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Film Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

Jul 14, 2011 10:46AM, Published by Wendy Sipple, Categories: In Print




Matthew McConaughey plays Mick Haller, an L.A. defense attorney that doesn’t have a physical office, but instead is chauffeured from case to case in a Lincoln Continental. The film’s story picks up when a bail bondman refers Mick to a rich kid, Louis Roulet, who has been arrested for the vicious beating of a prostitute. Louis proclaims he is innocent and at first seems to be, until Mick’s private investigator begins to uncover dark secrets.

McConaughey was born to play characters like Mick. It almost seems too easy for him and that’s a great thing for The Lincoln Lawyer. McConaughey gives a mammoth performance in a tough role. The character of Mick would be a tough role for most, making the main character likable and interesting despite being a slimy horrible defense attorney who prides himself on getting criminals off the hook, but McConaughey succeeds splendidly. The supporting cast is wonderful as well lead by William H Macy and Marisa Tomei.
To be upfront and honest, I don’t like entertainment based on courtrooms or lawyers, including movies. To my surprise The Lincoln Lawyer is a smart, fast paced and above all highly entertaining movie. The courtroom scenes actually work in this film and feel real. So many other films play up the drama in courtroom testimony where it comes off rather clownish to me. The Lincoln Lawyer focused more on the battle of wits between the DA and Mick. So there was no over the top bellowing “You can’t handle the truth!” moments.
Mick’s back story was played up just enough to be effective and not distracting. Director Brad Furman seem to include just the right amount of subplot to be effective while keeping the pace of the main case fast enough not to get boring or mired in too many details. The one issue I had with the film production wise was the zoom style of the camerawork in some scenes. It was a stylistic choice, but it didn’t work for me. Every time the camera zoomed in and out for no reason it made feel like they got a novice behind the camera and they were treating the scene like their home movie. All in all it is a small gripe to an otherwise excellent movie.
In the end it was Matthew McConaughey’s film to make or break and he certainly delivered this time. In fact it would not be undeserved if he were in award contention for this performance at the end of the year. The Lincoln Lawyer is a good movie despite my dislike of courtroom dramas, but if you like courtroom drama I am certain this will be a favorite for you. It is definitely a well made film.
Films like The Lincoln Lawyer – Primal Fear, Armistad and The Rainmaker

Click here to buy the film directly from Amazon.com.


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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