The Lincoln Lawyer (Blu-ray)
THE LINCOLN LAWYER is a legal crime drama based on the book of the same name authored by Michael Connelly in 2005. Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a self proclaimed “street lawyer” who offices out of the back seat of his 1987 black Lincoln Town Car. Notorious around the judicial systems of Los Angels County, Haller typically deals with bottom feeder clientele. Even though he’s a wheeler and dealer with the underbelly of LA, he definitely has a heart for his job. These people may not pay enough for a big house, but he sure does feel at home.
To Haller’s surprise, he’s hired to defend an affluent young real estate agent from Beverly Hills who has been accused of rape and murder. Luis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) adamantly claims he has been set up by the female “victim” who is out to take advantage of his dispensable wealth and demands that both Haller and his long-time friend and investigator Frank Levin (William H. Macy) stop at nothing to convince the jury of his innocence. He repeatedly and passionately states that he refuses to go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
Haller is quick to get to court as soon as possible to open and shut his highest profile case. He uses his own double crossing skills along with the help of an alcohol-induced chatty ex-wife Maggie (Marisa Tomei) who just happens to be a prosecuting attorney, to score the discovery file that spells out all the information and evidence the prosecution has against Roulet. Unfortunately, they discover that photos of the weapon are not consistent in both files. Haller becomes suspicious that his client is not being completely honest. As more and more truths are revealed, a similar case from Haller’s past resurfaces his memory with haunting similar images and details. He is forced to retrace the painful steps of the Jesus Menendez (Michael Pena) case, realizing that his one true fear came true…he represented an innocent man who ended up behind bars. Slowly, Haller faces the reality that he has one client in jail for what his current client did.
McConaughey’s acting really shines once this discovery is made. The pain of remembering Menendez, the shock of Roulet’s eventual murder admission and the gripping fear to protect his daughter, ex-wife and friends takes its toll. The tables have been turned and he does a great job taking us through the emotional journey of him being on the receiving end of dirty dealings. It a gut-wrenching moment at Levin’s home, McConaughey taps into the psyche of a man who has always been an advocate for the misinterpreted bad guy, but is now dealing with pure evil. The poise and utter disdain on his face is remarkable as he defends a client he knows killed a woman. Phillippe also gives a convincing performance. He effortlessly swings between mistaken, young playboy to devious murderer with ease.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER is a thrilling ride full of action and surprises. The plot twists and turns all the while showcasing McConaughey equally smarmy yet charming demeanor. You can’t help but root for him to prevail in the end.
Video: 1080 High Definition: The video looked crisp, despite the orange tint that director Brad Furman used. But the bright colors against the dark settings popped on Blu-ray.
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio: The audio kicked when it needed to and projected the dialogue appropriately. Great audio track.
Making the Case: Creating THE LINCOLN LAWYER: I found this added bonus very entertaining. Author Michael Connelly talks about how hard it is for a writer to give up control and let someone make a movie out of his/her book. The spot also talks about how producers searched for a long time for just the right Haller. McConaughey claimed the roll. He was the one who insisted Brad Furman direct. Phillippe had to fight to get the part and he and McConaughey never rehearsed together because they wanted their reactions to be real and raw.
At Home On the Road: This featurette with author Michael Connelly was uninspiring. He basically drives the camera around in his car and talks about how Los Angeles is a main character in the movie. I would skip this entirely.
One On One: Again, Michael Connelly (author) interviews a very bored looking Matthew McConaughey about what it’s like to be in his character’s shoes. McConaughey gives most of the same answers he did in the “Making the Case” featurette above. I would skip this one too.
Deleted Scenes: All four deleted scenes landed exactly where they needed to be…on the cutting room floor. They would not have helped the story and are less memorable now than when I originally watched them.
1. Maggie in the car rapping
2. Haller listening to a message from his daughter on the answering machine
3. Haller in the car with his daughter talking about how this is his office
4. Police officer deposition
Coming Soon Trailers:Conan the Barbarian and Warrior