Mick Haller is a defense lawyer who works out of his Lincoln. When a wealthy Realtor is accused of assaulting a prostitute, Haller is asked to defend him. The man claims that the woman is trying to get some money out of him. But when Haller looks at the evidence against him, he learns that this case might be linked to an old case of his. Written by
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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