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Review: McConaughey’s ‘Lawyer’

March 30, 2011
By Tony Rutherford, letters@graffitiwv.com
The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey nearly always plays characters that have cocky attitudes, charming-yet-slimy ways of gathering hook-ups and a knack for shaking off waltzes toward the dark side in favor of an upbeat end credit scene.

Scratch more of those romantic comedy personality cliches in favor of the former “Sexiest Man in America” turning into a confident low-life-defending attorney.

When this “Lincoln Lawyer” rolls past, he’s likely collecting an exaggerated fee, yet his now somewhat smothered Texas drawl spits legal technicalities, which more often than not benefit a client guilty of something.

Leave it to the man who played Jack Lengyel to find a method for injecting a good bit of soul into a profession maligned by deceitful, self-absorbed greedy masters of legal procedure.

Ambulance chaser Mick Haller fulfills the role of zealous advocate for those accused of reprehensible conduct. Yet, he sports five-star daddy qualities and four- star ex-hubby persona, aside from consuming too much liquor and spouting possible alibis for slam dunk suspects. His father told him to beware of guilt — that which will attach to you if an innocent man goes to prison.

It’s this watchdog for justice trait that separates the character, the actor and the flick. Brawls, prostitution and shootings consume most of his case load. However, the lawyer with “NTGUILTY” on his license plates receives a referral which pushes him into a spotlight: He’s hired to defend a spoiled rich kid accused of heinously beating a hooker.

Exiting moviegoers had smiles on their faces and gleans in their eyes and more than one called this “Lincoln” one of the best they’ve seen in a long time. Why? Instead of dwelling on grimy greasy atmosphere, L.A.’s megafast-paced lifestyle propels the production. Never stopping for a breath, the film’s fulcrum tilts snappy without downplaying the serious felonious conduct of the defendants.

.McConaughey’s method envisions an almost likable dude doing a job and earning a living balancing hardened matter-of-fact legalize squarely and seriously with a dash of levity under his voice. Poker-straight depiction dominates, though he coolly spouts sharp phrases and manipulates the questions during an ethical chess game where nothing less than professional polish can be displayed.
 
 

 

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