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Movie ReviewsRating: 2.5 of 5 yaps

The Lincoln Lawyer

 

“Was it a good movie?”

My litmus test for this ever-present issue is simple: if I am still thinking about a film the day after I saw it, it was in fact a good movie. Not necessarily perfect or Oscar-worthy but, in my eyes, good.

I saw “The Lincoln Lawyer” on a Monday night. Tuesday morning, I was waiting for the bus when I realized: Since I exited the theater the night before, I hadn’t thought about the movie at all.

Therefore, “The Lincoln Lawyer” did not pass my litmus test. That’s not to say the film was completely terrible.

Matthew McConaughey performs predictably to type as Mick, a slickster defense attorney who tools around L.A. in a car with license plates reading “NT GUILTY.” As Mick’s newest client, a wealthy young man who insists he was framed in a prostitute’s attempted murder, Ryan Phillippe’s bland line readings come off as believably cold and sociopathic.

William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei, Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo and Michael Pena — who, unlike McConaughey and Phillippe, possess actual range, deliver supporting performances that are hard-boiled, empathetic and humorous. And then there’s this genuinely funny nugget of dialogue: On the witness stand, a cocksure john proclaims, “We made love consensually and pleasurably, the way it should be. And then I paid her.”

Even with these interesting and pleasant elements, “The Lincoln Lawyer” doesn’t stand out as anything special. The story, while not penned by John Grisham, is Grisham 101: renegade attorney finds himself thrown off by evil antagonist who could beat said attorney at his own fast-talking game. McConaughey’s character believes he has seen it all before until he is thrown for a loop. Unfortunately, the audience’s viewing experience stops at “seen it all before.”

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7 Responses to “The Lincoln Lawyer”

  1. […] also want to take a few moments to wonder aloud why Lucas (“Sweet Home Alabama’; “The Lincoln Lawyer”) isn’t a larger star. He is movie-star handsome, has icy blue eyes, a charming smile and is a […]

  2. Jake says:

    I cant wait to see this gonna wait till dvd

  3. Dan, I too love law films like the ones you mentioned. A Few Good Men had a lot of distinctive attributes, among it the military setting that gave the story a whole new layer of drama and intrigue. A Time to Kill, which Andy mentioned, incorporated race relations and family dynamics (how far would YOU go if someone violated your child?). Primal Fear had a defendant so interesting it blew me away.

    This…had nothing distinctive. It was pulp. I normally am not a big McConaughey fan and I thought he did fine here. He just wasn’t given much to work with, nor was anyone else.

    Thanks for the comments, everybody!

  4. Andy says:

    I was on the fence about this one when I saw the preview. I thought McConaughey was getting back to his "A Time to Kill" roots. Looks like it’s the matinee or the Redbox for this one.

  5. Dan says:

    I have such disregard for McConaughey’s movies that it was hard for me to go see this movie. I thought for sure that I would walk out of there saying to myself "I don’t know why I thought this one would be different…of course I hated it what did I think was going to happen?"

    Did that happen? Kiiinda, not really. I didn’t like the movie that much but it wasn’t because of McConaughey, it just wasn’t a good movie to start with. I love law films but this, while not a terrible movie, is terrible when compared with some of my personal favorites (A Few Good Men, Primal Fear, Judgment at Nuremberg to name a few).

  6. Amanda says:

    Well, looks like this is a wait for DVD or go if someone else is paying kind of film. Wasn’t on my must-see list but I thought it looked interesting.