The Lincoln Lawyer
Based on the book by Michael Connelly
Out now to Rent and Buy
What is it all about?
Smooth, handsome and cocky, Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a lawyer who believes he is the best there is. He gets driven around Los Angeles in his chauffeured Lincoln town car, cutting deals and finding clients on the road. Life is sweet and grand and he even strikes lucky when he lands a case: a rich real-estate heir (Ryan Phillippe) accused of the brutal assault of an escort. At first, the case looks like simple, a matter of a quick brief work and the assumption of an open and shut case, but during a simple investigation things do not quite add up and when Mickey makes an ugly connection to an earlier case–he soon realises that what was a once easy case has become a matter of life and death!
I loved this movie!
There you go, now you can go onto to something else. Reading reviews is all about getting the judgement of said critic and while many wait until the end paragraph to give their view, I could not wait to tell you about how much I loved this. So why did I?
The Lincoln Lawyer is a throw back to the days when 90’s cinema was awash with court drama’s. The Firm, The Client to even My Cousin Vinny were the type of films that donned the top of the box office when viewers rushed to see the next John Grisham adaption on the big screen. In a weird and bizarre way, Lincoln Lawyer feels and looks like a lost Grisham film and only because the name of the author Michael Connelly appears on the DVD cover would you realise that it is not.
The film starts with a real wicked vibe, the tune of “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” blasts from the surround sound and fills the air of your living room, its a great song to start off with and when he see McConaughey all suited up and looking slick, you realise what kind of character you dealing with. Here is a man who does things his way and nothing else and probably get what he wants every single step of the way. Its not a career stretch for McConaughey to look and play this way but I am not one of those critics who have somehow got their knifes out for this actor. Yes, he may have starred in too many rom-coms of late but here is a guy who starred in the masterpiece horror Fraility so for that he will always get my respect. Here though its safe to say that this film is probably his best performance. Its amazing to see such a cool guy lose his drive and composure when he realises that the job he has just taken has become the stuff of nightmares.
The case in question is that of Louis Roulet (Phillippe) a rich kid who reminds you of what could have happened to his character if he never fell in love with the pure virgin in Cruel intentions. Louis is accused of a brutal beating of a prostitute which Mickey believes is an easy case for him to win because initial evidence proves that he had a John McClane moment, a guy at the wrong place at the wrong time! With the backing of Louis mother, estate mogul Mary Windsor (Francis Fisher) at his side, a woman with huge political clout, Mickey assumes this is case of a life time but like all good court room thrillers, things are never that simple. When his own private investigator Frank Levin (William H Macy) start to dig, the pictures and evidence, notably the injuries the prostitute sustained bear a similarity to a past case of Mickey which saw his client sentenced for life on a murder charge. The more Mickey digs, the more secrets get uncovered and soon he realises that the player has been played by someone more smarter, but while Mickey is in it for the money, Louis is in it for a little game of murder, and soon a classic cat and mouse game begins.
I have always had a soft spot for this genre, simply because when I was a little child I sat in awe over a little black and white film called 12 Angry Men which even to this day is still the greatest and one that all try to beat. Now I am not going to pretend that Lincoln Lawyer even gets close to that standard, but its still a mightily fine film that has more tension and thrills than many films of this year.
It helps that the film has this class feel to it all. Just by looking at the back up cast and see that this is just not a film set out to pass the time. From Marisa Tomei in the role of Mick’s DA ex wife, to Macy in a very minor but pivotal cameo to John Lequizamo, Josh Lucas, Michael Pare all around each corner, offering style to stop the film from ever faltering from its relentless pace.
Yes at times it goes into the cliche of the genre (flashbacks. twists, dialogue) , but with a strong story which you know will offer a third act twist, its hard for you to take your eyes off. In an age of re-makes and sequels, The Lincoln Lawyer offers evidence that there is still room for good story telling and simple fare, this is more enjoyable than watching that headache of CGI Metal robots beating the shit out of each other.
For me The Lincoln Lawyer is one of the best films of the year, a great crime thriller that offers everything you want in a mystery thriller and if you missed it at the cinema, then simply make up for that mistake now.