallenged lawyer, that you almost forget that the conclusion isbasically forgone. Oh, sure there's a twist, if you can call it that.The movie even wants us to believe there are two of them.
But The Lincoln Lawyer is just full of McGuffins, too many incidentalcharacters who nevertheless Mean Something, and way too much wastedtalent. It's done in by implausibilities and the notion that only theHero can figure anything out ? if he doesn't, it means he's been set upor lied to. It's even sort of repetitive to have McConnaughey as thelead here; he already had the experience of being the Hero in theadaptation of Grisham's A Time to Kill.
So, skip it. When your movie's big hook is that your hero operates hislaw practice out of his car, and then you show him driving himselfaround in other cars, or being driven around in other cars, or being incourt, or basically doing everything but conduct business out of theback of his car, then you have no hook. And, ergo, no movie.
How far would you go to correct a wrong? After agreeing to take on acase he assumes is an easy win Mickey (McConaughey) soon learnsappearances are deceiving. When he finds out the truth and tries toexpose it his friends and family are put at risk. I have to admit Iactually think McConaughey is very good at playing parts like this. Asin "Time To Kill" and "Two For The Money". The smooth man pushed to theedge. Saying almost anything about the movie will give too much infoaway but I will admit that after being in the "Movie Business" for over10 years I've seen enough that it's very hard for me to be surprised ata movies ending. The twist at the end of this one had me totally thrownand I love when that happens. I had high expectations for this and itsurpassed them all. Watch this movie, you will not regret it. I lovedit. As a plus this is a movie that exposes the flaws in the justicesystem, which will make you mad, and at the same time make you wishmore lawyers are like Mickey Haller. I love this movie. I say A+.
Would I watch again? - Absolutely, Im going to buy it!!!
Lawyer Mickey Haller is in for the ride of his life. Played by MathewMcConaughy, fast-talking Haller is chauffeured in his black1980's-vintage Lincoln Town Car to and from the courtrooms and jailcells of the greater Los Angeles area following his street clientèlethrough the criminal justice system.
Based on the court fiction novel by veteran crime writer MichaelConnolly, the film is a reasonably fresh approach to the genre withoutthe moralizing overtones of the corrupt justice system gone badly, orlawyers as seedy bottom feeders in pursuit of the buck. By merelyhinting at this with glib humour however, The Lincoln Lawyer neverstrays too far from the middle even though it provides a good enoughstoryline supported by an excellent cast.
Mickey Haller, the self-styled Lincoln Lawyer is brought to theattention of the wealthy Windsor/Roulet family by a police departmentinsider (John Luguizamo.) It helps to have friends both inside theforce and on the fringes of the system, even if they are not-so-worldlyas Luguizamo's character Val asserts, "Roulet, like the game!"
32 year old Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) is in jail following anarrest for assault and attempted rape of a prostitute. With a sixfigure bank account and fast cars, he has become easy pray for possiblefleecing and this is the defence that McConaughy pursues. Louis issupported by his mother in the tweed Chanel suits, Mary Windsor, playedby small screen star Francis Fisher as the matriarch of untold wealthgained from a combination of California real estate sales and formerhusbands. Phillippe is convincing in the role, asserting his story ofgetting hit over the head by the prostitute only to wake up to thepolice at the crime scene.
At this point the film becomes a straightforward, 'who's story do youbelieve,' and as such, with the help of a private investigatorefficiently played by William H. Macy, McConaughy begins to strip awayat the facts, first from suspected manipulation by police, and thenfrom the story of his client.
Marisa Tomei plays the prosecuting attorney ex-wife of McConaughy whois not assigned to the case but helps to round out the characters byproviding more insider information, along with Malcolm in the Middleand Breaking Bad's Brian Cranston. Country singer Trace Adkins gets inon the act as the underworld biker-gang leader forcing the Lincoln ontothe road shoulder once in a while to add a sub-plot that, in the crimegenre style, comes back to tie in nicely when needed - sort of likebiker white nights.
