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The Lincoln Lawyer

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 did.

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.

Thumbs up.

The Lincoln Lawyer


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 that.

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.

The Lincoln Lawyer

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.