By Chris Rebholz

Mar 20, 2011 10:16 AM EST


The Lincoln Lawyer Theatrical Review

The Lincoln Lawyer stars Matthew McConaughey as a hot shot lawyer named Mickey Haller, who works out of the back of his Lincoln Town car.

For years Mickey Haller has conducted his work from the back of his car, handling loads of cases defending your common criminal. Things change though when Haller lands the case of his career by defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe) a Beverly Hills playboy who has been accused of rape and attempted murder. Naturally Haller is extremely excited about the prospect of landing such a high profile case. He is someone who clearly in love with the spotlight.

In some ways his character is similar to Richard Gere's character from Primal Fear, though here McConaughey's character has more confident air about himself and he repeatedly proves it to his employees, the judge working the case, even his client. Things turn deadly when the case which seems fairly straightforward to Haller develops into a game of high suspense in which even Haller, at times, can barely keep up with.
McConaughey leads a very high profile cast which only adds to the power of the film. Had this film only starred him and no other "names" the film more than likely would not have done well. Here you will see faces like Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, and Bob Gunton. The movie is based on the 2005 book of the same name by Michael Connelly. Having never read the book one wonders how much was altered to suit the film, but what's surprising here is how the film utilizes simple well-worn formula's that are common for TV court room drama's i.e. flashbacks, and recreations.

These tricks of the trade, which normally might bother most audience members, only work to enhance the experience. What is most surprising throughout the entire film is McConaughey's performance; for the past few years it seemed like he was content to spend the rest of his film career doing mundane romantic-comedy's with the "it" actress of the time. However, with this film, he has proven that not only can perform at a higher caliber than what we've seen so far, but he can also hold his against more well-known Hollywood heavyweights.

Considering last weekend's early summer release of Battle L.A., it was possible that The Lincoln Lawyer might have gotten smothered amongst such a high-octane film. But given that Battle L.A. hasn't proved to be the film everyone expected and this film is more than what everyone expected it's clear that The Lincoln Lawyer has the chops to be a film to be remembered. 

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 119 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate

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