Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe
Director: Brad Furman
Running Time: 118 mins
The Lincoln Lawyer is an American film about a lawyer who begins to suspect the man he is defending of committing a series of serious crimes, putting his morals and role as his defendant to the test.
More than just another courtroom drama, The Lincoln Lawyer brilliantly blends legal intrigue with thought-provoking drama, engrossing crime, and a sleek atmosphere throughout. Bolstered by an immensely charismatic lead performance from Matthew McConaughey, it’s an entertaining and deeply intriguing watch throughout.
Crafting an intricate and unpredictable story from start to finish, The Lincoln Lawyer is sure to prove satisfying for fans of the courtroom genre as well as those with a fascination for slightly more fast-paced thrills and spills.
And that’s what really sets this film apart from the crowd. Its legal intrigue is brilliant throughout, but its main purpose isn’t just to determine whether one man is guilty of one specific crime. Instead, that serves as a jumping board for a wider case that’s still in full flow, putting everyone involved at risk.
It’s an entertainingly complex tale throughout, pitting defense lawyer Matthew McConaughey against his own defendant in Ryan Phillippe in an impressively genre-breaking twist on the courtroom drama. That brings far greater urgency to proceedings than is typical in the genre, as well as moments of heart-racing tension and danger.
Of course, alongside McConaughey’s suspicions of his own client, he still has a court case to run. And that’s where the film’s most interesting and intelligent theme comes in: the right to a fair defense in court no matter who you are.
While McConaughey grows increasingly suspicious and angered with his client, he faces a crisis of conscience that puts him in a position where, if he fulfils his job and gets his client off in one case, he’s letting him walk free to commit the crimes McConaughey suspects him of.
And so unfolds an engrossing and difficult balancing act between fulfilling the moral obligation of giving a man a fair defense and protecting one’s own interests. It’s an ingenious central theme that brings both emotional and thought-provoking urgency to an otherwise very level-headed genre of film, brilliantly mixing the black-and-white logic of the courtroom with the murky, ambiguous world of morals.
The film thrills with an engrossing screenplay throughout, but as the cherry on top of the cake, it brings immense charisma and style to the table as well. Matthew McConaughey’s effortless display of cool and competence is a delight throughout, but the film backs that up with a presentation of the legal world as a land of high rollers.
Surrounded by wealth and affluence, the world that the film builds around its story is irresistible. And with sleek direction from Brad Furman, it all comes together to make The Lincoln Lawyer an enormously entertaining and slick piece of work.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. An enthralling watch that ingeniously blends courtroom intrigue with urgent crime and emotional drama, the film is riveting throughout. Bolstered by a charismatic lead performance from Matthew McConaughey and sleek direction from Brad Furman, The Lincoln Lawyer is as effortlessly cool and entertaining as it is intricate and engrossing. And that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7.