The Lincoln Lawyer
What She said:
I would say that systematically I’m not a huge fan of
court-room dramas. I find them almost as boring as
sitting through actual jury duty. And so I thought this
movie would do nothing for me. But, it was a slow day
and this thing was available for free on Amazon Prime, so I
figured I’d check it out. I’m actually very glad I
The movie tells the story of Mickey Haller, a
good-for-nothing defense attorney who makes his money getting
druggies, prostitutes, and gang members off the hook and back
on the streets. You’ll initially hate him for his
complete lack of decency. Hell, the guy doesn’t even
have a real office. He simply works out of the back of
his Lincoln as his driver carts him around from case to
case. Mickey seems ok with doing what he does, even if
it does mean often striking deals with the devil.
But things begin to change for Mickey when a high-profile
case is thrust on his lap. Rich playboy Louis Roulet
has been charged with assault and rape. He insists that
he’s not guilty-that’s what they all say, by the way-and
Mickey agrees to represent him. Afterall, there’s the
guarantee of big money in it for Mickey. As Mickey
begins to build his defense for Roulet, with the assistance
of his trusty investigator sidekick, Frank Levin, he starts
to realize that there’s more to this case than he originally
bargained for. Pretty soon, Mickey is trying to figure
out how to protect his own life, as well as those of his
family and friends.
I would say that The Lincoln Lawyer is an above
average movie. It’s not out of this world, but it’s
pretty well written, thrilling, and well-acted. Matthew
McConaughey plays Mickey, and somehow manages to make the guy
somewhat likable as the movie progresses. I think it’s
the way he gives the character a sly wit. William H.
Macy is his friend and colleague, Frank. Both are rough
around the edges, and not morally all there, but are also
quite smart. Ryan Phillippe plays the spoiled
rich-dude, Louis Roulet. His acting is a bit dry, but
as a pretty boy he is able to pull off the role.
The majority of The Lincoln Lawyer is thankfully
NOT spent in a courtroom, which I liked. With
McConaughey embodying the lead character Mickey, the film
accomplishes a good amount in two hours’ time. I could
live without some of the shakey-cam filming methods, but got
past that quickly and actually really enjoyed this movie.
What He said:
Mickey Haller is the kind of lawyer I genuinely despise.
He (Matthew McConaughey) is a criminal defense attorney.
That’s not to say everyone who has ever been accused of a
crime is guilty, but there’s just something about a person who
will knowingly defend and even possibly lie for someone they
know is guilty (and making money off that to boot). I just
can’t stomach that. I could never be close to someone like
Haller defends the everyday scumbag. His clientele isn’t
exactly high profile, but they provide him with steady work.
It has earned him something of a reputation, which is what
leads to Louis Roulet seeking him out. Roulet (Ryan Phillippe)
has been accused of brutally beating a young woman named
Rachel Campo (Margarita Levieva). She claims that she invited
him to her home for…oh you get the idea. Anyway, after
letting him in, she claims he beat her for no apparent reason,
and almost killed her I the process. Roulet adamantly denies
her accusations. He claims that after entering her home, she
hit him from behind, and someone else must have beat her up.
His theory is that because he’s a rich real estate mogul,
he’s been the victim of a scam.
Though there are parts of this movie that take place in a
courtroom, it’s more of a crime thriller rather than a
courtroom drama; which is a good thing. I don’t think I would
have been very interested in watching people argue Roulet’s
guilty for two hours. Instead, you get more of a cat and
mouse game, as Haller uncovers all kinds of interesting
information as he defends his client.
Along the way, Haller interacts with lots of shady
characters. William H. Macy plays his personal researcher and
investigator, Frank Levin. John Leguizamo plays a bail
bondsman who occasionally throws work Mickey’s way. None of
these guys are the most moral or likeable people in the
world, but their adventures in the circles they frequent make
for an entertaining movie.
Marissa Tomei is the moral compass of the movie. She’s
Mickey’s ex-wife and the mother of his daughter. They have a
funny relationship. They see one another relatively
frequently, not only because they have a child together,
because they appear to be drinking buddies too. But, like me,
she doesn’t really get Mickey. She loved him once enough to
marry him, but can’t stand the types of clients he works for.
Ryan Phillippe’s performance was pouty at times and bland
at others, but the movie is entertaining enough to where it
didn’t distract enough from it.
It’s not the best movie in the world, but it was an
entertaining enough cat and mouse game, with a few twists
along the way. It kind of reminded me a little bit of seedy,
but entertaining, crime novel. Like something similar to a
Carl Hiassen novel.
Rating: Thumbs up.
This movie review was written for our reading pleasure on
July 21, 2013.