Rating: 4 out of 5
Matthew McConaughey’s new film, The Lincoln Lawyer (based on the Michael Connelly book of the same title), takes a time tested and sometimes bland movie genre, and gives audiences a refreshing new take on lawyer films.
Finally able to creep out from underneath the cheesy romantic comedy typecast that has plagued his career since the early 2000s, McConaughey shows some fairly big time acting chops and reminds us that he’s more than cannabis, bongos and nude drum playing. From his first appearance on screen his charisma is undeniable as the quick thinking, slick talking Los Angeles defense lawyer with a balls to the wall attitude, Mick Haller, who prefers to take his work on the road with him courtesy of his Lincoln Continental, which also serves as a substitute law office for the self proclaimed hustler'”hence the title of the film.
This is definitely one of his finest performances in recent memory and more than likely one of the best of his career so far, but he isn’t the only one to captivate the audience as several other cast members give subtle yet strong performances in their respective roles including Michael Pena as a scorned former client, William H. Macy as Haller’s investigator and Marisa Tomei who gave a bang up performance as a prosecutor and Haller’s baby mama. Sadly she wasn’t given more on screen time.
Our smug protagonist has made a name for himself in the LA courtroom when he finds the career making case of a lifetime seemingly handed to him out of thin air. He is chosen to handle a case defending a manipulative, spoiled, rich kid, Louis Roulet(played quite well by Ryan Phillippe), who is charged with assaulting and attempting to rape a woman, but vehemently denies any wrongdoing and claims that he is indeed the real victim. What began as doubts for Haller turn to full on disbelief as more and more cracks show up in Roulet’s story and make it hard to turn the other cheek. What ensues is a twisted mind game of cat and mouse between lawyer and client.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a very good film. It’s not a great film, but it is nearly two hours of some entertaining plot lines and enjoyable performances. The twists in the film aren’t the most inventive at times, but they they’re well placed and manage to do a fairly decent job of keeping the audience in their seats thinking. Along with solid performances, a good story and well paced timing, audiences will also enjoy some really cleverly written humor. All of which make The Lincoln Lawyer worth checking out.