By Brett Mullins
The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 crime drama directed by Brad Furman and adopted from the novel of the same name authored by Michael Connelley.
Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a criminal defense attorney struggling to make ends meet due to the alimony from his two previous marriages. He operates his firm from the back of his Lincoln Continental, rolling around various sections of the Las Angeles area. Mick accepts a case to defend Beverly Hills’ playboy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe). With the assistance of his investigator, Frank (William H. Macy), Mick discovers information that will affect a former client currently serving a life sentence in prison. This information involves his current client; therefore, he is bound by the ‘attorney client privilege’ and cannot release this information to the court.
I will admit that I was drawn to see this film for two reasons: Matthew McConaughey and Horror. Some may have realized, immediately, that I am speaking of 1994’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, a film that most people loathe, yet I quite enjoy. Unfortunately, Rotten Tomatoes misrepresented this film a bit as it should have read ‘crime, drama, mystery’, instead of “drama, horror, mystery and suspense” (last time I trust that site for genre referencing).
It’s not that The Lincoln Lawyer is blatantly a ‘bad’ film; in fact, it is quite entertaining and is able to hold the audience’s attention for much of the film. The fault of the film lies in that, minus the eye candy, the film felt no different than one of the several weekly courtroom dramas, which is not specifically a bad attribute either. One scene, in particular, occurs toward the end of the film and is supposed to bring the audience a sense of closure; however, in the manner of network dramas, the audience is told what happens through narration instead of any sort of illustration. This leaves the audience with a bit of an empty ‘let down’ feeling.
The roles appear to have been cast fairly decent, with William H. Macy’s supporting character being the only above average performance.
There is a large emphasis on Mick’s Lincoln Continental, which is interesting because, in the novel, Mick owns four of these cars; the one depicted in the film being the second. There are several scenes that follow the front of his car that seemingly serve no purpose besides acting as a transition between scenes.
The Lincoln Lawyer is a standard courtroom drama that will please fans of the genre because of the added eye candy.