The Lincoln Lawyer
The good new L.A. movie is The Lincoln Lawyer, in which Matthew McConaughey comes up for career air after drivel like Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude. His Mick Haller is a slick, dressy but not upscale lawyer whose office seems to be his Lincoln (a very L.A. touch). He defends a rich pretty-boy (Ryan Phillippe, in a career peak) charged with the vicious beating of a prostitute. That snakes back to a murder case, and even in the courtroom there is a sense of street rot rising to the top of the pile.
Brad Furman forcefully directed John Romano’s adaptation of a novel by Michael Connelly, a disciple of Raymond Chandler. There is some of the urban potency of Chandler and Ross Macdonald, with sharp lines and plot turns handled by McConaughey in ace form, along with Marisa Tomei (as his remarkably available ex-wife), William H. Macy, Josh Lucas, Frances Fisher, and John Leguizamo. There is nothing about Abe Lincoln, though he might have enjoyed the lawyering.
Reviewed in this week’s movie capsules: I Am and I Saw the Devil. ■