The Lincoln Lawyer

Cover of "The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel"

Cover of The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel

The Lincoln Lawyer is the second film to be directed by Brad Furman whose début, The Take, was well-received by the public and by critics. It is a screenplay adapted from the best-selling novel by Michael Connelly and has at the forefront of its cast popular actor, Matthew McConaughey who stars as Mickey Haller. As the consensus at Rotten Tomatoes has stated, it is a legal courtroom thriller that is predictable and follows the conventions of the genre but is nonetheless set to be a popular and entertaining film among the audiences.The reason that this film will be so popular is because of the excellent acting of the lead actor, McConaughey but he is aided in his performance with notable performances from other popular actors and actresses including Marisa Tomei as Maggie McPherson, Ryan Phillippe as Louis Roulet and William H. Macy as Frank Levin.

The film can be summarised as a courtroom thriller that follows Mickey Haller as he looks to investigate and defend Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) who is accused of GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm) against a woman who later turns out to be a prostitute. As the film progresses, it is revealed that Louis Roulet is a violent and aggressive man who targets women and has murdered them before. The problem for Mickey Haller is that a legal agreement known as “lawyer-client confidentiality” binds him to keep this information secret when Louis Roulet confesses his crimes. Herein lies the problem for Haller – does he risk losing his legal license to ensure the conviction of Roulet for this and earlier other crimes or does he defend a client who he knows is guilty of the crime?

We’d like to believe that the answer is obvious to us. It is better to ensure the conviction of Roulet and lose one’s license than to defend a man who we know to be guilty. For Haller, the decision isn’t so simple. It isn’t so straightforward. The reason? It’s because Haller convicted a man of murder who he now believes is innocent and was set up by Roulet for a similar crime. This is the major problem with the film. If Haller knows that there is a link between this crime and other crimes committed in the past, the moral action would be to confess to this. It is, one would hope, a reasonable course of action that future employers would understand that course and see it is a noble and moral thing to do. He would never be employed by a law firm but it does not limit his options in other films.

He does not follow this course of action. What happens is that Haller begins a number of steps that will make sure that Roulet is proven innocent of GBH and instead arrested for the earlier crime of murder. It is thrilling. It is dramatic. It is powerful. Despite all these things, it is still conventional. There is no intention by Brad Furman to surprise the audience and this could be because he wants to stay true of Michael Connelly’s novel or because he knows that the conventions of a legal thriller are popular with the modern British and American audience. The film, according to blog The Box Office Junkie, will be fighting for the top-spot with Paul (starring David Frost and Simon Pegg) and Limitless (starring Bradley Cooper). The predictions suggest that both Paul and Limitless will gross $15 million at the US Box Office with The Lincoln Lawyer a close third. Regardless of its success at the box office, it is an entertaining film and one that is deserving of the praise it is receiving.

About ICaithness

Such is the nature of life that it is difficult to describe oneself, for the simple fear of complete subjectivity. I, for one, would propose that others look to my friends, companions and acquaintances for an analysis of my personality. Alas, I find that I must write something in order to inform my readers of my personality and my linguistic nature. In order to do that, I shall write as objectively as I can. There is little to be said for the sparse writing that I do on occasion, save that it often has a philosophical undertone and best represents the person that I am. Writing is, as was once seen, a beautiful and therapeutic method of examining the world. The words we create are mere 'mirrors to reflect the creations of Nature'. In essence, our hand creates that which reflects our life best. Philosophical though I may be, there is much more to me than pure complex and abstract thought. I am no more a philosophy than I am a man. It is only the presentation of said self that helps to create an identity, a face which represents life in all its glory.

Posted on March 20, 2011, in Film, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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