the lincoln lawyer is a great drama. it starts out gritty, like some b-movie out of the 70s. it turns into a meandering court drama with a few twists and turns – some surprising, some not so much, but overall this is a satisfying, well acted and nearly perfectly made movie that more people ought to seek out.
it stars matthew mcconaughey as the lawyer who spends a lot of time driving around in a 20 year old lincoln town car going from court appointment to court appointment. the idea is slick and a little odd but it works, immediately.
he’s called in on a big case – a family with money, a son accused of murder. nothing is as it appears and the attorney-client privilege is used as a big plot point.
i won’t give anything else away.
it features some great people in small roles. bryan cranston, from breaking bad, plays a cop investigating the lawyer for a serious crime. william h macy plays the attorney’s investigator. john lequizamo is nicely understated as the bail bondsman friend. even country star trace adkins is here as a badass biker and he’s perfectly believable.
marisa tomei plays a prosecutor and the attorney’s ex-wife and for once, she’s actually looking her age – but she’s beautiful and stunningly good in a smaller role. oh and i can’t forget the great michael pare who plays a very angry detective from a previous case. the cast is really strong all the way around.
the only character i didn’t really buy was ryan phillipe as the accused son and possible villain. he just seems to0 young, clean, cute and clever. it would have been interested to seem someone a little older in this role, someone a little more believable to have had the life script behind him this guy is supposed to have.
the direction is simple and strong. this is only brad fuhrman’s second film as a director but his approach throughout was absolutely seamless. it’s very well done.