Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
CONTRIBUTOR—first time reviewer
Matthew McConaughey—Mickey Haller
Marisa Tomei—Maggie McPherson
Josh Lucas—Ted Minton
Ryan Phillippe—Louis Roulet
John Leguizamo—Val Valenzuela
William H. Macy—Frank Levin
Bryan Cranston—Detective Lankford
Frances Fisher—Mary Windsor
Michael Peña—Jesus Martinez
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David Kern—executive producer
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“I’m trying to make it right!”
Crime, punishment and pragmatism? Do the ends ever justify the means? “The Lincoln Lawyer” tells the story of a divorced, smooth talking lawyer Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey), and his new rich client Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe). The film starts with an old school, 70s feel, although set in modern times. The story starts off simple enough, a man accused of a violent crime professes innocence and hires a lawyer to defend him. However, Mick quickly find that his new client’s story doesn’t pass the bar (pun intended), after a little digging by him and his investigator Frank Levin (William H. Macy). Mick, unfortunately, then finds himself in the trap of attorney-client privilege. We, also, learn through all this that he put an “innocent” man in prison. This starts a long, corrupt road of sordid “redemption.”
Lies and corruption are the name of the game. I can’t say too much without giving it all away; the plot is a bit predictable with a few surprises. I wanted to see the movie for the cast, and I was satisfied with the acting. The storyline felt like an extended version of “Law and Order: SVU,” minus the “ding ding”. Although intense, the film has a flow that kept my attention.
There are graphic scenes of violence including pictures of an abused woman (alleged victim) and a picture of a dead woman who had been beaten and stabbed to death.
There is a flashback view of a woman being repeatedly cut, beaten and raped (simulated, not graphically shown).
There is a semi-drunken sex scene between “Mick” and his ex-wife, where the female is in bra and panty, heavy kissing, but not much beyond that.
Speaking of drunken, there is a lot a drinking; it seems to be the only way Mick knows how to cope with stress. He gets falling down drunk twice and needs to be taken home by a second party.
Prostitution is another aspect portrayed in the plot.
A man is jumped by a small group and beaten with bats.
I counted about 30 swear words, including the “f” word, “s” word (several), the “a” word, the phrase “SOB” was popular and they threw in about dozen hells and damns for good measure. Sadly, you can’t go to a movie these days without hearing the Lord’s name blasphemed, and this movie was no exception; I counted 7, including “G-damn,” “J____” “Christ” OMG.
What make this film believable is its realistic depiction of a fallen world and the corruption that persists throughout, even in our “justice” system—how evil a man without God can be—and how corrupt a lawyer can be even in his quest to right a wrong. There are no truly “good guys” in the “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and its conclusion leaves the audience with questions—“Was justice really served”, “Who really was the bad guy?”
How good is good enough? Answer
We all have to face a Holy God in final judgment; there are no smooth talking lawyers or any amount of money that can save us. It’s simply the wrath of God or the grace of God through His Son Christ Jesus.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.