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Mystery Movies - The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey

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Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Michael Peņa, William H. Macy
Director: Brad Furman
Runtime: 1 hour 59 minutes
Release year: 2011
Studio: Lionsgate

Some books just beg to be made into movies and while six years from publication to screen may seem like a long time but it really isn't from the time a book is published to the time it gets evaluated for the possibility of being optioned, the optioning process, writing, rewrites, attaching a director and the acting talent who may be working on other projects, location scouting, shooting, editing, publicity etcetera, etcetera, etcetera all take time. Six years is pretty quick to get a book into the cinema. In the case of The Lincoln Lawyer it was never a case of if the movie would get made only when it would get made.

Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller is hardly an acting stretch after tours of courtroom duty in Amistad and A Time to Kill McConaughey has serious acting chops and brings them to bear on in a movie that is replete with talent. Playing Haller's estranged wife Maggie McPherson is three time Academy Award nominee Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler). Both McConaughey and Tomei play their roles to perfection in what is a tightly written if sparsely directed movie that captures the viewer from the very first few moments of screen time.

The story of the Lincoln Lawyer is complicated as all good mysteries should be. The movie is a brilliant blend of procedural and mystery with enough areas of suspicion and doubt that it is unlikely that anyone who has not read the book will figure out whodunit. In a nutshell, and not ruining the movie, a very rich young man is accused of a brutal crime and hires Mickey Haller as his attorney. Haller is the kind of attorney who, as all good defence attorneys should, defends his client with extreme prejudice. How far Haller is willing to go and how labyrinthine the truth really is, is what The Lincoln Lawyer is all about. This movie has already made it into my permanent mystery collection and should probably make it into the collection of most mystery fans. 

Denis Bernicky

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