The Lincoln Lawyer didn’t blow me away. But it did hold my interest for two hours and featured the best performance from Matthew McConaughey in a long, long while (and yes – his shirt does come off, albeit briefly).

McConaughey plays Mick Haller, a slick, charismatic defense lawyer whose “office” is the backseat of a chauffer-driven Lincoln town car, license plate: NTGUILTY. Haller’s fickle moral compass is pushed to the limit when he takes the case of a spoiled Beverly Hills playboy (Ryan Phillippe) accused of attempted murder.

The movie is actually better than the trailer would suggest and features a strong supporting cast. It includes Marisa Tomei as an assistant DA who also happens to be Haller’s ex-wife; William H. Macy as Haller’s best friend and private investigator; Josh Lucas as a nerdy prosecutor; and Shea Wigham as a jailhouse snitch (and absolute scene-stealer!).

The Lincoln Lawyer is a solid courtroom/legal drama and psychological thriller that delivers a compelling story without taking itself too seriously. The relationship between Haller and his ex is a bit underdeveloped, but I suspect that a lot of additional footage was left on the cutting room floor. The movie is based on a novel by Michael Connelly so perhaps the answers lie within the pages of the book. I may have to check it out!

My verdict: The Lincoln Lawyer is a satisfying flick and a refreshing alternative to the slew of sci-fi dramas hitting the box office this month.

And oh yeah… welcome back, Matthew McConaughey!

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