If you like watching engrossing legal thrillers that add a splash of “magic” to it, then Netflix has a movie right up your alley. The Lincoln Lawyer is the legal thriller in question and Matthew McConaughey is that splash of magic. The film, based on the best-selling Michael Connelly novel of the same name, has McConaughey playing criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller.
Haller, is a lawyer in LA County, California, and, for the most part, he defends low-end criminals. What’s unique about Haller is that he does most of his work out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car with his chauffer Earl Briggs. Mickey’s life is about to take a step up when he is asked to defend a Beverly Hills playboy, the super-wealthy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), who has just been charged with brutally beating a prostitute. Roulet, vehemently denies the charges.
Now on the case, Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) and Frank Levin (William H. Macy), his investigator, begin to look into the alleged crime. As they analyze photos and the evidence, they notice similarities between this recent case and one that put a client of Mickey’s, Jesus Martinez (Michael Peña) behind bars for life for murder, a crime that Martinez repeatedly claims innocence.
As Matthew McConaughey’s character digs deeper, he begins to suspect that Roulet just may be guilty and that Roulet also may be guilty of many more crimes, including the murder that Martinez is in jail for. But Mickey is bound to the attorney-client confidentiality laws, so he can’t take his suspicions anywhere.
Mickey’s suspicions are spot on. Roulet breaks into Mickey’s home, admitting to the murder that Martinez was convicted of. But Roulet, to further gain Mickey’s silence, makes threats against Mickey’s ex-wife and daughter. Levin, in the meantime, has found evidence that would be Martinez’s “get out of jail” card. Levin is then found dead, shot to death. Things don’t look good for Mickey when he discovers his .22 Colt is missing from the box in his home.
On top of Matthew McConaughey, William H. Macy, Ryan Phillippe, and Michael Peña, The Lincoln Lawyer boasts a stellar cast that includes Marisa Tomei, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, Bryan Cranston, Trace Adkins, and Frances Fisher.
The film, directed by Brad Furman, excellently balances itself inside and out of the courtroom, never lingering in one place long enough to slow the pace. Furman’s film, written by John Romano, did fairly well at the box office, bringing in $87 million on its $40 million budget.
Matthew McConaughey, for the most part, is known for two things – Magic Mike and those storytelling Lincoln Motor Company commercials. McConaughey began the series of commercials, which featured Lincoln cars like the MKC Crossover, MKZ sedan, MKX and Nautilus crossovers, and Aviator SUV, which appeared over a four-year stretch that saw Lincoln’s sales jump nearly 25%.
While Lincoln was happy with the results, comedians apparently were even happier, as McConaughey’s style was ripe for parody. Jim Carrey, Conan O’Brien, and Ellen DeGeneres as well as South Park and Saturday Night Live were just a few who lampooned McConaughey.
In reality, though, Matthew McConaughey is known for much more. His career got its big start when his small role as Wooderson in Dazed and Confused pushed him into the Hollywood spotlight. The role was initially intended to be a very small one but as fate would have it (and another actor’s inability to get along with the other actors on the set), McConaughey’s role was increased. It was a great move for the film and a big one to jump-start young Matthew McConaughey’s career.
Matthew McConaughey would then go on to bigger roles. He was in Boys on the Side and Scorpion Spring before he got his first lead in Lone Star. He turned that into his first legal thriller, A Time to Kill, where he starred opposite Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. Hollywood was smiling down on McConaughey.
Since that time, Matthew McConaughey has found himself in various movies, playing various roles, with screen times that range from full-on lead to a cameo. Some of his bigger films include Amistad, The Newton Boys, Edtv, the heavily underrated Frailty (though his role is not a large one in it), and We Are Marshall. Of course, rom coms wouldn’t be what they are without Matthew McConaughey’s presence in films like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Two for the Money, and Failure to Launch. And, of course, there is his time on Magic Mike.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention his role as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyer’s Club, a film which saw McConaughey win an Academy Award for Best Actor while his co-star, Jared Leto, won an Academy for Best Supporting Actor.
The past five or so years have seen Matthew McConaughey continue to crank out hit after hit with Gold, White Boy Rick, Serenity, The Beach Bum, and The Gentlemen. He’s also found YouTube to his liking. Unfortunately for Matthew McConaughey fans, you won’t be able to see him in his next two projects as both are animated. One is the series Hank the Cowdog and the other is the sequel, Sing 2 as he reprises his vocal role as Buster Moon. For now, you can see Matthew McConaughey in the excellent legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, now on Netflix.