While there are enough reveals in the plot to keep you in suspense,this is no suspense crime thriller. First of all, McConaughy'scharacter is too glib to suffer for any length of time, and there's nohint that his character ascends to self-awareness or triumphs bittersweet as the classic patsy, as Russell Crowe and Guy Pierce do in LAConfidential (1997) or Jack Nicholson in Chinatown (1974). Moreromantic drama is displayed in the Lincoln Lawyer sex scene byex-partners McConaughy and Tomei than hardboiled grittiness or evenwanton abandon.
The camera is kept tight on the characters however, with only theLincoln Town Car getting wider angles, and the film pacing is prettygood with short scenes held together by the familiar cast. Over all youare taken along for the ride with McConaughy's shining white smile inthe bright mid-day sun of Los Angeles California. But at 119 minutes,the producers could have squeezed one or two more darker scenes and athin layer of dirt, or developed the Haller characters familybackground ? and, perhaps in the end, maybe just a little moremoralizing.
Brian W. Scott
The basic premise is that Mick Haller(Matthew McConaughey) is a defencelawyer who takes on difficult cases and whose office is the back of hisLincoln car. However, when he promises to defend Beverly Hills rich boyLouis Roulet(Ryan Phillippe) in an assault and battery case, he findshe has bitten off more than he can chew.
An interesting and entertaining, well-paced legal thriller that runsfor two hours and keeps you guessing the whole time. The film knowswhen to take a breather, to allow the viewer the chance to gather theirthoughts, and it also knows how to rev up the action when you leastexpect it.
Both Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe were born to play theirrespective roles - nobody could have played them better - and MarisaTomei shows she is still a quality actress as Mick Haller's ex-wifeMaggie McPherson.
The three lead characters are superb - Haller is the slick, high-flyinglawyer, Roulet is the good looking, arrogant playboy and McPherson isthe calm, steadying influence.
Mick Haller's relationship with Maggie McPherson is exploited perfectlywithout getting in the way of the storyline and his relationship withhis chauffeur is kept to a minimum.
The Lincoln is used sparingly and the time spent in court is alsomanaged successfully, so the story doesn't become too bogged down inthe legalities.
The script is good, as it keeps the legal jargon to a minimum, andhumour is thrown in at times to lighten up the proceedings. There areseveral twists to the story which leave you thinking "How the hell isHaller going to get out of this one?" and the director Brad Furmanmakes good use of the L.A. landscape too.
The support cast is strong, with competent performances from JoshLucas, Michael Pena and William H.Macy. Pena, in particular, plays avery emotive and, ultimately, very important role as a wronged man injail. His character helps to bring out a more humble side of Haller, aside we wouldn't otherwise see.
Oh and finally, Matthew McConaughey still manages to have a scene wherehe can take his top off. I think it must be written into his contract.
Another popular book from a popular author that's been shoehorned intoless than two hours, when it probably needs a TV mini series of atleast twice as long. A legal thriller that relies on some technicalminutiae for its plotting and twists, that simply is not engrossingenough to work well enough. The main character (Matthew McConaughey) isa slick willie defence lawyer who can cut a deal and works from theback of a Lincoln. He has baggage with a daughter by a prosecutingcounsel (Marisa Tomei) and some shady clients. Handed a big money caseto defend Hollywood realtor (Ryan Phillippe) he scents the blood of theopposition slowie counsel(Josh Lucas). But if you have seen the traileryou know who the real villain is, and it is confirmed halfway throughthe film in very downbeat fashion. The thriller (if you can call itthat) is then how the hero outwits his defendant without compromisinglegal rules for counsels. Not very enthralling, especially as we haveto put up with a very unconvincing on/off relationship between hero andTomei (including a perfunctory sex scene) for a lot of screen time,when the most interesting part of the whole thing is the battle of witsand manipulation between McConaughey and Phillippe. Sometimes theirscenes crackle and the acting is good, but too often the writing andbook plot line drag us away from good cinema. The ending(s) are silly,and protracted, as you will have lost interest by then. Best sellinglegal thrillers do not often make great cinema, unless the action isfirmly centred and anchored. Anyway 'Jagged Edge' did this plot so muchbetter some years ago.Direction pedestrian, acting excellent in parts -popcorn extra.