I have to admit that I am a sucker for a good court room drama. Even though it has been done countless times, it always offers writers and actors the opportunity to get clever with dialogue and have some fun. This movie was not on my radar but it gained good word of mouth and became a sleeper hit.
The story follows a lawyer named Mickey Haller played by Matthew McConaughey. Haller operates around Los Angeles out of a Lincoln Town Car he got from a client who is working off his legal fees. The bulk of his business is spent defending criminals and drug dealers until he lands a case defending Louis Roulet, the son (Ryan Phillippe) of a real estate mogul who is accused of brutally beating a prostitute.
Roulet seems to be innocent, claiming that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Haller and his investigator Frank (William H. Macy) do some digging and discover that the case bears similarities to a case they had a few years ago. Where the story goes from their is pretty ingenious. The story is based on a book by Michael Connelly, and was adapted for the screen by John Romano.
Movies like this only work with the right actors. McConaughey is perfect for the role of Haller. He manages to mask his sharp intelligence with a sense of cool and sex appeal. It is one of McConaughey’s best performances in years.
The supporting cast is top notch as well. Macy plays his investigator with a quirky yet workman like attitude. Marisa Tomei is Haller’s ex wife although they get along quite well and still enjoy each other under the sheets. Josh Lucas is also very good as the lead prosecutor. There are even throw away performances by John Lequizamo, Bryan Cranston and Michael Pena.
Director Brad Furman is someone I am not familiar with but he has a good eye for locations and gets good solid performances from his actors. I like when a director gives all the actors a good amount of screen time to really fill out their roles.