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Review: Lincoln Lawyer
Raymond Melendez18 March 2011
I know what you're thinking and I can agree with you that the name, Matthew McConaughey, does not instill great confidence that you're going to get a great movie experience. Now that is not to say that McConaughey hasn't done some great movies. For every Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past, Sahara, and Failure to Launch there are We Are Marshall and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Lincoln Lawyer is luckily part of the later group and reminds us that McConaughey can carry movie without having to take off his shirt in every scene.

Lincoln Lawyer is a thrilling drama about a cocky and smooth defense attorney Mick Haller, played by McConaughey, who represents a high-profile client on charges of attempted murder. But as new evidence continues to pile on, Mick starts to grow suspicious that perhaps his client isn't telling him everything. With twists and turns at every corner, Lincoln Lawyer keeps you guessing till the very end.

With the help of that distinct country voice and southern charm, McConaughey takes the movie to another level with this portrayal of the fast-talking lawyer. With the role of Mick, McConaughey is actually given a chance to show off a range of emotions that will truly surprise viewers. Mcconaughey doesn't carry this alone, Lincoln Lawyer gets some great acting from the likes of William H. Macy, Michael Pena, John Leguizamo, Josh Lucas, and Marisa Tomei. The only black sheep of his movie comes from the alleged murderer Louis Roulet, played by the ever wooden Ryan Phillippe. The only thing I find amazing from Phillippe's attempt at acting is his unique talent to deliver every line of dialogue without moving a single muscle on his face.

The tension and intensity that begins to engulf Mike as the case continues is stellar. Lincoln Lawyer really pushes Mike to edge as his whole world becomes begins to collapse due to his Attorney-Client relationship. This is where Lincoln Lawyer really comes alive and delivers a must see movie experience. The court room scenes are some of my favorite scenes in the movie and there are plenty. The approach they took to portraying the lawyer aspect of the film feels accurate and realistic. The plot is solid and keeps you invested right from the beginning and keeps the grip tight throughout the movie. The movie keeps a good pacing and the dialogue is smart and witty. The film's color and camera work gives a very raw feel although at times it can be a little too unstable. The story and characterization is done well but there are a few things that should have been given more focus, like Mike and Maggie's relationship and more insight as to why they got divorced. The movie touches on the idea with a scene or two but never really reveals too much. We also never really get too much on Mike's relationship with his daughter. My biggest problem with the film was the underwhelming ending that really had everything necessary to end the movie with, but still felt lackluster when it came. However, don't let these few problems sway you. I strongly recommend this film and promise you that you will leave satisfied.
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Great Movie!!!
princessbuttercup818 March 2011
I found this movie very enjoyable. Matthew McConaughey played a very believable and spot on performance as Mick...I think the casting decisions were great Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, etc. Did a fabulous job. The plot line was fantastic and left you on the edge of your seat, the script was enjoyable, with both serious dramatic scenes to funny lines that left the whole theatre laughing. Over all a great movie thats targeted toward an older audience 30's-60's. But I'm 13 and my mother took me and I loved it. Although I'm a teenager and most of us just like a bunch of romantic-comedies, I have a wider genre of love in movies. Hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did.
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Solid courtroom thriller with excellent performance by Matthew McConaughey and a five-twist ending...
Neil Doyle25 March 2011
Agatha Christie would be proud of the five-twist ending to THE LINCOLN LAWYER. The film is clearly top-notch and street smart. It's the most efficient, solidly crafted courtroom thriller since PRIMAL FEAR and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. It has so many twists and turns that it's likely that Agatha Christie would be proud of it.

It also reignites the career of Matthew McConaughey as an actor, not just a charismatic star. He manages to be smoothly appealing despite playing a corrupt lawyer who has no scruples in defending guilty clients as long as they provide the cash flow he demands. It's only after defending RYAN PHILLIPPE from a charge of murder and rape that he realizes he does have a few scruples left. And the plot twists provided by the screenwriter John Romano from the novel by Michael Connelly, are deftly handled for maximum shock effect. Brad Furman keeps the direction tight, forceful and swift-moving.

The cast surrounding McConaughey has been selected with care and all of them offer realistic performances. Marisa Tomei is appealing as his ex-wife who knows his shortcomings but is still attracted to him, and William H. Macy delivers a solid performance as his investigator friend. Ryan Phillippe is excellent as the client whose surface appearance belies the fact that he's as street smart as his sleazy lawyer, and FRANCES FISHER is outstanding in a small but pivotal role as the young man's protective mother.

Not since the days of PRIMAL FEAR and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION has there been a more intelligent script than this one, designed to baffle and blindside the viewer in the course of unraveling some startling surprises.

