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The Lincoln Lawyer

Starring Matthew McCoConaughey

Operating out of the back seat of his chauffeured but shabby Lincoln Town Car, attorney Mick Haller is not exactly an ambulance chaser. But he is in the general neighborhood. More shifty than ghoulish, he's the kind of guy who pays off bail bondsmen and calls it client development. A street-smart charmer, Mick is as comfortable in Los Angeles's seediest corners as he is before a jury. And Mick, as embodied by Matthew McConaughey, is a near-perfect match of material and actor. Since McConaughey has spent much of his recent career languishing in silly rom-coms, it's easy to forget that he lit up a courtroom in 1996's A Time to Kill. That swagger, that rakish smile and that offhand drawl convincingly power McConaughey's portrayal of this slick legal hustler. Though he cuts a dashing figure in court, he does manage to appear shirtless in one scene, revealing those killer abs featured so prominently in glossy entertainment magazines. An ab flash or two is probably in his contract, but it's much easier to take him seriously with his clothes on. Mick is a cocky huckster, but with an underlying moral compass — though it mostly points in the direction of his favorite bar. His conscience comes into play when he takes the case of petulant Beverly Hills playboy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe). Mick is accustomed to reprehensible types, but they usually don't have the deep designer pockets of Louis and his creepy socialite mom (Frances Fisher). About the movie Louis is charged with the brutal beating of a woman he met in a bar. Louis maintains his innocence, claiming she was a prostitute out to fleece him. At first, the case looks straightforward enough, but it grows more intricate and far more dangerous. Can Mick be outmaneuvered? This screen adaptation of Michael Connelly's clever legal thriller is stylish, suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining. While adhering to the genre's conventions, it's shrewdly plotted and briskly paced, with hints of Raymond Chandler. McConaughey is bolstered by a top-flight ensemble of co-stars. Marisa Tomei plays Mick's easygoing ex-wife, a prosecutor with whom sparks persist. William H. Macy is his sardonic investigator, Josh Lucas plays his prosecutorial nemesis, Bryan Cranston is the hard-nosed detective he bumps up against, and Michael Peña is a bitter convict whom Mick represented unsuccessfully. Director Brad Furman's swirling camera and John Romano's sharp script — with dialogue lifted directly from Connelly's novel — combine to bring to vibrant life an L.A.-based story with more turns and curves than a Hollywood canyon. Claudia Puig, USA Today Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Brad Furman
Running Time: 
Matthew McCoConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillipe, and William H. Macy
Screenplay by: 
Based on the best seller by Michael Connelly

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