The Lincoln Laywer – Review

Posted April 14, 2011 by Ailsa Travers in Film Reviews

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas

Directed: Brad Furman

In a refreshing take on the lifestyle of Hollywood attorneys, ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ sees Mickey Haller (McConaughey), an egotistical, cocky criminal defence lawyer – so broke he can’t even afford an office – take on one of the biggest cases of his career. Hired by the rich and infamous playboy Louis Roulet (Phillippe), who denies the brutal beating and attempted rape of a prostitute, Haller battles his instincts and suspicions of what really took place. Alongside his trusty investigator and best friend, Frank Levin (Macy), Haller delves into the lives of the Roulet’s, who he soon realises are not the people they appear to be. Caught between his commitments as a lawyer and personal safety, we are thrust into a dramatic thriller that isn’t quite as shocking as it attempts to be, alongside Haller.

Considering McConaughey has been in a seriously limited amount of good films, ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ turns out to be stylish, dramatic, and intensely gripping. Despite his distracting dodgy tan, and ridiculous ease at being such a cocky character, McConaughey has – somehow – made me respect his acting abilities – shame it’s only taken a decade or so .  Alongside Phillippe, (Cruel Intentions, Crash), Tomei provides a strong supporting role as Haller’s ex and fellow lawyer. However, whilst Phillippe yet again proves his skills of suspense, the renowned Macy appears in a somewhat half-hashed role which does nothing to support his status as a respected actor. You may also notice Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind, Glory Road) being completely under-used as Haller’s rival in the courtroom – a wasted minor role that Lucas still manages to work with perfection. All said and done, Furman has adapted ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ from a best-selling novel, to an indie-looking slick thriller that creates enough suspense and plot-branches to keep you questioning who’s telling the truth. And despite some underwhelming supporting characters, as well as not being a huge McConaughey fan, I simply cannot deny that this film is well executed.


Ailsa Travers
Ailsa Travers

Ailsa has just graduated University with a degree in Media & Communications, and whilst relatively new to the world of writing has developed a strong passion for the field. An avid movie fan, Ailsa's favourite films include everything from 'In the Valley of Elah' to 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.

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