By all means, highly recommended for fans of this genre.
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A thoughtful ride with characters and intriguing conflicts of innocence and guilt
napierslogs23 March 2011
The titular Lincoln lawyer is smooth Mick Haller who is just as smooth as Matthew McConaughey. His sleaziness is entertaining, but his lawyering is smart and intriguing. This film has pretty much the perfect mix of a smart plot, with inventive twists, amusing one-liners, and captivating thought-out characters.

Limited action and instead using characters who have an actual story, we get a film that sets itself above its competitors. A charming, but also smart and strong, Matthew McConaughey introduces us to a lawyer who has a few inner turmoils that develop along with the plot. There may be a few too many twists in the story (and with the camera), but the evolution of McConaughey's Haller is rather subtle and not cliché.

Questions of innocence versus guilt surround Louis (Ryan Phillippe) as Haller agrees to take on his case. But as the case starts to collide with incidents of the past, present and future, similar questions of guilt and innocence start plaguing Haller, his other clients, and the other lawyers. The fact that all these other characters are played by great actors only increases the entertainment value of this film. I highly recommend taking a thoughtful ride with "The Lincoln Lawyer".
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Pretty darn good
MartianTom18 March 2011
Hey, this isn't half bad at all. I'll be honest and say I wasn't expecting much, so it was nice to be pleasantly surprised. Okay, it's no 'Primal Fear' - but it's as good as any Grisham adaptation.

The script is pacey and smart, with some excellent lines from the central character - played with just the right balance of sass and integrity by Matthew McConaughey. In fact, everyone in the cast was up to the mark - and it's always a pleasure to see Marisa Tomei up there: a fine actress who deserves to be seen more often. Willliam H Macy, too, is always worth watching.

As for the story... I thought it gave an interesting angle on the classic legal/moral problem : the failed defence in which an innocent client goes to jail, and the successful defence that acquits a killer.

I haven't read the Michael Connelly novel, but I think I will now - if only to see more of the Mick Haller character. His back-story wasn't much more than suggested in the film - lost licence, broken marriage, smartness that's a combination of natural intelligence and life at the grittier edge of things. I want to know more!

A couple of quiet spots, and a little bit of overstating the obvious (a la 'CSI'), but otherwise this is a highly entertaining film. The perfect antidote to some of the blockbusters and cartoons on offer at the moment.

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The Lincoln Lawyer
jDriftyx8222 April 2011
Enter: Matthew McConaughey. In his best performance (behind A Time to Kill). It is obvious he was born to play the lawyer. The next lawyer TV show, they should cast McConaughey. With the watered down crap he's done for the past few years, it's amazing to see him in a good role.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a brilliant movie about the flaws in the justice system, and one man who tries to correct them.

I can imagine how some people would have issues with the pacing. The movie moves along at a very fast speed. If you can pay attention and digest all of the information quickly, you'll enjoy it even more.

If you enjoy law movies, movies involving crime, movies with great acting, then watch this.
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Well-worth watching
PWNYCNY25 March 2011
Matthew McConaughey has arrived. He carries this movie. His presence makes this movie happen. He is the spark that lights this movie's fire. He takes a good story and makes it excellent. He projects the intensity and savvy that makes his character interesting and unique. And this is not hyperbole. Mr. McConaughey's performance is energetic, engaging and entertaining. He manages to project street-smarts and style; he is smart but not slick; he's realistic but not cynical; he is sensitive but not mushy. Another surprise is Ryan Phillippe's excellent performance which also adds considerably to the movie's entertainment value as his character spars with Mr. McConaughey's. Although the story itself is a variation of the detective-who-done-it genre, the effective manner in which the story unfolds coupled with the excellent acting makes this story well-worth watching.
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"Attorney Client Privilege, This Is All Confidential"
bkoganbing18 March 2011
Playing the title role in The Lincoln Lawyer is Matthew McConaughey so nicknamed because he conducts most of his business from his Lincoln Town Car which is chauffeured by Laurence Mason. As he has to travel to and from various courts, this makes it a whole easier. And the car and Mason thereby become a business expense. Roy Cohn would have been proud.

McConaughey is no idealist, his services come at a price. But it turns out he has some scruples and they are put to the test when rich boy Ryan Phillippe and his mother Frances Fisher hire him to defend Ryan when he's arrested for rape. He was literally caught in the act as two neighbors broke in and held him for the cops for raping Marguerite Levieva.

Due to the canons of the Bar Association ethics McConaughey finds himself in a jackpot similar to the one Al Pacino found himself when he played a young idealistic lawyer in And Justice For All. But the results are a whole lot different because McConaughey is not an idealist and he makes those canons work for him.

