Pleasant Surprise: THE LINCOLN LAWYER Is Really Good

Sometimes you dismiss a movie and are proven very, very wrong. THE LINCOLN LAWYER is one of those movies.

Last night I attended a screening of The Lincoln Lawyer that was hosted by Matthew McConaughey and author Michael Connolly, who wrote the book upon which the movie is based. I won’t lie - I ended up going just because there was going to be free pizza and beer at the screening and because I’ve been trying to be more proactive about hitting screenings.

So color me incredibly pleasantly surprised to find that the movie is really good. I’m not allowed to review the film, but I’ve been asked to write something about the event last night, which creates a weird problem in that all I did was eat pizza, drink beer, chit chat with Michael Connolly and then watch the movie. Connolly and McConaughey intro’ed the film, but it was just them standing in front of the room basically saying ‘Hope you like this as much as we do!’

The marketing for the film hasn’t really gotten across to folks that this is not some generic McConaughey piece of junk. It’s smart, it’s got a clever and interesting plot and it’s often really funny. It’s rare that anyone uses McConaughey right anymore, but he’s used right here, playing a rakish, lovable rogue of a lawyer. And he’s surrounded with a simply terrific cast of character actors. Let’s list the highlights:

William H Macy
Frances Fisher
Michael Pena
Shea Whigham
Michael Fucking Pare
John Leguizamo
Josh Lucas (perfectly cast as the prosecution lawyer who is against McConaughey - they’re like matter and anti-matter versions of each other)
Marisa Tomei
Bryan Cranston

That’s the kind of cast you generally want to see in a movie no matter what, and it’s nice that they ended up in a good film.

I guess I’ll write more about it closer to opening, but I urge to recalibrate your expectations: The Lincoln Lawyer is a good old fashioned legal thriller that’s well written, well made and fun to watch.