Movie Review: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

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As much as I love thrillers, I have never been the biggest fan of courtroom thrillers. I don’t know, maybe I have never seen that many great ones. I’m not saying I hate every courtroom thing, I mean, I really liked “Primal Fear” and I do really like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, but I haven’t seen that many things that has kept my interest. But today we are taking a look at a courtroom thriller that people apparently liked. So let’s find out what my opinion is!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Lincoln Lawyer”.

This movie follows defense attorney Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) as he is tasked to represent young rich man Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe) in a case where Roulet has been accused of raping and beating a young woman up. But as Mick digs deeper into the case things stop looking so straight forward. Sound like a pretty straight forward legal drama, right? Well with that assumption you are correct, but at the same time you’re wrong. The plot has a few pretty decent twists to it that makes it even deeper and better than what it looked like. Of course none of the twists to it are as great as the ones in “Primal Fear”, but they are still really good. It was entertaining seeing Haller go through the case and figure stuff out together with his friend/investigator Frank (William H. Macy). I can also mention that there were a few moments throughout the plot that actually kept me a bit on edge, good job movie!

The characters were all well-written and well-acted. The character of Mick Haller was slick, witty, clever, really smart and just slimy enough to stay entertaining. And Matthew McConaughey played him perfectly. To be completely honest, this is probably the best I have seen from Ryan Philippe. To be fair, I have only seen him in pretty mediocre and even terrible things, so it was nice seeing him take on a more serious and well-written role. And I do think every actor gave good performances in this movie.

The score by Cliff Martinez is a score that I thought was great. It helped build suspense in a lot of scenes by being very sort of sneaky and not blast out at you and be stupid. There were also a lot of licensed tracks used in the soundtrack to help fit the style of the movie but also help set the mood for the Los Angeles environment the movie was set in. It also helps that the music used in the movie was for thee most part in my tastes and therefore helped keep my attention throughout with music that I could enjoy.

This movie is based on the first book in a series of books by author Michael Connelly. To be honest, I have never read the original “Lincoln Lawyer” book… I have actually never read anything by Connelly… maybe I should. But I can however say that this movie looks really good. It uses a lot of swift direction and camera work. I also enjoyed the direction of the movie with how stylized it is. I would even say that it is about as sylized as “Drive”. Now I am not comparing the two (Sidenote: I do however think “Drive” is the better movie of the two), it was just fun. It got even more fun when I found a few more things that connected the two and that is what I am gonna do now (Sidenote: My review, I can do whatever I want). Both movies are set in Los Angeles, both came out in 2011, both are stylized as fuck, both the character of Mick Haller and the character of the Driver have some kind of connection to car(s), both movies feature Bryan Cranston in some way and both movies have the song “Nightcall” by Kavinsky in the soundtrack. Enough of that, let’s move on.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert seemes to really like the movie as he gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a 7,3/10.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” is a courtroom thriller with a good and suspenseful plot, great performances, a great soundtrack, stylish and swift direction and some good twists. Time for my final score. And here we go. My final score for “The Lincoln Lawyer” is a 9,74/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “The Lincoln Lawyer” is now completed.

For the ladies out there… Yes, Matthew McConaughey does take off his shirt in this movie.

 

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