The film looks like the pilot of a TV series, but I doubt we'll get any of the big name stars there if such a thing comes to pass. Marisa Tomei co-stars as McConaughey's ex-wife and a prosecutor to boot. Can't imagine what broke that marriage up. William H. Macy has a key role in this film as well as a private investigator who works for McConaughey and does very well in it.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a very well done addition to the legal cinema with a cast that fills its roles out to a "T". I would really recommend renting the Al Pacino classic And Justice For All and see the very great similarities and key differences in both of these films.
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Entertaining Thriller with Many Twists
Claudio Carvalho26 July 2013
Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is sleazy but efficient defense lawyer that has scum clients. He has a daughter with the attorney Maggie McPherson (Marisa Tomei) and his car is a Lincoln driven by his loyal driver Earl (Laurence Mason). When the wealthy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) asks Haller to defend him in a case of raping and beating the prostitute Regina Campo (Margarita Levieva), Roulet claims that he is not guilty and the woman is trying to get money from him despite the evidences against him.

Haller asks his investigator Frank Levin (William H. Macy) to check Rooulet's story. Soon Haller discovers that Roulet's case is connected to an old case of his. Further, Haller can not use his findings against Roulet due to the confidentiality. When Roulet threatens Haller's family, Haller is behind the eight ball. But he is a smart guy and has an ace in the hole.

"The Lincoln Lawyer" is an entertaining thriller with many plot points and a great cast. Matthew McConaughey is excellent in the role of a sleazy and smart defense lawyer that finds that has been used by a psychopath and who has a crisis of conscience for not believing in his client. The efficient Ryan Phillippe is also great in the role of a cynical psychopath and Marisa Tomei is sweet as usual. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Poder e a Lei" (The Power and the Law")
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Ping Pong Tournament
David Ferguson19 March 2011
Greetings again from the darkness. Major dilemma: I am a sucker for courtroom dramas vs. I am no fan of Matthew McConaughey. I decided to give it a shot, and given my low expectations, I found the movie to be quite entertaining - despite its numerous flaws. If you are a fan of the endless stream of John Grisham book-turned-movie, then I expect you will find this one to your taste.

Based on the Michael Connelly series of novels built around Mick Haller, this one has the look and feel of part one. Haller is the Lincoln Lawyer, so named because of his propensity to handle much of his work from the backseat of a classic Lincoln Town Car. The choice of McConaughey as Haller seemed all together wrong given his annual appearance in some lame ass Rom-Com, where he spends most of each movie shirtless and smirking. Luckily for us, Mr. McConaughey manages to re-capture some of the acting skills he flashed in A Time to Kill, so many years ago.

In addition to his close to the vest portrayal of Haller, the movie works because of an incredibly deep cast that includes Marisa Tomei as his ex-wife and frequent courtroom adversary (she is an ADA), Ryan Phillipe as the accused rich boy, William H Macy as the long-time and streetwise private investigator, Josh Lucas as the ADA in the main case, Bryan Cranston as the detective in charge, plus Michael Pena, Bob Gunton (warden from Shawshank), John Leguizamo, Frances Fisher, Laurence Mason (Earl the driver), Shea Willingham (Boardwalk Empire), Trace Adkins (country star as the leader of a biker gang) and Michael Pare (Eddie and Cruisers). Seriously, this cast allows every scene to have something worth watching.

The two things that prevent the movie from being top notch are the beyond belief exaggerated moments (including about 3 too many endings) and the absolutely distracting camera work courtesy of director Brad Furman. In the hands of a more experienced director, many of the flaws could have been corrected.

This is not presented as an ultra serious courtroom drama in the vein of 12 Angry Men or Judgment at Nuremberg. Rather it is a character driven story with a multitude of twists ... some of which work and some of which don't. I found it to be quite enjoyable despite the script issues and the hey-look-at-me direction.
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Time Killer
Daniel Hollis13 December 2011
Matthew McConaughey plays the sleazy, street-wise lawyer Mick Haller who at one point exclaims that he 'couldn't believe he was representing an innocent man' which goes to show the types of people he defends. The Lincoln Lawyer follows the story of Haller as he takes on Louis Roulet (Played by Ryan Phillippe) who has been suspected of assault. But as he represents him starts to question the good in what he is doing and the morals of his actions. This is one of McConaughey's finest roles in a long time but is nothing compared to William H. Macy who plays his detective in the case and brings a charismatic and involved attitude, stealing the limelight off of anyone else on screen.

