The Lincoln Lawyer Reviews
I'm reluctant to say that this is a case of style over substance as there's not necessarily a lack of depth here. Rather, it's just that there isn't anything stand-out. The performances are solid and the film has an interesting style generally. Further, the plot has enough to keep you interested and the film's two hours pass quite easily.
Still, there's nothing about this that goes beyond the term 'serviceable'. If you're a fan of the genre then that will be more than enough but, if instead (like me), you expect something a little more cutting-edge from your courtroom movies, then this may leave you feeling a little underwhelmed.
Now I've seen this movie again, let's elaborate a little bit.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a movie based on a Michael Connelly novel. In short, the plot is this: Defense attorney Mick Haller (McConaughey) has a crisis of conscience when he represents a wealthy client who has a foolproof plan to beat the system. All the right ingredients for a legal thriller. Funny fact: in Connelly's 'The Fifth Witness', there's some banter about making a case into a movie. With McConaughey as Haller, no less!
At the director's helm is the relatively unknown Brad Furman, who hasn't really done much before or after this film. He does a great job, as does his cinematographer. Some folks have criticized this movie to be too 'slick' and too 'in your face', but I think it adds to the atmosphere. Add a great cast featuring Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William Macy and Bob Gunton, just to name a few. They act well, deliver crisp dialogue and manage to make the intrigue look realistic with a fine balance between drama and humor.
$40M is a modest budget these days, especially by Lionsgate's standard. It shows that without any special effects, 3d nonsense and other crap, you can still make a great film. I'm sure Mr. McConaughey touched the better part of that budget, but it doesn't matter, because he makes this movie work. He is slowly but surely becoming one of the truly great actors of our times.