If this were Vegas and I were in the position to be a betting man, I would have probably shoved a week’s pay on two certainties – Lincoln Lawyer will have more hype than quality and Matthew McConaughey will somehow misplace his shirt, even as a lawyer. I would have walked away with a record of 1-1. For the first time since 2005’s We Are Marshall, McConaughey has landed himself in the driver’s seat of a winning film (in which he does end up topless.)
He plays bottom feeder Micky Haller, a defense attorney who represents a collection of criminals who were not loved enough by their parents. His roster of hookers, druggies and gang members are enough to pay his bills and are always available as most lawyers won’t take their cases. However, Haller catches a break when his bail-bondmen pal, played by John Leguizamo, points him in the direction of a busted trust-fund baby Louis Roulet. Played by Ryan Phillippe, who is second to none in Hollywood in terms of snotty rich kid representation, Roulet’s pleas to Haller convincingly of his innocence, attempting to beat charges of beating a hooker who approached him at the bar. On the surface, things appear simple, but after some digging by Haller’s gritty sidekick and investigator played by William H. Macy, the case becomes trickier than a game of Clue. However, Haller has no interest in innocent or guilty facts, only winning the case.
Throughout the film Haller, does a wonderful job of using his supporting cast to skirt around the issue as he stumbles on along the way. Avoiding spoilers, Roulet’s manipulations of the legal system often complicate the process of Haller’s plan, tearing him up both physically and emotionally. Yet in the end, Haller comes out the victor in more ways than one.
In a genre that has been overplayed recently by both Hollywood and television (yes Law and Order, I’m looking at you), Lincoln Lawyer is gold. With more of a 1970’s crime film feel to it, your ticket lands you more Foxy Brown than CSI Miami. While it is something I never thought I would do, I am in fact advising you to go see a Matthew McConaughey film.
For that I feel dirty.
I give Lincoln Lawyer 4 “Lincoln Continentals” out of 5
by Joshua Hammond