The problems that lie within The Lincoln Lawyer however are the horrible plot points that often appear out of nowhere to do nothing other than twist the story, especially around the halfway mark of the film. Along side this is the constant thought of how this would fit better as a late night television movie, it doesn't feel cinematic enough and the courtroom scene feel like missed opportunities to show this. That being said the film is entertaining enough while it lasts and the actors really throw themselves into their roles, despite the clichéd character development. There are worse ways to kill a few hours.
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Handsome, snappy, warm movie--and leading man! But kind of ordinary crime stuff, too.
secondtake21 November 2011
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

You gotta love the suave, smart, never quite cocky performance by Matthew McConaughey as a wily defense lawyer in this slightly clever, slightly formulaic movie set in contemporary L.A. He's almost like the James Bond of the justice system, operating outside the rules but ultimately on the side of good. And himself.

The one woman in his life is a common movie cliché, unfortunately, though a useful one--an ex-lover he's still a little in love with, and they once had a child together so there is a tinge of sweetness once or twice. And this woman (played by Marisa Tomei--I never caught whether they were once married or if they were just making good on getting pregnant) works in the D.A.'s office, which is useful for a defense lawyer. The rest of the cast is straight Hollywood fare, including a couple of older men big players who are always strong if a little too dependable and a couple of younger actors who are a bit more pretty than talented. The includes especially the principle perp, Louis Roulet, played Ryan Phillippe (he was that brand new cop in "Crash") who is decent in a role that demanded amazing.

Roulet is super rich, and he's been accused of beating up a prostitute, who in turn is accused of using Roulet in some kind of scam for his cash. It's complicated from the get go, which makes the movie get your attention and hold on--you actually have to be careful not to get lost at first. The mind game/power game between the two men--McConaughey and Phillippe--is the crux of the movie, but it never gets the intensity of say a Hitchcock film (Hitch being the master of the innocent man accused, and of psychological intensity).

In fact, you might say the movie misses a beat by letting the plot center mostly on the lawyer, except for the simple fact that McConaughey is so darned good. The subplot with his child, his relationship with Tomei, and a few other small diversions don't add enough to make them worthwhile. There is, luckily, plenty of screen time with the two men together, though all the courtroom scenes might not count (Phillippe is oddly lifeless there, except for one nice overacted speech about the horror of being accused of a crime you didn't commit). And gradually a very subtle shift in guilt and motive takes place, so that what we thought was happening gets undermined.

And it's no great surprise. The one surprise at the end isn't even a surprise, quite, or if it is, it's not set up enough to really make you care. It's another cliché worked into a well made movie with a single actor shining in something close to an Oscar-winning role.

The title? And the selling point of the movie (a lawyer working out of his Lincoln)? A terrific idea that is only pertinent in small moments, most notably and ludicrously in the motorcycle gang scenes (plural) Which shows another direction the movie might have taken into farce and comedy.

But this is a congenial movie with a serious plot of crime, enjoyable all the way through, nothing more or less than that.
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milner00724 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
First, I can't wait until all this hand-held jerky camera biz and extreme close-ups of faces is over with. It is so distracting. Also, when people are talking to one another they are usually more than 2 inches apart, but not in this movie. All that made me crazy. It's not a bad movie, just not very good. And when Mick goes to see the man he had represented that was convicted of the other prostitute's murder and shows him a picture of Roulet, who was the actual killer, the guy just freaks out! What was that? If he recognized the guy that could be his ticket out of jail but instead he just declares the interview over. There were other plot holes and stupid scenes- this was more like a made for TV movie.
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caroeb29 December 2011
This is such a forgettable movie that I nearly forgot to write a review.

I was disappointed, because as I recall it, the novel was excellent. It seems to me that Hollywood might have "dumbed it down." In my opinion, there is no suspense in this movie, as "the bad guy" quickly reveals himself. There is no subsequent tension between the two protagonists. This might have been a fault in the acting of one of them, or from a lack of tension between the two actors, or from the screen writing. W. H. Macy's role and Frances Fisher's role seem like throwaways in spite of being pivotal to the plot, and since they are both excellent actors, I have to assume this results from ineffective screen writing and/or editing. And the movie does seem "choppy" to me. Scenes turn up seemingly out of nowhere, and not in a way that made me think, "aha," more like "huh?"

I'd heard good things about McConaughey's acting in the title role, and I don't think I can quibble with that. I believe my "quibble" is with the fact that his character seems like one man in the beginning of the movie (let's describe him as a "lawyerly con-man," McConaughey very effective), then becomes a visibly challenged man, then appears back to his assured self again, "all's right" with his world. Did he learn anything? That part must have ended up on the cutting room floor.

In the novel, for example, a relatively "minor" character (as presented in the movie) makes a dramatic career change as a result of occurrences. This movie presents us with "facts," treated not as momentous "events."
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Just another courtroom drama.
david-sarkies22 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
To be honest I am not really a big fan of courtroom dramas, and this movie, while good, doesn't change my opinion of it. A lot of my friends ask me because I have a law degree do I like movies about lawyers. My answer pretty much no. While they can be entertaining, and the argument and debate in court riveting, in the end it is still a court room drama. That said, The Lincoln Lawyer is actually a decent movie with some very interesting twists as well as ethical dilemmas.

