The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
A lawyer conducts business from the back of his Lincoln town car while representing a high-profile client in Beverly Hills.
Save your money for something good and enjoyable
Nice effects though.
As Good As It Gets
I have just completed watching all four seasons of Connelly's Bosch series on Prime, which is outstanding in my opinion. Thinking it over, McConnaughy as Haller is a more compelling character still, probably because of McConnaughy's ability to manage complexity, plus his subtlety and sense of timing. I just ran a search for "Lincoln Lawyer 2," and, indeed, a project is planned, though it's not fleshed out with details. This is a universe I can easily inhabit (in fact, Bosch and Haller occupy the same fictional universe, both living in the hills overlooking LA --- Haller has told Bosch in a Bosch novel that he was played by McConnaughy in a film, this gets and stays recursive!). Honestly, Haller seems for real, as do the other characters. One mark of a film I enjoy is that it stays with me afterwards. That is very much the case for Lincoln Lawyer. In fact, I'm not a huge fan of crime dramas, but stories like this certainly break all my rules. Among the best crime stories I have seen, and it certainly left me wanting more!
An afterward self-awareness that's legitimate is an original lack of self-awareness that's not legitimateNot legitimate is lack of authorityLack of self-awareness is lack of authority Original is authorityNot authority not authority is immorality of no self-awarenessThe authority of no self-awareness being immoral is the immorality of self-awareness being moralMoral self-awareness is moral selfMoral self is not moralNot moral not moral is moral moralMoral moral is oppressive moral
The good: This old-school courtroom thriller has good casting and acting, and features a fast-moving plot that keeps you on your toes. It also features Marisa Tomei who is as lovely as always.The screenplay, however, is one of those times when the writers try too hard to be clever beyond their grasp of the plot, and end up shooting themselves in the foot and contradicting themselves..*spoilers*The biggest problem is with Roulet's plan. At first he lies so well that he even has McConaughey believing him. And since he is a well known talented lawyer, and now he has him on his side, that should be enough to win. In fact, he could have hired any lawyer with his money and convinced him the same way. Except for some reason this isn't enough and it suddenly turns out that he asked for McConaughey because it would conflict with a previous case where he put an innocent man in jail.So what is the plan exactly? To have McConaughey afraid of revealing his mistake in public? Nothing would have happened! Everyone made the same mistake including the judge. In fact, he may just be the type of person who would want very much to correct this mistake, thus choosing him as his lawyer as part of his strategy makes no sense.In addition, if he hadn't hired him, nobody would have made the connection between the two murders in the first place.And then he goes and kills McConaughey's friend and sets him up for blackmail. Besides this being already two plans too many, once again, why not blackmail any other lawyer that wouldn't have been able to connect the cases in the first place? And to really finish himself off, he made it personal by killing McConaughey's friend when he could have framed any old murder in the same way. Would you hire a lawyer to defend you from the death penalty after killing his friend? Obviously he can do any of 500 things to sabotage the case, which is exactly what he did.And then they just couldn't resist adding a completely random twist where the murderer turns out to be someone else for no particular reason, thus undermining plausibility just to keep the twists coming.There are more plot holes, but this is quite enough for now.So, again, a case of hacks trying to be clever and biting off way more than they can chew.
I wish I had seen this film back in 2011, so that I could herald the dawn of McConaughey's prime like so many of the critics did. Because this is the film that did it for him, and I'm thrilled to see it was a strong start for him.The Lincoln Lawyer is a magnificent moral film, with enough mindgames, suspense and deceit to more than make up for its unremarkable court room scenes. John Romano's screenplay is full of depth and unfolds so beautifully that I couldn't fault a single turn. Brad Furman's direction is very skilled - the last twenty minutes of the film are flawless and so full of tension I was on the edge of my seat. The whole film looks beautiful, with gorgeous cinematography and production design all around.There's nothing to say about McConaughey other than this was a remarkable turn for him (digging his A Time to Kill drama-legal chops out from under his piles of romcom money). The rest of the cast is also excellent - though the film wastes Bryan Cranston - featuring gorgeous performances from Ryan Phillipe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macey and Michael Pena. Michael Pena confirms his status as one of the most underrated actors in the profession with just a two scene turn as a man who pleaded guilty to a crime just to avoid the death penalty, despite professing his innocence. The way in which Furman juxtaposed Martinez's first scene, where he's almost howling in fear whilst a cool Haller tries to stay detached, with the second, where a shaved and icy Martinez deflects a noticeably upset Haller's attempts to finally hear his story, is truly masterful. Tomei and McConaghey have great chemistry - to the extent that their divorce stops being believable at times, but the script puts just enough conflict there to stop it being an afterthought.I have to dedicate time just to talk about Ryan Philippe in particular. Whatever he is up to in the script he plays convincingly. A wrongly accused rich kid? A desperate son? Or perhaps a cold-blooded serial killer hiding behind the mask of his polite plea for freedom. Phillipe plays them all with incredible conviction, but there is such fluidity to his performance that it doesn't feel clunky or forced. He began to scare me simply by his appearance on the screen. An incredible, Oscar-worthy performance by Phillipe, which makes me sad that this film never got the attentions of the Academy. I can guarantee that there were a few films that year that could have sat out in categories for this film. Alexander Payne could've sat out for Furman, and Max von Sydow for Phillipe. The Ides of March could've missed out for the screenplay here. The Lincoln Lawyer is technically a legal drama, but the courtroom is just a place for this suspenseful, well-acted moral play to unfold. Its the left bookend for a long McConassance, and that should be reason enough to see it.