Let me cut right to the chase. I adored this movie. I adored Matthew McConaughey in this movie. He is known as a hot, but probably smelly, beach bum who is given to chewing scenery, but he is utterly perfect in this noir thriller. So perfect that the role seems written for him. I can't imagine another actor who could've been as lovable in the role of Mickey Haller, an eccentric, money-grubbing criminal defense attorney who operates mostly out of the back seat of his chauffeured Lincoln adorned with a vanity plate that reads, "NTGUILTY."
Haller is a slick wheeler-dealer who's making a good living defending lowlife drug dealers, crooks and the occasional murderer. A biker gang has him on retainer and, rather than calling or emailing, they will tailgate him on an L.A. freeway when they need to contact him. They, and presumably all his clients, pay in cash. Mickey has people all over town doing favors for him, and his actions, while legal, don't always seem to be on the up-and-up.
Enter a legitimate client (the outmatched Ryan Phillippe) who's been accused of raping and assaulting a woman he met at a bar. Haller thinks he may have found that rarest of breeds: an innocent client. Phillippe's Louis Roulet is a rich, pampered mama's boy, but there is sufficient evidence to make Haller -- and us -- believe he was set up.
We see hints that the smooth-talking, deal-cutting "Lincoln Lawyer" may have a conscience, as he discusses with his friend/investigator/sidekick (the always wonderful William H. Macy) his fear that he'll one day be responsible for sending an innocent person to jail in order to save the same seemingly guilty person from the death penalty. He's also a surprisingly devoted dad and maintains a flirty relationship with his ex-wife, played by Marisa Tomei.
The movie has star power. Josh Lucas turns up as an assistant DA. John Leguizamo is a bail bondsman happy to send low-life clients Haller's way, and Bryan Cranston plays against type as a hard-boiled detective nearing retirement.
But, the gritty, twisty movie belongs to Matthew. I'm hoping for a sequel. See it!