Mick Haller is a very slick criminal lawyer who prides himself on his ability to get people off. Right from the beginning it is clear that he knows how to get things done, and how to shake people down for money. At the start he gets pulled over by a bunch of bikies upset that one of their own is still in gaol. He knows these guys are legit, and he knows that his client is guilty as charged, but it is his job to get them off, and if he can get them off on a technicality, then so be it.

He has his ways of getting his clients, and his clients are those that have money on them. So when he hears that a rich kid is in gaol for assault, and there is a beach house on offer, he's down their in a flash. However, the catch is, the rich kid is guilty as charged.

At first there is doubt, but it is clear that the kid is holding things back from his lawyer, such as the knife and the fact that the girl he beat up was a prostitute, however the story is the same. They set him up so that they could sue the kid after the trial for a nice payout. It is only when Mick's memories of an earlier case that his suspicions become clear. However, there is a problem, and that is he is this kid's lawyer, and even though the kid ends up admitting that he is guilty as charged, there is nothing Mick can do due to legal professional privilege. He is ethically forbidden from saying anything.

There is a little problem with that concept though and that is a lawyer is not allowed to be complicit in any criminal undertakings. He cannot lie on behalf of a client, and in Mick's case the only thing that the lawyer can do is to return the client's money that is left in the trust account and resign from the case. However, I suspect that this wasn't an option for Mick as his client, as well as being wealthy, was also capable of doing anything.

One theme that seems to run through the movie is how Mick's job is to get guilty people declared innocent and released back onto the street. Mind you most of this comes from the District Attourney, and their job is to keep the peace, and that includes keeping violent people locked up. However one of the foundation of the American justice system is for everybody who has been charged with an offense to have their say in a lawfully constituted court of law, and everybody to have access to the services of an experienced counsel. In one way it can be considered fairness, but in another it protects the individual against the might of government. Without these protections we could all be locked up on the whimsiest charges.

Personally, I don't know how this movie will appeal to people who like courtroom dramas, and I have seen some myself, but while I say it is a good movie and I enjoyed the twists, it is still a courtroom drama.
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Lackluster film deserves better (and so does Matthew McConaughey)
raisleygordon19 July 2011
"The Lincoln Lawyer" sounds like a better idea in theory. But, alas, this is just a "Law & Order" episode with all the bite taken out of it. And it's not exactly groundbreaking, either. He does most of his business in a limo. Big deal. Is there a point to this (and the movie in general, I might add)? Without a doubt, the movie has its moments, notably the courtroom scenes, which are effective. The flashback scenes are completely unnecessary. They don't add anything to the movie, other than to tell a story. As for its star, he does more for the movie than the movie does for him. Matthew McConaughey, in general, brings (or at least seems to bring) a laid-back persona to each of his roles. It's time this guy toughens up. This, and the lackluster storytelling, prevents me from recommending it.

** out of ****
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A Decent Courtroom Drama That Doesn't Seem To Know How To End
sddavis6319 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I hesitated for a long time before finally deciding to watch this movie. My hesitation, in all honesty, revolved around the fact that the movie's star is Matthew McConaughey. I admit that I've had very mixed reactions to McConaughey over the years. Among those reactions has never been to be extremely impressed. Generally, they've ranged from "I can't believe he was cast in this role" to "he was OK." I'll give him credit, though. In "The Lincoln Lawyer," he's actually pretty good. He plays defence attorney Mick Haller. Mick basically runs his legal practice from the back seat of a Lincoln (thus, the title) and he makes a living off defending shady characters. He prefers that. As he says himself in the movie, his big fear is defending someone who's actually innocent, because he'd be too afraid of the consequences of losing. He ends up being hired by the family of a rich young man (Ryan Philippe) who's accused in the assault of a prostitute. In a strange twist, he comes to realize that his client is guilty, but that his client's guilt means that a former client who is now in prison for murder was actually innocent. Thus, his biggest fear raises its head. He was responsible for losing a case that sent an innocent man to prison. He finds himself torn between his responsibility as a defence attorney to give his client the best defence possible, and his desire to get his former client released. McConaughey did well with the part. He nailed the image of a slick and fast defence attorney who doesn't really care that much whether his clients are guilty or innocent - he just wants to make a buck. And yet, he's also a sympathetic character. This isn't developed too much, but he's also the father of a little girl who he obviously adores - and he's a good dad, who takes her to soccer games and generally looks out for her, even though he's no longer with her and her mom. It's a complex character with a lot of nuances, and McConaughey pulled it off.

