Who doesn't like a suspenseful courtroom drama? With successful spin-offs of shows like Law & Order and CSI, it's pretty obvious the general public naturally favors the genre. And after two weekends in the box office, heartthrob Matthew McConaughey's latest cat and mouse picture, The Lincoln Lawyer, has grossed $29 million dollars. With favorable reviews and many recommendations coming to me by word of mouth, I flocked to the theatre this weekend to see what all the fuss was about.
Mickey Haller (McConaughey) is a divorced lawyer who operates out of his Lincoln Town Car. He makes ends meet with a long list of typical clients and typical cases. However, when local rich kid Louis Roulet (Phillippe) asks Haller to defend him in an Assault and Attempted Murder case, the attorney's world spins upside down. As the days progress, Haller starts to doubt his client's innocence and the back and forth between attorney and Roulet begins to tread dangerous waters. Getting more than he bargained for, Haller begins piecing the puzzle together and enters a world he never would have imagined.
Director Brad Furman's first major motion picture release, The Lincoln Lawyer, will certainly help his career. He orchestrates an intense game of chess, beautifully delivered by the entire cast. Lead actor Matthew McConaughey finally reaches the heights we believed imaginable after his role in the 90s drama A Time to Kill. And his co-star, Ryan Phillippe, is as equally brilliant. It's also worth mentioning the always stunning Marisa Tomei and the extremely gifted William H. Macy. Both of whom are excellent in their supporting roles.
Outside of its solid acting, The Lincoln Lawyer offers an even better plot. The story contains a perfectly timed sequence of events that keeps the audience on its toes. The film is adequately paced and its two hour runtime passes effortlessly. Furthermore, there's superb dialogue and enough shocking moments to appeal to anyone.
The only downfall to Furman's major directorial debut is its abrupt ending. The final 10 minutes on screen seem to catch you a little off guard. Since The Lincoln Lawyer moves so well, I would've preferred Furman taking the time to construct a tighter ending. However, it's a tiny flaw in an otherwise very strong film.
Matching it up against other courtroom dramas, The Lincoln Lawyer's stellar acting, well-crafted script, and uptempo pace make it a must-see. Such films are naturally cliched and formula driven yet, The Lincoln Lawyer proves to be a gem.