Unlike many films in this genre, The Lincoln Lawyer, based on a best-selling novel by Michael Connelly,is a skillfully executed whodunit that keeps you guessing right until the end. And that lack of predictability is a tribute to a smart script that’s a great blend of wit and drama that keeps upping the stakes ever so gradually.

Make no mistake, it’s still a big-budget legal affair that’s perfect with popcorn, but stellar casting (especially McConaughey), an intriguing setting (namely the gritty, far-less-photogenic parts of L.A.), a well-chosen hip-hop soundtrack and a compelling, food-for-thought ethics debate is what elevates The Lincoln Lawyer from merely entertainment as usual.  And for anyone who suffered through McConaughey’s more insipid fare like Fool’s Gold, Failure to Launch and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, you’re just thankful somebody finally gave him something decent to star in.


  • Drugs/Alcohol: Mick tends to wash his worries down with copious amounts of alcohol. Some social drinking in clubs is also depicted. Drug abuse is discussed several times, but never shown.
  • Language/Profanity: Four uses of the “f” word, plus a smattering of other profanity including bi---, as-, as-hol-, dam-. God’s name is taken in vain on a couple of occasions and paired with da-- on four. Crass words are used in reference to homosexuals and male anatomy.
  • Sex/Nudity: No nudity. Mick and his ex-wife Maggie eventually hook up (neither is involved with anyone else). Aside from kissing and disrobing (Maggie is shown in her bra, Mick is shirtless) not much is shown thanks to shadowy camerawork. There’s also talk of how Louis (and a couple of other characters in the movie) like to have sex—sometimes rough sex—with prostitutes. After Frank’s murder, several investigators were surprised to discover he was gay. There’s also some talk of the gay activity that sometimes happens in prison. 
  • Violence: Two main characters are shot—one fatally, one merely wounded in the arm. Frank is murdered offscreen (his dead body is later shown). There are several instances where the badly injured, bloodied faces and bodies of young woman are shown in photographs (one was murdered). A woman gives a testimony to how she was beat up, raped and nearly killed by Louis (the scenario is shown two different ways—from his and her perspectives). There’s mention of a rape of a 10-year-old child. A gang beats Louis up pretty badly.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.