The story starts out a little bit slow, but becomes a decent little suspense drama once the truth comes out - which is about halfway through. Once that happens there's a lot of twists and turns as Haller tries to accomplish his duel purpose: get his client acquitted but also get his former client off the hook. The supporting cast - primarily Philippe, William H. Macy as Haller's investigator, and Marisa Tomei as his ex-wife - are decent enough, but they really are a supporting cast. This is McConaughey's movie.

I did think that the movie went on a little bit too long. There were perhaps a few unnecessary twists and turns as we came to the last half hour or so. It was almost as if those who made the film couldn't quite figure out how to bring this to an end. It's based on a novel by Michael Connelly. How faithful it is to the novel I can't say. It wasn't a great movie, but I did find it enjoyable to watch. (6/10)
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Pretty good!
santiagocosme6 August 2016
I remember that there was a time, not that long ago, when I really could not stand any movie that featured Matthew M. However, slowly and steadily, the guy started picking or getting better roles and started to gain some good movies under his belt. Even his acting skills that seemed total rubbish in movies such as reign of Fire seemed to improve massively over the course of the years. Now, you could even say that if Matthew M. is acting, the movie must be at least decent. And that's exactly what The Lincoln Lawyer is. A pretty good movie that I enjoyed to watch and would even watch a second time when my fish memory has erased the contents of it from my brain. More Matthew M., more good m.
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McConaughey Deliverers as Best he Could
thewillt0831 August 2013
Lawyers are people who work their way around the law to prevent people from going to jail or get a sentence reduced as much as possible. In my opinion lawyers do their job for the greater good and as some of them may be greedy and corrupt, most of them do want what is best for their clients. Now, I have no idea why this movie is called The Lincoln Lawyer. Matthew McConaughey plays one of these layers and in the beginning he seems like a crooked lawyer who cheats the system so it seemed like he was going to be a bad guy but a firm twist right in the middle of the movie changes the story of the movie completely.

McConaughey brings his talents to this movie and for the most part he does a very good job. The audience feels for him as he struggles his way from scene to scene. The start of the movie is great but it is also something that has been done time and time again. Mick Haller is a lawyer who is hired by a young man who is accused of rape. The buildup is a basic solve-the-case type of movie but a secret discovered changed the case completely and suddenly Haller finds himself trapped in a corner as his case also ties into a previous case he has guilt for. William H. Macy has a supporting role as well and he is fantastic as always.

I really liked the beginning of this movie. As simple as it was the premise worked. I liked how Haller would make shady deals with the bikers and how he made his environment a product of him. He seemed to be in control of his life and the way McConaughey carried himself was commendable. He has this swagger on him and the way he acts this character out was great. His performance was great from beginning to end but the twist in the middle of the movie is where it lost me.

I won't give away the big twist that comes about an hour into the movie, but it was very risky. I give the movie credit for going down this road and if somebody says they loved the movie and the twist, I wouldn't argue with them. I can understand why people would like the twist but I also see why people like me wouldn't. It wasn't so much the twist that bothered me; it was more of the placement. This would have been a game changer if it came at the end and it was a race to the finish. Instead everything is out on the table and the movie progresses and the focus is the irony of the situation and the situation Haller is in.

William H. Macy is a phenomenal actor and is good in almost every role he is in. I can forgive him for Jurassic Park 3 but other than that he is awesome. I feel his performances are underrated and he deserves more credit. I wish he was in this movie more and again, his endgame wasn't disappointing, but the placement wasn't right. He steals the show in every scene and is a perfect supporting role for this movie.

The case itself is fish from the beginning. Most of the plot twists are surprising but I saw one in the end coming a mile away. I had no idea how the case would play out or how Haller would solve it so I was invested in the entire movie. Other than the case there really isn't much going on. The case was obviously the main focus but backstory and other minor plot lines are important. I loved the tie in with an old case as Haller's demons. If I remember correctly he has a family but it really isn't important. There are a fair amount of loose ends for lack of a better word. The story wraps up and ends but there are little story lines that go nowhere. Bryan Cranston is in the movie. I don't know why. I don't remember why. I saw this movie not too long ago and I forgot most of what happened.

Overall, The Lincoln Lawyer is a decent movie. I didn't love it as I wish it was a tad different but I give the movie credit for doing what it did. I saw this on Netflix and I don't regret it. I would probably watch it again if a friend wanted to and I had nothing else better to do. I wouldn't but this on blu ray but it is worth seeing. If you are into pirating movies then go for it, but when you get caught don't say I told you to. The Lincoln Layer isn't a disaster its plain average. I give it a low WillyT Recommendation.
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Matt gloss
jc-osms2 April 2012
Terrible title for an okay movie. My dad's a fan of Michael Connelly's crime fiction so I was mildly intrigued to watch it and while it was very reminiscent of your average John Grisham, it was watchable with the requisite triple-twist tacked on at the end to keep you interested. Yes, it's quite stylised, as you'd expect from a film set amongst the glitterati of California, nothing and nobody seems real so that you feel you're watching the pilot of some new TV series, which I'd probably say would work quite well on the small screen. There's not much action but plenty of plot, typical of the adaptation of a source thriller novel like this.

