Saturday, 19 March 2011
REVIEW: THE LINCOLN LAWYER
Going by the book, McConaughey reaffirms his case.
15, 119 Minutes. Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo & Michael Peña. Directors: Brad Furman. Screenplay: John Romano
We haven't see a lot of Matthew McConaughey over the last few years, apart from the odd romantic comedy and perfume add (where he shows us a little more of himself, ladies be advised). It seems this Southern star is at his best however when he steps into the courtroom on the right side of the law, ('A Time To kill', 'Amistad') but in the case of this Michael Connelly novel based movie 'The Lincoln Lawyer', McConaughey has his feet on both sides of the law in this Brad Furman picture.
McConaughey heads an all-star cast, full of talent. He plays Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who is more spin doctor then 'do the right thing' lawyer like he was in 'A Time To Kill'. McConaughey's office is in the back of his classic, Lincoln sedan, as he is driven round L.A. while making his rounds and his name. The people he represents really are in need of a lawyer and after years of defending criminals McConaughey is handed Ryan Phillippe's case. Phillippe's, Louis Roulet character is being charged with assaulting a prostitute, who he assaulted him and set him up for his money. As McConaughey looks deeper into the case he realises it mirrors a former case of his involving a client Jesus Martinez (Michael Peña), the deeper McConaughey gets the darker it gets, as he really becomes involved in this case.
It's only mid-March but it's already been an amazing year for movies and this is by far one of the best. From the sheen of the 60's esque opening credits, to the views of the beautiful bright city of Los Angeles and the scorching, classic soundtrack (Bobby 'Blue' Band, Marlena Shaw and a lot of classic, real hip-hop) this movie is as slick and cool as McConaughey and his hair. McConaughey himself is on career-best form, slick, savvy, cool and charming, McConaughey makes his case yet again as the perfect lawyer. Still, this is not a case of a former top actor being typecast, this is a different role all together for an actor who is firmly sat in the front seat of his prime.
The supporting acts in this movie really make this film the main feature presentation for this Friday. Playing 'The Lincoln Lawyer's' ex-wife, Marisa Tomei shows yet again that she's the hardest working actress and one of the best there is with Hollywood firmly in her sights. Ryan Phillippe is also back on fine form and you'd never believe how menacing this guy can be with all his cruel intentions. William H. Macy also bring his trademark A -game, even if he forgets his hair clippers and comb, assisting McConaughey to the end. Great, but underrated, versatile talents, John Leguizamo and Michael Peña also have small but significant roles pulling out big performances, supporting this movie, helping it be one of the biggest films this year.
Overall this film is as dark, classic and timeless as this lawyers automobile. As good as this movie looks however-from the fresh suits to the crisp Californian mornings- it's serious substance outweighs it's seductive style. When the case of 'best movie of 2011' comes to a close this fall, when the jury reaches their verdict, 'The Lincoln Lawyer' will be found guilty of being one of the best. Gripping, entertaining, powerful and alluring this is further evidence that McConaughey and court-room dramas don't belong back in the nighties. This court-room thriller with a real story can be stood up and sworn in todays generation of popcorn and 3D movies. The defence rests. TIM DAVID HARVEY.