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The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 166
Fresh: 138
Rotten: 28

Critics Consensus: It doesn't offer any twists on the predictable courtroom thriller formula, but with a charming Matthew McConaughey leading its solid cast, The Lincoln Lawyer offers briskly enjoyable entertainment.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 27
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: It doesn't offer any twists on the predictable courtroom thriller formula, but with a charming Matthew McConaughey leading its solid cast, The Lincoln Lawyer offers briskly enjoyable entertainment.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 66,754


Movie Info

Matthew McConaughey stars in this legal thriller as a low-rent defense attorney named Mickey Haller. Most of the time, Mickey barely keeps his head above water, representing low-life clients and working out of the back of his car. He thinks he's landed the case of a lifetime when he's hired to defend a rich playboy (Ryan Phillippe) who stands accused of rape and attempted murder, and eagerly accepts his new client and the massive payoff that's sure to come with him. But Mickey soon discovers … More

R (for some violence, sexual content and language)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Jul 12, 2011
Box Office:
Lionsgate Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Lincoln Lawyer

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (138) | Rotten (28) | DVD (6)

It's really just a solid courtroom drama, but these days moviegoers should take what they can get.

Full Review… | March 26, 2011
Top Critic

It has nothing to do with the capital of Nebraska or the former president. While you're watching it, though, you'll wish it did.

Full Review… | March 24, 2011
Associated Press
Top Critic

There's a reason potboiler paperbacks don't make good movies -- there's too much outlandish plot, even for Hollywood.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Just when you thought Matthew McConaughey had settled into pre-retirement content to play the (dry-aged) beefcake in a string of dippy romantic comedies, the actor comes roaring back with some real acting.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
Top Critic

That the premise of the film doesn't make a ton of sense shouldn't dissuade you if you're in the mood for a little escape.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
Top Critic

The Lincoln Lawyer is not a feat of genre-breaking design. But it is a well-oiled machine.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
Denver Post
Top Critic

A fast-paced intelligent legal thriller.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

It moves as a nice pace, is a smooth ride and doesn't require too much energy.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

A much better version of this movie may exist somewhere in the editing-room blender, to be excavated by cine-archeologists of the future.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

The Lincoln Lawyer has one of the best ensembles of the year. We get a great performance by Matthew McConaughey and a truly exciting story.

Full Review… | June 2, 2013
We Got This Covered

Matthew McConaughey is the only actor in Hollywood who can swagger while sitting down. This is one role where that works, to perfection.

Full Review… | January 9, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

The whole falls short of the sum of impressive parts.

Full Review… | June 2, 2012

...a perfectly serviceable legal thriller that passes the time and gets the job done...

Full Review… | December 18, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

Crackles with crisp dialogue, a juicy plot punctuated with titillating twists and turns, and a strong cast of familiar faces.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
American Profile of McConaughey's strongest performances.

Full Review… | August 16, 2011

[It's] packed with great performances, intrigue, and gasp-worthy moments.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011

Sprinkled with just enough humor to keep from getting too self-serious, it's briskly paced and gives McConaughey's fans something to brag about... Again.

Full Review… | May 12, 2011
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Emerges as a cool, slick and entertaining courtroom drama with enough punch to hold its own in an overcrowded genre.

Full Review… | May 5, 2011

That this mystery-thriller doesn't add up ‒ feels more than a little contrived ‒ says something about compromises made to keep the filmgoer from recoiling from the heel hero.

Full Review… | May 4, 2011

Well-written, appropriately sour modern crime story.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
East Bay Express

While not as significant as the Oscar nominated "Michael Clayton," "Lincoln" is an efficient and entertaining legal thriller.

Full Review… | April 27, 2011
Daily Film Fix

A delicious but not too-smooth take on LA noir. Tight shots keep us close to the ratcheting action, and there are just the right bits of grit, and the right pace to the twists, to make The Lincoln Lawyer a steadily seat-gripping cinematic cruise.

Full Review… | April 25, 2011
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | April 13, 2011
Movies for the Masses

It feels like the best work [McConaughey has] done in years and if there's a sequel I won't mind one bit.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

In a nice twist, the central mystery of the plot is solved about halfway through the movie and it then becomes about some clever legal maneuvering on Mick's part.

Full Review… | April 3, 2011

A solid thriller with McConaughey doing what he does best.

Full Review… | April 3, 2011
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Lincoln Lawyer

A magnificent courtroom drama/thriller that serves with the same extremities as the hammer of justice. The Lincoln Lawyer is mostly held up by the enigmatic performance from McConaughey as well as the supporting cast. With it's courtroom splendor and gritty thrills, the film is extraordinary. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Good adaptation of a great book, better than I would have expected and a sign of good things if the rest of the Mickey Haller books get made into movies. Now we just want to see a Harry Bosch movie.

Stuart Brooks

Super Reviewer

A stylish court room thriller, of which there haven't been enough good ones around for a long while. It does feel like a John Grisham adaptation, which is a big compliment. Although with some humour along the way. A good modern feel cast of stars handle it well and there are some nice twists along the way. If you like the more like this films, then snap this up quick!

Dean !

Super Reviewer

Court room drama's and legal jargon can be surprisingly gripping entertainment, which makes me wonder why there isn't more of them. Unfortunately, we've been fed a staple of John Grisham stories throughout the years which I find empty and do very little for me. But it was John Grisham adaptation "A Time to Kill" years ago that Matthew McConaughey was actually any good in a film. Until now.
L.A. criminal lawyer Mick Haller (McConaughey), who works out of his chauffeured Lincoln Continental car, takes on an unusually high-profile case defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), the scion of a wealthy family who's accused of beating and raping a prostitute. There's clearly more to it than meets the eye though, and it may tie into a case Haller tried some years ago.
Slick, fast and cool. This starts with an energy that Grisham adaptations lack and it's good to see McConaughey drop those abysmal rom-coms and tackle a role more suited to his style. However, with such a strong opening and fast pace, it soon gets bogged down around the midway point and struggles to recover. McConaughey goes from confident and fast talking to angst ridden and desperate rather quickly. It's a sudden change that doesn't suit but McConaughey shows impressive range nonetheless. And just when he gets back to his old self, the denoument then feels rushed. His once strained relationship with his ex-wife becomes unrealistic and the whole affair is wrapped up rather quickly, leaving what was a very strong and potentially great film falling flat.
A good legal thriller that moves at a brisk pace with several twists and turns. It starts to eventually trip over itself and doesn't fulfill it's early promise but it just about manages to get by on McConaughey's charisma.

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

The Lincoln Lawyer Quotes

Mickey Haller:
You know what I'm afraid of now? Evil, pure Evil.
– Submitted by Bryan O (2 years ago)
Maggie McPherson:
There's no client as scary as an innocent man.
– Submitted by Scott P (2 years ago)
Eddie Vogel:
You really shot your client's mother?
– Submitted by Teresa D (2 years ago)
Mickey Haller:
Exactly, you got it and I dont.
– Submitted by Michael L (3 years ago)
Mickey Haller:
I can't wait to show up the next morning so I can kick your ass!
– Submitted by Marilyn F (3 years ago)
Eddie Vogel:
Mickey Haller:
Eddie, we had a deal. Either you pay me, or go with a public defender.
Eddie Vogel:
How 'bout five grand?
Mickey Haller:
Eddie Vogel:
(handing Mick a brown envelope) Ain't you gonna count it?
Mickey Haller:
I just did.
– Submitted by Tom W (3 years ago)

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