I just about got to grips with the extremely convoluted way in which McConnaughey's title character turns the tables on his client, accused murderer and woman-beater Ryan Phillipe. Indeed McConaughey's character is like a legal "Shaft" bending the law to his own ends. I felt that his straight acting was better than his more recent comedy turns.

The support is solid, the direction slick to the point of glossy and there's the now customary soundtrack in the background mixing the old with the new, to no great effect or rhyme or reason.
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rosebud snow26 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
McConaughey, who is maturely handsome and sly, seems slow and overblown as the lawyer Mick Hiller in this film, and Marisa Tomei is simply not believable as the ex-wife prosecutor. William H. Macy, as Hiller's investigator, steals whatever show there is. (The defendant, whose name I cannot even remember is, well, forgettable.) This story, which involves themes like a lawyer's obligations to his criminal client, has been far better portrayed, not to mention acted, by the main character and those around him/her, in films like "Primal Fear" (Richard Gere), "Jagged Edge" (Glen Close), "Devil's Advocate" (Keannu Reeves) and of course "Witness for the Prosecution" (Charles Laughton), to name a few. If you want to see McConaughey as a lawyer, see "A Time to Kill," a much better movie and he is excellent and better drawn in it.

I am a pretty good sport when it comes to film and look for what is good in a particular movie. "Lincoln Lawyer" is only average, at best, for me. The titles are the most promising and compelling thing in the picture. The rap music is way off. If you are a real film buff, you will probably feel that you are wasting your time. Your call.
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A Nutshell Review: The Lincoln Lawyer
DICK STEEL26 March 2011
Matthew McConaughey's roles have usually been the action adventurer or the romantic comedy lead these days, but it has always been his breakout role in Joel Schumacher's A Time to Kill, based upon what would be my favourite amongst the John Grisham books, that still remained one of his best, until his second outing now in a role as a criminal defense lawyer in Michael Connelly's bestseller of the same name. I suppose McConaguhey can convincingly project the savvy and wily minds of what it takes to be a legal eagle, given that after all he had swapped law school for film school.

As Mick Haller, McConaughey shows how slick his character can be in glib talking his way through his myriad of contacts and networks built up over the course of his career, from ex clients to current ones, from beat cops to opposing lawyers. At times you may suddenly think of it as being a bastardization of justice, since Law Abiding Citizen reminded one and all that it's all boiled down to what you can actually prove in the court of law. So we actually cheer Haller on as the unorthodox lawyer who gets the job done, guided by a moral compass not to put an innocent man behind bars. He operates out of the Lincoln sedan, which is where the title got its name from, though a scene in the trailer that affirmed his choice of office got left out.

And as far as the trailer goes, it probably hinted at all the narrative sequence to come - with Ryan Phillippe's Louis Roulet, a rich playboy realtor who got accused of bashing up a prostitute, and for Haller to defend him only to find that his client is more than meets the eye and may not be the innocent man he incessantly proclaims to be, and ultimately finding room to threaten Haller and his family. Well, thankfully that only scratched the surface of the story, which with its rich characterization is one of the key reasons why this film should be watched, since it's not your typical Matlock episode.

I may say I've seen a number of courtroom movies and it does take something extra to provide that boost to its story, and here's where Michael Connelly aces it, by constantly highlighting a sense of danger in Haller's way that strikes very close to friends and family, never fearful of getting things out of the equation. More interestingly he presents a moral and professional dilemma for Haller who finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place, and has to utilize the full extent of his savvies to bail himself out of the situation, have justice served, lock the bad guys up and ultimately, making sure his family remains safe from the very real threats coming his way.

While lacking very big name stars, this film is full of character actors that make The Lincoln Lawyer a compelling watch. There's Marisa Tomei as Haller's ex-wife and co-prosecutor, William H. Macy as the investigator for Haller's camp, spotting some great hippie hairdo unseen in his films before, John Leguizamo, Michael Pena and Josh Lucas who plays a relatively green prosecutor. But of course McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe (always bearing a sense of having something to hide) were great opposite each other, on the surface standing on the same side of the law, but beneath there's trouble brewing with a capital T as the client-attorney privilege boundaries get close to being violated on moral grounds.

