Review: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

This 2011 adaptation of a Michael Connolly novel stars Matthew McConaughey as a hip Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of his car, a Lincoln Continental. In this installment he defends rich kid Ryan Phillippe from rape charges. Before it came out the film this seemed to resemble the most was The Rainmaker, also about a youngish lawyer working hand-to-mouth. But where that film had some of the grandeur and aplomb you’d expect from the director of The Godfather, director Brad Furman prefers the style of high-rent TV procedurals like The Closer, most noticeable in the narrative shorthand, busy editing, and unsubtle handheld camerawork (strobing and lurch-zooms for added emphasis). In other words, not so much a “movie” as a pilot for a television series already in development. The cast, apparently ordered from a catalog, includes Marisa Tomei, William H. Macey, Josh Lucas, Bob Gunton, Frances FisherJohn Leguizamo, Bryan Cranston, and Katherine Moennig playing against type as a doe-eyed waif.

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