The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
Dir: Brad Furman
Matthew McConaughey as a lawyer again.
Mickey Haller is a defence lawyer, who works mostly from the back of his car and is very adept at getting his clients to walk free, so effectively that his licence plate reads “NTGUILTY”. However when he’s hired to defend a real estate moguls playboy son, his skills are put to the test, and his relationship with the law is tested as he sees similarities with a past case.
This really is a pretty good legal thriller. It manages to get a nice mix of drama both in and out of the courtroom, not confining itself to just action or clever legal arguing, but using a combination of both.
Matthew McConaughey does fit the lawyer role very well, and especially in this film as he’s got such a complex situation unfolding, which brings in opportunities for McConaughey to show his charming side as well as a more rough-and-ready aspect. The supporting cast is also very good, with Ryan Phillippe as the complicated client, William H. Macy as Haller’s private investigator and friend, and also Marisa Tomei as a prosecutor who has history with Haller and is the mother of his child and seems to be in a perpetual state of uncertainty with their relationship.
As for the film’s composition and editing, it starts off incredibly slick with very stylish opening titles and gets across the point that this is a slick lawyer who operates in a somewhat unorthodox way. It then keeps the story moving along quite well, using a little bit of flashback in certain scenes, and regular plot developments to make sure things keep unfolding in a way that keeps it from being stale. Even in the courtroom scenes there’s a nice bit of uncertainty as to how things will unfold, and once the verdict has been given, the film doesn’t just end once all parties have parted ways like some courtroom dramas might.
All in all then this is a slick and stylish legal thriller that delivers on both the legal and thrilling sides.