Movies: The Lincoln Lawyer
One side effect of becoming a lawyer is that you lose the ability to watch a courtroom drama like a normal person. Legal "thrillers" turn into giant law school hypotheticals, like the sticky situation presented in "The Lincoln Lawyer":
Based on the novel by Michael Connelly, the film follows Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey), a shrewd criminal defense attorney who's not above letting a client sweat in jail in order to get paid. Mick is so smooth (and so alcoholic) that he works from the back of a Lincoln Town Car (if there was ever a movie that counted as a "star vehicle," "The Lincoln Lawyer" is it).
Mick's ethics and morals are tested when he agrees to represent a wealthy realtor (Ryan Phillippe) accused of rape and assault. What looks like a straightforward case soon becomes a primer on the attorney-client privilege and the California Rules of Professional Conduct, and demons from both past and present manifest before the credits roll.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" has a ton of megawatt acting talent - Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (who again finds a role where she gets to take most of her clothes off), Emmy winner William H. Macy, John Leguizamo, and so on. There's so many good character actors here that Bryan Cranston (of "Breaking Bad" fame) gets about two minutes of screentime.
The real star of the show, though, is McConaughey. From minute one, you're basically slathered in his trademark Southern drawl, and he gamely channels all of his boyish charm into his character. It's not quite enough to save the movie from the lackluster third act plotting all legal thrillers suffer from, but it's good enough to earn "The Lincoln Lawyer"...