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The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer: McConaughey’s Return to Lawyer Thrillers

  • Marisa TomeiMatthew McConaughey...
  • DramaThriller
  • Brad Furman
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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The Lincoln Lawyer: McConaughey’s Return to Lawyer Thrillers

Based
on the New York Times bestselling
novel by the same name, Mick Haller (McConaughey) is a Los Angeles criminal defence
lawyer with a smooth style of his own, where he handles his business from the
back of his Lincoln Continental Sedan.

Given
the fact that he’s already won a fair number of tough cases defending
criminals, Haller’s career takes a turn for the better when he gets the chance
of a lifetime handling the case of a rich playboy (Phillippe) who’s accused of an attempted
murder. However, with time Haller learns the high stakes accompanied with such
a big lawsuit.

The
story of The Lincoln Lawyer can be
somewhat predictable for audiences who have read the novel or are familiar with
this genre of lawyer thrillers. Still, a plot supported by solid acting is
always appreciated. The film’s best achievement is its emphasis on how lawyers
(especially good ones) can easily manipulate the truth to their own interests. Director
Brad Furman does a fine job in delivering an A-class thriller that doesn’t need
high-budget car chase scenes or shoot outs.

As
previously mentioned, it’s the acting that makes the film what it is.
McConaughey is the perfect fit for the arrogant, morally ambivalent lawyer; the
role is probably his best dramatic performance in years. It’s a nice surprise
to see him return to a more
serious genre that helped boost his career in the 90s with films such as A Time to Kill.

Despite
a strong cast of Tomei, H.Macy and Phillippe, it’s pretty clear from the start
that The Lincoln Lawyer is a one-man-show
with McConaughey. Tomei gives a strong performance as Mick’s ex-wife who
disagrees with his insistence on defending criminals. Also, Phillippe is a good
choice as the pretty-faced rich boy with the sinister side who makes
McConaughey his attorney– a role that’s very similar to that of Christian
Bale’s in 2000’s Shaft.

However, it’s
pretty obvious that the film’s budget skipped its way through the
cinematography and musical score; as they’re both uninspiring and with little effort
put into either.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a respectable crime drama that relies heavily on the
actors’ performances rather than the action scenes. While the film does deliver on that part, some may find it
disappointing as a thriller as it doesn’t succeed in creating suspense and putting
you on edge. Also, the film can be at times a little too predictable, which is another downside. So it’s only recommended
if you appreciate the acting talents of McConaughey et al.

Like This? Try

The Devil’s Advocate, Michael Clayton, A Time to Kill        

360 Tip

The novel’s author Michael Connelly wanted Matthew McConaughey for this role after seeing his performance in Tropic Thunder.

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