CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Matthew McConaughey shines once again as a lawyer in the suspenseful new film THE LINCOLN LAWYER

Just watched The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) the other night and I am convinced that Matthew McConaughey might have missed his calling as a lawyer. The Lincoln Lawyer marks his third film in which he portrays a lawyer following A Time To Kill (1996) and Amistad (1997).  While those two films were done well over a decade and he was just bursting onto the scene, in The Lincoln Lawyer, he is a wily seasoned professional now.  I thought it would be cool to compare all three movies in which he has played a lawyer.
The Lincoln Lawyer
In The Lincoln Lawyer, he plays LA defense lawyer Mick Haller, who works out of his Lincoln to a variety of nefarious types. He lands a big case in which his wealthy client Louis Roulet (played by Ryan Phillipe) is charged with assault on a woman. Roulet claims it is a setup because he is rich. But things are not as simple as they appear. Haller also has to deal with inner demons as a previous case may have sent an innocent man to jail. McConaughey is perfect in this role as goes through an identity crisis of sorts. His reputation is that he will get anyone off, even if they're guilty. And it starts to get to him when things start to go south. Bolstered by a solid supporting cast of Phillipe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Frances Fisher, John Leguizamo and Josh Lucas. But it's McConaughey who drives this movie, showing that he has come a long way since he first portrayed a lawyer.
A Time to Kill
Speaking of which, we flashback to 1996 for A Time To Kill, when he played Mississippi lawyer Jake Brigance, who handles the volatile case of Carl Lee Hailey (played by Samuel L. Jackson) who shot and killed the two men who raped his little girl. Based on the best selling book by John Grisham, this was McConaughey's first real big film and he gets to shine big time.  It helps that he is surrounded by a cast of heavy hitters including Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Sandra Bullock, Keifer Sutherland and Samuel L. Jackson. His character Jake Brigance is a guy you could hang out with and drink a few beers with. Very smart and knows how to handle people. But this case is very important and racially charged. His closing argument for the defense of Carl Lee is impressive as you can see the exact moment where he takes full control of his life and this case. A Time To Kill is my favorite of the Grisham movies to date.
McConaughey immediately followed A Time To Kill a year later with Amistad. He plays lawyer Roger Sherman Baldwin, who is enlisted to be the defense attorney for the slaves that were brought to America on the ship Amistad from Cuba. The slaves revolted against the crew and killed them all and once the ship reaches America, they are charged for their acts. McConaughey is asked to defend them by two abolitionists (Morgan Freeman, Stellan Skarsgard). Once again McConaughey surrounds himself with a solid cast which also includes Anthony Hopkins, Nigel Hawthorne, and Pete Postlethwaite. Amistad is a solid movie and McConaughey does another commendable job as a lawyer but it's my least favorite of the three. Don't get me wrong it is good, but A Time to Kill and The Lincoln Lawyer are better.

1 comment:

Irene Palfy said...

An interesting angle to compare these films - and actually I did not see one of these yet.. Maybe I should change that..


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