The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer

In Theatres: 
Mar 18, 2011

In prison everyone says they’re innocent. The sad thing is many people actually are. Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) works as a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, and it’s his job to keep people to out of the slammer, whether they’re guilty or not. So far he’s managed to do pretty well for himself, even though his methods may be a little unethical. When a high profile case comes his way, Haller is put in a difficult position that questions his entire career and jeopardizes his life.

Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) has been accused of rape and attempted murder and hires Haller to keep him out of prison, saying he was set up for his money. While everything starts out like just another case, it soon takes a dark turn when Mickey starts gathering the facts and connecting the dots. 

Matthew McConaughey is calm and collective, always thinking one step ahead of the rest. Whether he’s bribing the deputy at the front desk to get his client into an earlier hearing or acting quick on his feet for a reduced sentence, he gets the job done with a certain cocky finesse that reinforces the common stereotype that all lawyers are greedy self-indulgent bloodsuckers. He’s a man you can’t help but love, even though you hate him.

If you’re a fan of deep psychological dramas, then The Lincoln Lawyer is just that. You will be blindsided fast facts and all this lawyer talk that may make you feel as if you’re the one being interrogated. The film moves at a very quick pace, and it can be quite easy to get lost in all the fine details. Prepare to be taken for a wild ride as you attempt to piece together the evidence in what seems like a theatrical version of a CSI episode. 

Audiences are taken through the whole court process from the arrest to the trial. It may not be exactly how the court system operates but it creates a decent enough perspective. One thing you’ll notice about the film is that nobody is innocent. Everyone has their own flaws and ethical lines they are willing to cross to get what they want. One of the things that bothered me with the film is that you don’t really see much of change in McConaughey’s character, despite having sent an innocent man to jail in the past. Sure, he manages to keep his family man and hard-as-nails lawyer appearances separate but that’s about it.

What makes The Lincoln Lawyer enjoyable is the fact that it lets you piece together a murder case along with the film. There are a few curve balls thrown to always keep you guessing and some excellent performances by minor roles such as William H. Macy and Michael Pena. The verdict is in, and The Lincoln Lawyer does not disappoint.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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