The Lincoln Lawyer movie poster
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The Lincoln Lawyer movie poster

The Lincoln Lawyer Movie Review

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The first few months each year are typically a terrible time for movies. After an injection of quality in December, Hollywood unleashes hell upon audiences, throwing garbage left and right and hoping things will stick. As brutal as these early months can be, there is a positive side: one or two films – typically ones no one saw coming – turn out to be well worth the price of admission.

The Lincoln Lawyer is one of those movies.

A nondescript legal thriller starring Matthew McConaughey, The Lincoln Lawyer ‘s biggest marketing claim was that it marked the actor’s return to his roots – namely A Time to Kill, which at the time had critics claiming he was the next big thing.

Of course, McConaughey went on to become a household name, but more for doing throwaway romantic comedies than anything of substantial value. Could The Lincoln Lawyer mark the beginning of the next phase of his career?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but it is good to see McConaughey in a legitimately good movie once again.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a surprisingly entertaining and intriguing legal thriller that is easily one of 2011’s best so far. It feels like a thriller from the 90’s – in a good way – a movie less interested in glitz and glamour and more on a straightforward –or not so straightforward – story.

The picture is about a street lawyer who is hired to defend a rich bachelor against rape and attempted murder charges. As he prepares for trial, however, he begins to suspect that his defendant is hiding some important facts about the case.

What’s great about The Lincoln Lawyer is that there’s so much more to the plot than that, though I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers. It’s continuously compelling and consistently adds layers to the story as the plot progresses.

McConaughey is great in the lead role and supported by an excellent cast that includes William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillippe. Phillippe in particular plays a memorable counterpart to McConaughey.

The Lincoln Lawyer isn’t a groundbreaking movie, but it is a great return to form for McConaughey and a legitimately entertaining thriller. Highly recommended.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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