Satisfying legal thriller based on a novel by a best-selling author, The Lincoln Lawyer will not enter your black list of unworthy films even though the over-saturated film that reminds one of the 90's Hollywood might appears to be. With a good story and a good cast performance, this gripping entertainer will keep you on a tight leash until you're bailed out by the credit roll.
Based on the best-selling novel by American crime writer Michael Connelly.
Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back seat of his Lincoln sedan. Haller has spent most of his career defending garden-variety criminals, until he lands the case of his career: defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a Beverly Hills playboy accused of rape and attempted murder. But the seemingly straightforward case suddenly develops into a deadly game of survival for Haller.
Let's begin by going on the record. I'm a great fan of Michael Connelly and his novels, he's probably the only author whose entire bibliography I've covered. Before you begin to adjust the opinion of this article accordingly from the B+ to a B or B-, thinking that it's probably a tad bit on the high due to the possibility of an affected judgement call,
I've adjusted it accordingly (it would have been an A- if I didn't) so fret not. I've been doing this for quite some while to know that objectivity is a virtue, so I try my best to self-cultivate said quality.
Just like in the courtroom, justice is best served in objectivity.
Matthew McConaughey has possibly served his best performance ever in this film, not just based upon unjust comparisons with his previous romantic comedies' involvement, but it's a fair comment that's even worth, say a fifty dollars' wager. Personally, I've enjoyed the emotional transition of Haller throughout this film from a cocky self-indulging prick lawyer to someone a corrected moral compass. This could be a breakthrough for McConaughey and a platform for more serious works to come in his way, but I can't say for sure if they'll all come in Lincoln Town cars.
You've probably guessed it, Mickey Haller works on the go from the back of his black Lincoln. He's a smart guy who is able to handle the street bends and the judicial curves like a true versatile professional. He's a great personality, especially with the way he carries himself verbally, and McConaughey portrays it very well.
What this film benefits from is a great plot adapted from a great story, and a great cast performance.
The Lincoln Lawyer is gripping in an entertaining manner, much like a Connelly crime novel, as the film progresses. It's really a rarity, for most legal drama/thrillers tend to lose their audience by the middle act before totally losing their credibility. There's enough plot twists and engaging dialogues to keep you uptight in tension and cracking up with laughter. One goes "You've got more balls than a Chinese ping pong tournament", it sure doesn't sound classy but it reflects the character well and it rendered joy to the audience.
I won't divulge more on the plot, because it's where the essence lies.
Most of the supporting cast are good in their roles and deliver together as a whole, instead of just having the hero/protagonist take charge and run the show. Ryan Phillippe sure gave us a chilling sensation as the two-faced antagonist, though not in the fashion of Jarvier Bardem in No country for Old Men, and William H. Macy showed us an interesting chemistry with McConaughey onscreen that I so much wanted more of.
It's been a while since we've seen a legal thriller this good and you shouldn't miss this for anything.
On a side note, this is merely the second novel adaption of Michael Connelly's works and I think it's time that we notice what great film materials he's been penning over these years. I will very much like to see more of his books adapted for the silver screen, although the previous one with Clint Eastwood (Blood Work) wasn't a good endeavour.
If anyone's reading this, I really want to see a Harry Bosch film adaptation next.