This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

The Lincoln Lawyer

Quickcard Review The Lincoln Lawyer

Directed by: Brad Furman Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Philippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Michael Pena, Josh Lucas Running Time: 1 hr 50 mins Rating: R Release Date: March 18, 2011

PLOT: A lawyer who drives a Lincoln (McConaughey) takes on a questionable affluent misfit (Philippe) as his latest defense case.

WHO'S IT FOR? Do you have a whole library of books by John Grisham, or even Lincoln Lawyer author Michael Connelly? Then you'll probably enjoy this piece of lawyer empowerment, unless you can't look past the many similar story elements.


While I can’t say that I know what it’s like to be in court, I can say that I hope my procedures don’t operate at the speed of The Lincoln Lawyer - a movie that falls asleep at the wheel. On top of this, I can say that I wouldn’t want someone like Matthew McConaughey’s character on my side. After all, he’s a Lincoln Lawyer that hardly works out of his car – no cute mini clown-car office to be seen! And how am I supposed to trust a guy who falsely thinks he’s a “California Hustler” (according to the soundtrack) when he has a chauffeur?

Ditching the infamous sandals for some polished shoes, McConaughey lacks an authentic attitude as an independent hard-nosed defendant of difficult cases. His slickness is sleazy, and his toughness is only that of a wannabe. Take away his consistent Jack Daniels snacks and hair gel, and he’d blow away in the wind. Besides, tough guys in real life don’t say silly lines like this: “I looked at the list of people I trust. You’re not on it.” Who says that junk? Losers. People who get their slick hair look from getting too many swirlies.

The Lincoln Lawyer is not without other insignificant characters, played by actors with shinier reputations than McConaughey. The occasionally interesting Ryan Philippe plays below expectations and talent as a rich, golf-loving rascal who gets caught up the in the film’s central murder mystery. Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy are largely forgettable, with the exception of Macy’s Fabio haircut. Matthew McConaughey’s identical twin, lost at birth Josh Lucas appears in the movie on-screen with the leading star to confuse the audience as to who is who, which provides a little brain work to make sure everyone is still awake.

Spicy elements like sex and gunplay are thrown into the mix, but fail to give The Lincoln Lawyer a needed jolt that vanilla characters and term-heavy courtroom scenes can’t offer by themselves. The story does keep enough unsuspected elements so that the audience doesn't know exactly how it’s going to end. Yet we aren’t rooting for a character or even a cause. Instead, we’re rooting for a conclusion.


TSR Buzz: What Kids Say About Conan, Happy Birthday William Shatner, and a double dose of Gillian Welch

Page One: Inside The New York Times