Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We, The Jury, Find The Lincoln Lawyer…

We, the Jury, find The Lincoln Lawyer guilty of Being Great
The Nateflix Review for The Lincoln Lawyer
By Nate Hensley

“The new McConaughey movie is really good.”
“Haha. Yeah, right.”
“Seriously. It’s good.”
n  An exchange I’ve had seven times this week already.

Mick Haller is a slick defense attorney, who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Towncar.
He’s a charming, likeable type of guy, who happens to embody many of the qualities we ascribe to lawyers – he’s a hustler, a legal con man who knows who to bribe, who to name-drop, and how to manipulate the system to the get the results, and the pay day, he wants. He lives in fear of the day he will actually represent an innocent client.

He’s not a bad man, just a… well… just a lawyer.

And then he gets a Big Case, a socialite accused to rape and assault. The down side is the guy (Ryan Phillipe) is probably innocent, but the up side is that he is stupendously wealthy, and Haller knows he could get wealthy off this one. So he starts pulling strings. His lawyer wife (Marisa Tomei) gets him some inside scoop about the new prosecutor (Josh Lucas), his investigator (William H Macy, with shagged out hippie hair) starts digging up dirt on the accuser.

And then… well, I won’t say. What really impressed me about Lincoln Lawyer is that it surprised me. Whenyou watch as many movies as I do, it gets really easy to figure movies out. Sometimes I can figure out a movies ending in the first few minutes. And I thought I did with this movie – I thought I called the ending. Surprise surprise, the movie outsmarted me. My guess was right, but it happened halfway through the picture, and I had no idea what was coming next.

Based on a novel (one of a series of novels, no less) this movie is a lot smarter and more smartly constructed than I anticipated. Also, the cast is uniformly good from top to bottom. In addition to the solid actors already named, Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, and Michael Pena all put in good character work. And for his part, McConaughey is perfect in this movie. He will never be an Acadmy Award winning actor, but when he gets just the right role he can be dynamite. And this is the role for him.

The Lincoln Lawyer is as slick as Mick Haller, and almost as smart. It’s nothing short of good, solid entertainment, a legal thriller that delivers exactly what it promises. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another Mick Haller movie before too long. And honestly, I’d like to see it.

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