The Lincoln Lawyer–Movie Review

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4 Stars
The Lincoln Lawyer is a well-written crime drama with superbly drawn characters.

Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a slightly seedy criminal defense attorney who does have an office but mostly operates out of a Lincoln Town Car with the license plate “NTGUILTY.” It’s often a convenient place to meet with his low-life clients. He’s street-smart and not entirely honest, but he does seem to have a certain sense of honor, always representing his clients to the best of his ability, even though he knows that most of them are guilty. In fact the thing he fears most is an innocent client, since failing to win an acquittal would haunt him for the rest of his life. Though of course they all claim to be innocent…

His ex-wife (Marisa Tomei) is a prosecutor, and for a moment I worried that we were headed for a Adam’s Rib scenario, but fortunately the writers have too much sense for that. She always recuses herself from any case in which he is involved, and well she should since it is clear they still have a thing for each other.

Then he gets an unusual new client. Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) is a clean-cut rich boy offering a very large retainer. He’s charged with savagely beating a prostitute, but he claims he was framed. The case against him looks strong, but Haller has little trouble finding flaws in it. Maybe he really is innocent?