Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: James White
    Mar 19, 2011
    80
    A solid thriller with McConaughey doing what he does best.
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Mar 18, 2011
    80
    If The Lincoln Lawyer has nothing new of substance to offer in its tale of life on the judicial margins, it has relaxed L.A. atmosphere to burn.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 17, 2011
    80
    It's rare enough to see a Hollywood movie made with this much attention and personality, let alone one that balances comedy and darkness as well as this one does.
  4. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Mar 14, 2011
    80
    The most surprising courtroom drama since 1985's "Jagged Edge," The Lincoln Lawyer is a don't-miss cinematic page-turner with enough twists to fill five movies.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    This is rock-solid entertainment. McConaughey, a cunning mesmerizer in the courtroom, steers this Lincoln into what could be a hell-raising franchise. More, please. Soon.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    I like movies about smart guys who are wise asses, and think their way out of tangles with criminals. I like courtroom scenes. I like big old cars. I like The Lincoln Lawyer because it involves all three.
  7. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    What began as quick and engaging, Hollywood craft at its most proficient, ends as dull and predictable, Hollywood product back in formulaic mode.
  8. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    A smart, juicy entertainment, but it's the kind of straight-up legal drama that hinges entirely on crafty storytelling and across-the-board solid performances.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    An L.A.-based story with more turns and curves than a Hollywood canyon.
  10. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    A pleasantly seedy crime thriller.
  11. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    Shamelessly entertaining.
  12. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    Furman keeps the drama taut when it needs to be, and loosens the reins easily when it's time to kick back - he has good control over the movie's rhythms.
  13. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Mar 17, 2011
    75
    A breath of fresh air in this musty spring movie season.
  14. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 16, 2011
    75
    In the best tradition of mystery thrillers of this sort, it satisfies enough on an emotional level that we're willing to forgive any intellectual, procedural, and logical shortcomings.
  15. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 16, 2011
    75
    Plot leaps that are fun on paper look generic on screen; here's another lawyer movie in which the characters are only as interesting as the actors playing them.
  16. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 16, 2011
    75
    Populated with a peerless supporting cast, actors who bring just the right history to their roles.
  17. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 17, 2011
    70
    There are modest pleasures in a familiar story told differently enough that you're happy to keep guessing and watching.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Mar 17, 2011
    70
    This pungent neo-noir can be sleazy and over-familiar, but like the protagonist, it's so smart and crafty that you may forgive its flaws.
  19. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Mar 9, 2011
    70
    The film is only "superior" though, not great. The themes feel shopworn and devotee of crime fiction can point to the any number of antecedents for these characters.
  20. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Mar 24, 2011
    67
    Has very little soul to speak of, but it's got swagger to burn.
  21. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Mar 16, 2011
    67
    The next step in Matthew McConaughey's inevitable march to network television is The Lincoln Lawyer, a pilot disguised as a feature-length movie, with an entire season's arc crammed into two hours.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 18, 2011
    63
    Strikes an uneasy compromise between liberty and justice. It marches at an efficient pace, but there's too much collateral damage to believability.
  23. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 18, 2011
    63
    It goes down as smoothly as a milkshake thanks to an impressive cast.
  24. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 16, 2011
    60
    The story, based on the Michael Connelly novel, grows increasingly far-fetched - at times it plays like an expensive pilot for a TV series, maybe a "Young Barnaby Jones" or something.
  25. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Mar 9, 2011
    60
    It's easy enough to just soak up star Matthew McConaughey's good-ol'-boy appeal and overlook the film's stilted dialogue, bizarre directorial indulgences, excessive running time and boilerplate "Law and Order"-style narrative.
  26. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    The intricate plotting that distinguished the book overwhelms the movie.
  27. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    It's agreeably mediocre, a cinematic paperback novel transformed into the kind of fare folks mindlessly consume on planes and forget about before touching down.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    Formulaic enough to suggest that franchise would be B level at best, a TV series at worst. But it's also just good enough to make you want to watch it, anyway.
  29. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 15, 2011
    40
    In theory, there's nothing wrong when a movie reminds you of TV. (That's where the fun is, anyway.) But when a movie resembles a long-lost, corduroy-clad episode of "The Rockford Files," that's a problem.
  30. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Mar 15, 2011
    40
    Undercut by uninspired direction, car-commercial art direction, and a lack of grit that makes the hidebound nature of the genre stand out like an episode of "Matlock" on HBO.
  31. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 18, 2011
    20
    There's a reason potboiler paperbacks don't make good movies - there's too much outlandish plot, even for Hollywood.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 155 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Mar 18, 2011
    7
    A much more compelling story than I expected, with a nice ensemble cast. Matthew McConaughey plays the slightly sleazy lawyer with a certainA much more compelling story than I expected, with a nice ensemble cast. Matthew McConaughey plays the slightly sleazy lawyer with a certain street charm and personal angst defending the squeaky clean, but possibly sociopathic boy next door. The story offers a nice mix of character introduction/development with an interesting story complete with fun twists that will leave you thinking a bit after the movie. Has the definite feel of a series in the making. Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    7
    The movie is decent and tedious at first but it gets better and better until in the end after watching "The Lincoln Lawyer", you will feelThe movie is decent and tedious at first but it gets better and better until in the end after watching "The Lincoln Lawyer", you will feel what a lawyer who drives a Lincoln car really is. Full Review »
  3. Apr 1, 2011
    9
    Zigging and zagging his way thru a fairly predictable yet thoroughly engaging and polished piece of double-crossing pie - McConaughey shinesZigging and zagging his way thru a fairly predictable yet thoroughly engaging and polished piece of double-crossing pie - McConaughey shines as a slick, booze-swilling, street smart and rarely shirtless (I said â Full Review »