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THE LINCOLN LAWYER review by John Delia

March 17th, 2011







Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Ryan Phillippe, with Bryan Cranston and William H. Macy

Directed by: Brad Furman

MPAA Rating: R for some violence, sexual content and language

Genre: Drama, Crime thriller

Running Time: 1hr 59min

Release Date: March 18th, 2011

Distributed by: Lionsgate

By John Delia

Suspenseful, intriguing and exciting The Lincoln Lawyer makes the legal system entertaining.  With all the TV attorney shows pushing for top ratings, this film comes at the right time.  A strong cast, excellent direction and a riveting storyline make The Lincoln Lawyer a must see.

Michael Pena and Mathew McConaughey in a heated scene

Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) keeps his legal business close to him, in his car.  Defending the lowlifes or whomever desperately needs legal assistance; Mick turns down very few clients.  While working on a questionable case his confidant Val Valenzuela (John Leguizamo) gives him the name of Beverly Hills playboy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe).  This client will pay big money to get him off for battery and rape. It’s the case of a lifetime and Mick knows it.  Suspicious of the client however, he brings on his friend Frank Levin (William H. Macy) a private detective. When they start getting conflicting evidence, Mick starts to get distrustful of Roulet.

Mick (McConaughey) gets a tip from Val (John Leguizamo)

McConaughey, Leguizamo and Macy work nicely together easily bringing out the sleazy ways Mick does business.  But the strong performance of Phillippe in his role as the guiltless client makes the script work.  I was totally engrossed in the film watching every twist and turn right to the nearly unpredictable turn of events at the end.

Excellent direction by Brad Furman helps in crafting The Lincoln Lawyer into good show.  His ability to maneuver the characters into realistic situations that create suspense with creative conflict makes this film work.  The only thing that comes in question is “Did he write McConaughey taking off his shirt into the film or was it his star’s way of leaving his usual mark?”

The Lincoln Lawyer is rated R for some violence, sexual content and language.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A killer of a thriller. (B)






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