MOVIE: The Lincoln Laywer (2011)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a decent legal thriller, and even longer since I’ve seen Matthew McConaughey in anything particularly good, so when reviews of this movie came out and many of my favorite critics said it was fun, I was game.

And fun it is.  While the plot is nothing terribly original and definitely has a few weak spots (for example, when your friend is murdered while investigating something specific, it’s a pretty safe bet that the something-specific is what got him killed — you might want to start there, dummy), overall I found the film really entertaining and McConaughey thoroughly charming as its star.

Matty plays Mick Halter, a rich LA defense lawyer whose office is the back seat of his Lincoln town car, and whose license plate sums up both his track record and his cocky personality:  NTGUILTY.

He mostly specializes in getting bad guys off, living in perpetual fear of the day he’s forced to defend an innocent man and fails.  But when his pal Val (John Leguizamo), a bail bondsman, asks him to take the case of a super-rich young man accused of assault (Ryan Phillippe), Mick quickly realizes his greatest fear may be coming to pass.  The kid, Louis Roulet, seems innocent — his story makes sense, the woman accusing him is a known prostitute trying to get enough money to get out of the biz, and there’s even security camera footage that supports Louis’s description of what went down.

Things get complicated, though, when Mick discovers a connection between this case and one of his old ones.  A man he’d defended years ago and talked into taking a plea for a life sentence — in an attempt to avoid the death penalty — was accused of a crime that looked and sounded a lot like the crime Louis is accused of.  What’s the connection?  Who’s innocent and who’s guilty?  One?  Both?  Someone else altogether?

Though all the “twists” at the end were predictable and all-too-familiar to anyone who reads mysteries regularly (this flick’s based on a novel by Michael Connelly, by the way), I still found this movie good escapist fun.  McConaughey is great in this kind of part — intelligent, arrogant, and thrown for a loop — and the casting of Marisa Tomei, a middle-aged woman with wrinkles and everything!, as Mick’s ex-wife and occasional lover was utterly refreshing.  How nice to see a movie about a handsome guy dating a woman HIS OWN AGE!  Hear that, Harrison Ford?  Yeah, whatever, dude.

All in all, definitely a great way to spend an afternoon.  You can probably wait for the DVD to come out, since there’s nothing that spectacular about it visually, but it’s definitely worth watching somewhere, some how, some day for sure.  Recommended!

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Thriller
Cast:  Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Michael Peña, Bob Gunton, Frances Fisher, Bryan Cranston


6 Responses to “MOVIE: The Lincoln Laywer (2011)”

  1. Jo Says:

    My mom saw this and highly recommended it. But we opted to see Source Code instead because of the it-can-wait-for-the-small-screen factor. But I’m moving it to the top of my rental list!

  2. Meg Says:

    How was “Source Code”? I’m hoping to see that this weekend!

  3. Jo Says:

    I really enjoyed it, and not just because JG is lovely to look at. It’s not the best or cleversest movie I’ve ever seen, but it does manage to keep your attention until the end.

    It’s one of those movies you can’t really think about though, because if you do you’ll come up with a bazillion flaws and plotholes and just get annoyed.

  4. Jo Says:

    Oh, and “cleversest” is a word. Honest. Trust me.

  5. zini Says:

    Jo, We saw source code too, and have to agree with you 100%, the whole premise is based on a quantum physics gig that’s mumbled at us at the start (just go with it!) but I really couldn’t. I got caught up in the bazillion flaws and plotholes and was ultimately unsatisfied. I’ve seen much better presentations of “scientific theory” that at least let me suspend disbelief for a coupla hours. It was pretty though, and I’m a Chicago gal, so that was fun. I’d wait for DVD on this one.

  6. van phong luat su Says:

    van phong luat su…

    […]MOVIE: The Lincoln Laywer (2011) «[…]…

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