Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.

The Lincoln Lawyer

with 2 comments

Dir. Brad Furman


The best part about waiting a month to take in The Lincoln Lawyer is that it’s now April. This means I can safely refer to it as “the first shocking surprise film of the year” without truly embracing quote whore status, but let me explain since this is a far more decent film than it needs to be.

As most everyone with function eyes has joked, Matthew McConaughey is not shirtless/playing bongos/dating generic blonde stand-in #52342/or even heh heh-ing (much) in this quick courtroom suspense premise that’s based off the book of the same name by noted crime novelist-cum-machine Michael Connolley. As “Mick” Haller, McConaughey is slimy, conniving and reminding us why he is so goddamn appealing as a creep (Dazed and Confused) and really, really intense (Frailty). Still, Haller wheels, deals and lucks into a seemingly fat pay day with a rich mama’s boy, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe), claiming innocence to assault charges. Haller’s secret do-gooder nature shines through here and we’re off to the races when it comes to fake evidence, half-truths and William H. Macy stopping by for a brief cameo so his new hairdo/mustache wouldn’t just be wasted on Shameless.

Once we get into the notion that not all is well in the land of yuppies and lawyers (again, thanks to William H. Macy stopping by during the production of Shameless) a subtle blend of supporting actors running wild in the background (Marisa Tomei, Josh Lucas, Michael Peña, Laurence Mason, Trace Adkins!!) work with McConaughey as he hits bender after bender after moment of conscience. The secret behind what makes Lincoln Lawyer so goddamn appealing is a mystery; the source material isn’t anything that different from what’s been reheated in previous supermarket best seller series (neé the various works of James Paterson, Michael Crichton and/or Tyler Perry). And yet, under the slow mid-frame zooms of director Brad Furman, we get what should be a backdoor pilot for an upcoming 12-episode dramedy on FX that acts as a lead-in to Justified.

It’s really enjoyable to see McConaughey snap back from the seemingly plethora of rom-com lemmings he’s made over the last few years, outside of the obscurely Internet weird (Tiptoes) or parodying himself parodying…uh…Two For The Money (Tropic Thunder). And while it’s weird to admit, The Lincoln Lawyer is the first great “decent” film of 2011. It is the film everyone should see, discuss and realize that there’s a subtle brillance we are missing in generically pleasing suspense films adapted from John Grisham and Patterson.


Written by john lichman

April 10, 2011 at 12:52 am

2 Responses

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  1. It’s not a perfect picture, but definitely worth seeing. Then again, maybe my affinity for the book is running over onto the movie.

    michigan dui lawyer

    April 15, 2011 at 3:27 am

  2. While it sticks to the courtroom thriller formula, this is an entertaining ride thanks to a terrific screenplay and Matthew McConaughey’s magnetic lead performance. It’s the perfect time killer, because you won’t ever feel bored. Good review, check out mine when you can!


    April 30, 2011 at 1:05 am

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