THE LINCOLN LAWYER (2011)

TMG Scale 9.0
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, William Macey, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Frances Fisher, Bob Gunton, Ryan Phillippe

The set on this film must have been tough. There were more stars and egos on the set than in a county courthouse on most days. But. one has to give virtual unknown Director, Brad Furman great credit for pulling off a truly awesome movie. This is not your typical jailhouse lawyer film…but then again Matthew McConaughey has proven himself he is no typical actor playing a lawyer.  McConaughey was awesome as attorney Jake Brigance in A Time to Kill (1996). He was perhaps even better this time. [Note to self: Next time I need a lawyer, I am calling McConaughey!]

McConaughey plays super slick LA-Hollywood criminal defense lawyer, Mick Haller.  Haller knows how to work the legal system as well as anyone. Having his friendly ex-wife, Maggie (Tomei)  in the DA’s office doesn’t hurt a bit either.  He mostly works out of his chauffeur driven Lincoln—hence the movie title. [Not a reference to Abraham Lincoln or the city as many might have presumed].   Haller takes on a rich kid named Louis Roulet (Phillippe)  and his over-doting rich mom (Fisher).  Roulet is ostensibly wrongfully arrested for brutally beating a hooker and faces serious jail time.  It’s just another case to Haller but this time with big money to be made. But when big money is involved, Haller’s intuition gets clouded. Even his chief investigator Frank Levin (Macey) gets caught in the crossfire.

This movie will keep you going from beginning to end. Just “who did it?” is not the only question on your mind. How does this all fit together and how is it going to end? Will it all come to some logical and legal conclusion?  It does, but not before you are run through the legal wringer. One of the finest films since  Tom Cruise in The Firm (1993)  that might actually make you fond of a lawyer. [Okay…maybe that is a stretch any day of the week!]

Sharp dialogue, sharper wit and fast paced drama make this the drama of the year so far. TMG predicts an early Oscar nod for our buddy McConaughey!

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