Michael Connelly is probably better known for his detective Harry Bosch series of books, but looking at how this turned out I'm secreting hoping the other films in the Mick Haller series get made as well. A great legal thriller on manipulation with a good twist at the end, perhaps the cinematography could have been improved somewhat if all shaky cam moments got converted and done the more conventional way of putting the camera on a tripod.
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Contemporary Justice
Ric-722 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The film begins with several instances of McConaughey's character Mick engaging in dishonesty for his own benefit. So it should not be surprising that Mick violates countless ethical rules and probably some criminal laws on his way to the climax of the film. The film's point of view about the justice system is extremely cynical: the detectives don't hesitate to invent evidence and cut corners to convict someone they believe is guilty, and the plot matches this dishonesty with Mick on his way to seeing that the guilty are convicted. The point of criminal justice is that the jury should decide, and not the investigators or attorneys.

However, if you approach the film by getting past the obvious fact that this could never happen, I think you can enjoy it on its own terms. This is not a crime mystery (the mystery does not last long), and it is not really a courtroom drama because the courtroom scenes last perhaps 15 minutes maximum. But the film creates some very interesting dilemmas on its way to the ultimate "just" and very ironic resolution.

The acting was uniformly excellent. It is so refreshing to see a Matthew McConaughey film that relies upon his acting rather than his physique. I also found it interesting that McConaughey's opponent in the court room was Josh Lucas, another actor who in years past has been more relied on for his looks rather than his acting: check out "Sweet Home Alabama" for wretched example. Here he did a fine job.

But the excellent acting even extended to the bit players: all were convincing. I also loved Trace Adkins' bit as a biker. I totally enjoyed the film. It's definitely not perfect and certainly not art, but it was very interesting and entertaining.
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The Ultimate Courtroom Drama Trope Collection
gus4957 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a high profile defense attorney. He seems to have everything going for him, until he takes up the case of a wealthy client accused of murder. The subsequent string of events that unravel makes him question his morals and beliefs, and yadda yadda yadda bla bla bla. Something evil psychopath trying to get away with murder something something cat and mouse game turns into a court room drama and presto we get the Lincoln Lawyer. It has all the underpinnings of what makes the great courtroom dramas great, so it in turn must be great too, right?

It is amazing to see a product focusing so hard on delivering thrills and failing so immensely in the process. I'm sure that whoever wrote or directed this must have been an avid fan of John Grisham, because he or she took every last trope from the books and did absolutely nothing with it. The tonal dissonance doesn't become totally clear until the later stages of the movie, but by then it is hard to even get what the point of the movie was in the first place. The last scene ends with McConaughey proverbially walking into the sunset while his former client is being non-proverbially beaten to death by his posse. Cue shootout and the final scene in which our hero is united with his family. It would all be offensive if it wasn't so hilariously misguided.

The sole saving grace of this movie comes from McConaughey. It's not the performance of a lifetime, but he's doing his best with what he has been given. The courtroom scenes in the latter half are interesting to watch, but just only because he sells the triple agent role Haller finds himself in. Is it worth sitting through two hours of exposition dialogue and sigh inducing stereotypes to get there? Probably not. Let us remember then The Lincoln Lawyer as the start of McConaughey turn to drama acting, because that is about all of significance this movie will probably be remembered for.
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To be blunt: you've probably seen this on TV several times already
patrick powell17 December 2013
The dilemma is this: 30, 20, 10 years ago this this film, The Lincoln Lawyer, might well have come across as rather good, a neat legal courtroom thriller with a nice twist to make everything rather satisfying.

Unfortunately, that is not the case any more: TV riding high on the initial success of The Sopranos, Damages and other high- value series has, rather taken the wind out of the sales of these such films. And on another front one-off TV films themselves have muscled in on the action, producing more or less the same stories using the same plots for a lot less money because the don't care to hire such expensive actors as Mathew MacConaughey and Marisa Tomei, mainly because they just don't have to: actors who cost half as much can read learn the lines just as well.

To put it rather more simply: apart from the higher production values, it's not really different from anything you haven't seen before on TV quite a few times. Not particularly bad, but not extraordinarily good either. These days 'cinema films' rather than 'TV movies' really must add that much extra to justify their existence. The Lincoln Lawyer – the film's title rather gives away the film's Achilles heel: hi falutin', promising much, but delivering a lot less – is adequate rather than good. This is very entertaining, but no more entertaining than any number of films you might well catch on TV. You will, of course, perhaps see a worse, but not necessarily a lot better.

As we Brits say: you pays your money and you makes your choice. Oh, and don't be fooled by what Alfred Hitchcock called the McGuffin. There's no 'moral dilemma' or 'crisis of conscience' here despite what you might have read. It's just another McGuffin. As I say: not at all bad, but not at all outstanding, either.
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