A lawyer defending a wealthy man begins to believe his client is guilty of more than just one crime.A lawyer defending a wealthy man begins to believe his client is guilty of more than just one crime.A lawyer defending a wealthy man begins to believe his client is guilty of more than just one crime.
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.
- Mar 25, 2011