I’m not exactly sure why I was so determined to see this latest slice of courtroom drama on opening weekend.

Whether it was the trailer (pretty good, although giving too much away as always) that drew me in, or that I was simply in the mood for this sort of thing I do not know.

One thing I can say for sure though is that I am not the biggest Matthew McConaughey fan – the man seems to specialise in movies that I would never under any circumstances subject myself to (hello Failure to Launch etc).

And when he did put his name to something that caught my interest (for example Sahara) it simply failed to hit the spot.

But I am never one to bear a cinematic grudge, so off I went to savour this adaptation of Michael Connelly’s novel.

And the truth of the matter? Well, the Lincoln Lawyer is a pretty admirable effort, and McConaughey certainly does his bit.

The movie wastes little time in getting going – with McConaughey’s lawyer Mick Haller taking on the case of Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), accused of beating up a prostitute.

Your run of the mill spoiled rich kid, Roulet has an army of lawyers and the weight of his mother behind him, but he seems insistent on hiring Haller as his defence.

Taking on the job, Haller finds himself disturbed by the minor details of the case, which lead him to believe that not only may Roulet be guilty of this crime, but of a whole lot more besides.

Despite clocking in at just under two hours, the movie is far from flabby and there are very few sections where the attention is not grabbed.

The ‘twist’ may be telegraphed pretty much from the off, but the success of The Lincoln Lawyer is that there are multiple changes of pace which ensure the outcome is never obvious.

Another great help is the acting chops on display – McConaughey and Phillippe aside we are also treated to the welcome likes of William H Macy, John  Leguizamo, Marisa Tomei, Josh Lucas and Frances Fisher in supporting roles.

With a script that places a greater emphasis on intellectual stimulation than slam-bang thrills, this is grown-up entertainment in every sense of the word.

And the film is a whole lot better for it.

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.