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The Lincoln Lawyer – review

The Lincoln Lawyer

The always annoying Matthew McConaughey returns to the screen once again to pretend he’s really cool, and overact his pretty little heart out in one of the worst courtroom drams ever to grace the screen.  McConaughey plays hot shot lawyer Mickey Haller, a smooth talking, hard driving attorney who operates most of his business from the back of a Lincoln Towncar.  He deals with all levels of low class society including biker gangs, drug addicts, and with his next case a rich, whiny, high society kid Louis Roulet. (Ryan Phillipe).  Phillipe is pretty fantastic because I loathed and hated him the entire film, but not as much as McCoanughey.

Haller sets out to defend Roulet as he stands trial for beating and raping a beautiful prostitute, another character I could care less about. He swears he had nothing to do with it, but we soon learn that this may not be the case, and there also may be a specific reason why he chose Haller to represent him.  Enter a cast of characters that make no sense, and I could care less about.  The always beautiful Marisa Tomei plays his ex-wife, who is also an attorney but is a prosecutor.  She, along with other characters, constantly harass Haller for his ethics in defending the scum of the earth in the courtroom, but Haller begins to change for the better no longer bowing down to the all mighty dollar.

The film begins to spin wildly out of control with ridiculous sub plots that revolve around a murder that is framed on Haller.  A murder I might add that he’s not to worried about cleaning up, and can’t clean up because of attorney client privileges.  Characters do things that make no sense at all confusing and muddying the entire film beyond repair.

The film plays like a bad version of Law and Order where a bunch of shit ass ideas are thrown at the screen in a hope that one of them will stick and push through this disaster of a film.  Characters enter the film and exit never to return. even though they seem to have some sort of importance within the film.  Both William H. Macy and Bryan Cranston’s (who plays a soon to be retiring detective, that Haller hates for reasons we will never know) characters are an afterthought in the plot of the film when it’s clear they should have been woven in to the story a little bit more.  Instead it seems they are used as exploitive characters just to get a few more top tier names on the bill.

Courtroom dramas are a dime a dozen, and it has been years since one has really shined through as a great film.  Off the top of my head the last one I can think of is the expertly crafted Primal Fear, a film that gave us an inside look at the courtroom but also had a fantastic story, and one hell of an ending.  The Lincoln Lawyer doesn’t even deserve to sniff its balls.

Grade: D