Is it possible for a defense attorney to grow a conscience overnight? That’s the premise of the DVD release of The Lincoln Lawyer, which yielded short term results.
The Lincoln Lawyer followed slick defense attorney Michael “Mick” Haller (Matthew McConaughey) as he did his best casework from the backseat of his Lincoln. He calmly took money from the lead of a motorcycle gang (Trace Adkins) while coming up with an angle of his own. He gets the opportunity of a lifetime in defending a rich client in Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) from an assault charge. After meeting his client, he comes across his ex-wife/prosecutor Maggie (Marisa Tomei) as they banter and argue back and forth. As he gears up for the trial, he realized that his great white whale wasn’t as innocent as he seemed. Will Michael be able to defend his client fairly when his life has been threatened?
In terms of plot twists, The Lincoln Lawyer had a few but audiences sensed they were coming from a mile away. It was obvious that there was more to Roulet than met the eye. It was nice to see Phillippe play the bad guy for once. Just wished he had more of an opportunity to explore his inner psycho that he actually did. It would’ve been better to understand his motives in order for his comeuppance to be worth celebrating. The movie’s weakest plot point was Haller’s transformation from blind ignorance to moral outrage. It just seemed a little too unrealistic that his personality could change that fast.
In terms of breakout performances, McConaughey’s reminded audiences why he was so fascinating to watch as a Southern Lawyer in 1996’s A Time to Kill. Of course, his appearance has become a lot sleeker due to Hollywood’s influence and an aura of playful maturity that surrounds him now. He excels best whenever Haller is allowed to have fun, whether it’s manipulating the truth for a bigger payday or flirting with Tomei. The supporting cast (Tomei, William H. Macy and Adkins) added some weight to the movie but it’s really McConaughey’s show. It’s a shame that the movie didn’t do that well at the box office because the sequel would be worth seeing.
Verdict: A movie that’s pretty similiar to the book but it’s still entertaining nonetheless.
DVD Score: 3 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: R
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)