Directed by Brad Furman. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe.
So the attorney drives a Lincoln Continental (rather is driven in) and hence the title of the film? The car isn’t even relevant to the story but hey, it’s been voted as a ‘thrilling’ movie so who am I to disagree? The minority is who I am! Sorry, but if you’ve seen enough cop and crime dramas and law shows then the plot here isn’t going to captivate you.
McConaughey plays uber confident attorney Mick Haller who lands a case involving a high profile guy, Louis Roulet (Phillippe), brutally beating up a hooker. Of course he claims he didn’t do it and was set up. Haller believes him in the beginning but cracks start showing up in his story and soon the cocky lawyer finds himself between a rock and a hard place. So ya, we pretty much know Roulet isn’t the innocent little mama’s boy he makes himself out to be early on. No cliff hanger here.
I’ve been brought up on TV shows like LA Law, Perry Mason, Matlock, The Practice, Boston Legal, Jag and Law & Order. So forgive me if I don’t go gaga over the story where you know who the guilty party is and you know his lawyer is going to trick him (because in this case Haller’s best friend and private detective Frank Levin, played superbly by William H Macy, is killed off) and get him to justice.
So yes, unlike some of my colleague critics I didn’t find it brilliant or even engaging. With one exception. Matthew McConaughey. He’s looking older now, yes. But for a guy who made a living out of acting in films where he had to charm his way into women’s pants (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past) and appear bare-chested while hunting for lost treasure at sea (Fool’s Gold), this man has come a long way showing that he can take on the serious roles as well.
Marisa Tomei as his ex wife supports ably and Ryan Phillippe puts on the pretty bad boy act which he has now mastered with ease. What the script and director have failed at is the points where you find Haller getting sloshed and kicking himself in the backside. There’s no establishing why he’s so emotional about this case when he clearly has defended the guilty in the past. (Shrugs)
The Lincoln Lawyer wasn’t my cup of tea as it didn’t show me anything new. You’ve seen the plot, the tricks and the story unfold a lot better in TV shows so why would you be impressed by this? Because it seems cool. Perhaps…