Movie Review Rewind: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
For some reason, court room dramas bring out the absolute best in Matthew McConaughey. We first saw it in A Time To Kill and he is back in top-notch form in The Lincoln Lawyer. The film and McConaughey are charming, slick, clever, and simply terrific. It offers a few twists and not all of them hit at once. Director Brad Furman paces the film intelligently and lets McConaughey and the rest of the great cast draw you in and leave you wanting more.
From the best-selling novels by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer stars McConaughey as Mick Haller, a lawyer whose office is the backseat of a Lincoln. He is cynical, smooth, cunning, and knows the law. He will represent anyone for the right price. And he knows people and has a lot of friends willing to help him out (well most of them). He takes on a case that he was personally hand-picked for. A Beverly Hills playboy, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), who comes from a rich family, has been accused of attacking and beating a woman. Now whether Louis is innocent or not, we do not know at first, but as Mick begins to put the pieces together, he realizes why he was chosen and how his past may come back to get him.
After so many lame romantic comedies, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am that McConaughey has finally come back to show what he is made of. The entire cast of this film is hugely talented. Phillippe plays the rich boy you love to hate. And even if he isn’t guilty, you wish he was. Marisa Tomei plays Maggie, the ex of McConaughey’s character and they have a daughter together. Tomei brings a lot of emotion to the character. Somewhere her relationship with Mick went wrong, but she still loves and cares for him. The love feels real between the two because their chemistry is rock solid.
But, the spotlight is on McConaughey and he deserves every bit of it. He was born to play Mick Haller. To watch him outsmart and outmaneuver everyone in the court room including the man he represents is fascinating and fun. Mick does not play by the rules which makes him unpredictable. You never know what he will do next and it makes the character and the film that much better and exciting for the audience. McConaughey demands attention and his performance gets it. The performance is superb and effective, and he shows how cool and talented he really is.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a compelling legal thriller that is engaging, suspenseful, and definitely entertaining. Furman shows confidence in his story and actors, and it shows on the screen. McConaughey proves he deserves more roles such as this one because he can certainly deliver. I was hoping this film would be good and it was a little more than that. Almost great.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.