Practicin’ law, Abe style.

We’ve been subjected to so many hokey legal thrillers (often based on bestselling novels) and cheesy Matthew McConaughey romantic comedies over the last several years, it’s easy to forget that both legal thrillers and movies starring Matthew McConaughey were once things we looked forward to. The genre and the actor get a bit of redemption in The Lincoln Lawyer, an entertaining adaptation of Michael Connelly’s 2005 novel, starring McConaughey as a street-level attorney who finds himself in over his head on his latest case. The story is engaging and clever, and McConaughey doesn’t even take his shirt off once. It’s practically a miracle.

The Details

The Lincoln Lawyer
Three stars
Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei
Brad Furman
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
The Lincoln Lawyer
IMDb: The Lincoln Lawyer
Rotten Tomatoes: The Lincoln Lawyer

The charm that once had people positing McConaughey as the next Tom Cruise is in full effect in his performance as Mick Haller, who practices law out of his car (hence the title) and isn’t above striking deals with biker gangs to get what he needs. Haller’s latest case, involving a rich pretty boy (Ryan Phillippe, surprisingly menacing) accused of a rape and assault he says he didn’t commit, turns out to be way more complicated than it appears at first, with some exciting twists and turns (although perhaps a few too many by the end).

Lawyer plays like a well-made TV pilot (the character went on to star in two more Connelly novels), with a strong supporting cast including Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy and Frances Fisher. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s so far ahead of most legal thrillers and McConaughey vehicles that it might as well be. –


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story