The Lincoln Lawyer

(2011)

Genres: Drama

Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

Transcript for Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Next up is "The Lincoln Lawyer," starring Matthew McConaughey as a lawyer who drives around Los Angeles ... in a Lincoln. It has nothing at all to do with the capital of Nebraska or the former president. I kinda wish it did. Now, stop me if you think you've heard this one before. McConaughey plays Mick Haller, a sleazy, cocky attorney who thinks he has it all figured out. He woos the women -- including Marisa Tomei as his ex-wife and the mother of his daughter -- sweet-talks bikers and weasels his way out of every tricky situation.

Clip 2 -- Family

CHRISTY:
But naturally -- because this happens with every smug character McConaughey plays -- he will have his comeuppance. He agrees to defend a Beverly Hills real estate heir accused of rape and attempted murder, played by Ryan Phillippe. The guy insists he's innocent -- but he's more dangerous than he looks.

Clip 1 -- Dangerous place

CHRISTY:
"The Lincoln Lawyer" is based on the novel by former crime reporter Michael Connelly, and it does depict L.A. realistically. But it also has the slick and disposable feel of a police procedural you could find any night of the week on primetime TV -- from the opening titles to the pacing to the flat lighting. It's got a strong supporting cast, though -- besides Tomei, there's William H. Macy, Frances Fisher, Michael Pena and Bryan Cranston. They just don't get enough to do.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
You know Matthew McConaughey is one smarmy, cocky cat.

CHRISTY:
All the time, what else can he do?

IGNATIY:
He just kind of oozes smugness.  It’s like a substance that secretes from his skin.  I think this is a perfect role for him and I frankly think this performance deserves another movie.  This just looks like a cop show.

CHRISTY:
He’s sort of like sing-song and he delivers every line in the exact same way like he is just so pleased with himself like there is no contrast.  There’s no…a word like to use a lot, arc.  Even when things look really, really bad for him, he’s still the same guy.  

IGNATIY:
Yeah, but I think the character is supposed to be that way and I think is plays into McConaughey’s natural smugness very well.  This kind of monotone confidence you could almost call it, but and maybe we disagree on that, but we can disagree on the fact that this is a pretty ugly movie.  There is exactly one good shot.  I think it’s like a crane up the side of a house during a crime scene.

CHRISTY:
I’m not sure I even remember that one even.