The Lincoln Lawyer [Rated R]

By Emma Berkel

   Fans of TV shows such as Criminal Justice and CSI rejoice! The Lincoln Lawyer wholly encapsulates the essence of all crime thrillers and courtroom dramas. It effectively transforms what would be a series of choppy “to be continued” episodes into a clean, two-hour movie complete with all the buildup and twists typically seen within the usual thirty-minute slots.

   Matthew McConaughey stars as Mickey Haller, a defense lawyer that operates out of the back of his Lincoln sedan. Wise-cracking and cool-headed, Haller typically handles the street crimes that float under the radar. That is, until he’s requested by Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), the party-hardy son of a wealthy Beverly Hills realtor, to combat charges of rape and attempted murder. Unlike all before it, this case is of a high profile, and better yet, has an extremely questionable “victim.” It appears to be a slam dunk destined to land Haller’s career amongst the stars. However, as Roulet is caught in his lies and as Haller himself delves deeper into the case, the “Lincoln Lawyer” connects past to present. He discovers truth, but by then, he’s already entangled right in the center of a dangerous criminal’s web.

   Based on a book by the same name, The Lincoln Lawyer doesn’t offer anything revolutionary to its genre, but is upheld by its strong supporting cast, characters you can’t help but root for, and a story that, despite a few doubtful developments, doesn’t disappoint. There are a few subplots that remain open-ended, but the startling development and moral improvement of McConaughey’s character is what takes center stage right next to the pursuit of justice, and that focus is seen straight to its satisfying conclusion.