Lincoln Lawyer Review
by Bret Dorman
I, like most people, hear the name Matthew McConaughey and have to swallow back a little bit of pre-vom. Sure, the guy did Dazed and Confused, A Time to Kill, and Frailty, but they were a decade or more ago. Since then its been a steady stream of horrible Rom-Coms or terrible sports related movies.
So could he prove to be in something better? Something where I could actually keep my popcorn down? Or would my free refill just be regurgitation?
The Story: McConaughey is a sleazy-esque lawyer who gets put on a case to defend Ryan Phillippe while trying to deal with his ex-wife Marisa Tomei and their daughter. Also, he rides around in a Lincoln Car.
If anything, I would say part of the charm of this movie and why it works is McConaughey’s sleaze factor. He plays a guy who gets more done for his cases out of the courtroom than in it. His character isn’t really a bad guy, just a guy who has always compromised. Part of the movie balances on how likable/believable his character is after he suddenly grows a conscious, but another part plays on how he reacts when his friends and family are put in danger because of his case. Unfortunately the first part seems phoned in a bit, but the second part is dealt with pretty well.
For a movie that tries to make it seem like its ‘from the streets’, the style is done in a way that makes it seem like it could play on MTV and fit right in. Normal riding around in a car talking on a phone or just plain talking through exposition scenes have a sense of kinetic energy most movies seem to lack.
In fact, most the dialogue and chemistry has a ‘from the streets’ sensibility to it, albeit a little watered down for broader appeal. But the wonderful supporting cast makes due with it and actually makes an otherwise pretty standard Law and Order type ‘who-dun-it’ story and fills in the spots around the normal plot twists with some good character work.
Some of the movie does fall into the unbelievable realm, especially as the bad guy starts to make his presence more known and he/she kind of goes crazy and does one of those things where if they had just left it alone it would have been fine but ends up going on a super duper killing spree.
Lastly, an observant movie goer should be able to piece this thing together pretty easily. Once all the loose ends are sort of tied up the movie does take a while to get to its conclusion. It provides a slightly more interesting view on what we’ve all seen before.
In Conclusion, Lincoln Lawyer is enjoyable. Even some of the more scum bag characters have a certain on screen charm. This movie is based on a book in a series. This adaptation is fine, but I don’t think we’ll need to bring everyone back for Round 2.
Final Grade: B-