Best Movies of All Time + [William H Macy]

THE LINCOLN LAWYER

THE LINCOLN LAWYER
R

The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 dramatic thriller directed by Brad Furman. It follows defense attorney Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) as he takes on the case of a young man named Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) who has been accused of the assault and battery of a young prostitute. As Mick delves into the case, he starts to question whether Louis is actually telling the truth when he tries to explain his innocence. With the help of his private investigator Frank (William H. Macy), Mick starts to see parallels between this case and a previous case that landed his client in prison for life. The deeper that he gets into the plot, the more he feels like he and his family are not entirely safe. Still, he attempts to take matters into his own hands, using the best and the worst facets of an admittedly flawed justice system.

Of the three major releases that opened today, The Lincoln Lawyer was probably the one of which you were least likely to hear. However, it quickly garnered the most positive reviews on the online review aggregate RottenTomatoes.com, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I also tend to like McConaughey in all of his ridiculousness, so it seemed like this might actually be the best bet of the weekend. Ladies and gents, The Lincoln Lawyer does not disappoint.

Let's start screenplay. We have a tightly-written storyline that slams the pedal to the metal and never once lets up off the gas. As soon as this engine gets rolling, it doesn't stop until the screen finally cuts to black. The screenplay offers quite a few twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering just what's going to happen next. I'll admit that there are a few predictable moments, but there were just as many twists that completely blindsided me, including one towards the end. Where the screenplay truly succeeds, however, is in its aforementioned pacing. The fast pace never lets you fall out of the story, almost daring you to try to keep up with everything that's going on. There isn't a ton of information being thrown at you, but it's enough to keep you engaged throughout the entire film.

I would also like to take the time to applaud the level of acting. While there's not going to be any Oscar winners coming from this movie, there were some fine performances. McConaughey proves that he still has what it takes to be a leading man in a film other than a terrible comedy (see: 2008's Fool's Gold, for example). I think I read that this was his first leading role in a dramatic film since 2006's We Are Marshall (also a good McConaughey role, for those wondering), and he definitely delivers this time around, bringing his usual reserved charisma that proves to create a very likable character. Phillippe also does extremely well - and may deliver the best performance in the film - as a man on trial for such massive charges. But it doesn't stop there. This movie has a ton - and I mean, a TON - of recognizable actors floating around here and there. Along with the aforementioned Macy, you might recognize Marisa Tomei, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Michael Peña (in another fantastic performance), Bob Gunton, Frances Fisher, Bryan Cranston (for you "Malcolm in the Middle" or "Breaking Bad" fans), Trace Adkins (for you country music fans), Shea Whigham (in a hilarious, scene-stealing role) and Michaela Conlin (for you "Bones" fans).

Overall, The Lincoln Lawyer is a taut thriller that's going to keep you entertained throughout its entire run-time. It's not really bringing anything drastically new to the table, but a great screenplay and great acting bring this one together to create one of the better films I've seen thus far this year.

Movie Review Summary:Grade: B+
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