Saturday, 4 June 2011

Film Review : The Lincoln Lawyer

Rating: 7/10 -  Very Good

Matthew McConaughey has gone back to serious film with this thriller and he is very believable.

Director: Brad Furman. Screenplay: John Romano. Producers: Sidney Kimmel, Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright and Scott Steindorff. Cinematographer: Lukas Ettlin. Editor: Jeff McEvoy. Music: Cliff Martinez. Distributor: Lionsgate. Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillipe, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo and Michael Peña. Age Restriction: 16LV. Running Time: 120 Minutes.

Based on the book by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer tells the story of Mick Haller, a smart ass lawyer who has goodness within him. McConaughey manages to act up to a similar standard to the one he reached in 2001's Thirteen Conversations About One Thing.

Haller takes on a case in which he must defend Louis Roulet, played by Ryan Phillippe. Roulet is a corrupt young businessman. This is thanks to help from a bail bondsman called Val (John Leguizamo). Phillippe plays the spoiled rich kid well. His character is accused of rape and attempted murder. He claims that he is innocent but Frank Levin (William H. Macy), who works with Haller is not convinced which creates strain in their working relationship.

Marisa Tomei plays Maggie McPherson, Haller's ex-wife. Haller and her still have an on-again-off-again relationship. This is a bit of a tired character trait in film nowadays but it does add to Haller's bad-boy image. Tomei is still an actress to appreciate. Since her turn in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, she has become popular with the film world again. Her performance in the Lincoln Lawyer is good too.

All of the actors show decent chemistry with each other. It is one of Macy's forgettable performances though. The plot is predictable but the film is a smooth watch. It does not demand too much from the viewer who gets what they would probably expect.

The film does become overly melodramatic at times but at least the actors act in it and don't just run around topless. McConaughey is, after all, famous for his abdominal muscles. As said, the plot is not brilliant or clever but it is watchable and mostly plausible. This film is as good as most Law And Order episodes, which should be important for fans of legal television.

Verdict: If you are looking for a an enjoyable thriller, you make like the Lincoln Lawyer. The acting is solid and the direction, above average. However, if you want to see McConaughey bumbling about in bad romantic comedies and just plain weird films, watch Fool's Gold (2008) and Surfer, Dude (2008).

Alistair Anderson

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