I always like to review films I haven’t seen, so when The Lincoln Lawyer popped up on our list I was intrigued by the premise and cast list. One day spent on a messaging board like Reddit, you know the power and frequency of movie quotes and memorable scenes. We as an audience enjoy when others instantly know what we are talking about with the smallest amount of information given. While I was watching the film, it dawned on me that I had actually seen this movie before (or at least parts of it) and apparently blocked it from my mind. I suppose the question then becomes if a film is not memorable, can it still be enjoyable?
The Movie Itself (3.5/5)
Our film stars Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, a smart wise cracking criminal defense attorney. We see him go about his normal business with clients, including the local biker gang. He’s driven around in his Lincoln Town Car by Earl, hence the title. His buddy Val (John Leguizamo) gets him a high-profile case where Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) is accused of beating up a prostitute.
Mickey feels that he is in essence helping the little guy, and though many look down on a defense lawyer as the lowest of the low, he is still proud of what he does. Much of the theme of the film falls on the line of “there is no client as scary as an innocent man.” Haller has to navigate who he thinks is telling him the truth while trying to defend a man he is starting to believe was “that innocent man.”
I will say I enjoyed this film much more than the previous time (I may even remember it now); the acting and cast do the movie wonders. We have everyone’s favorite Bryan Cranston who is probably seventh billed. This film was the start of the “McConaissance”, Marissa Tomei was stellar and William H. Macy just did William H. Macy things. The settings and locations throughout L.A. painted the picture well and really gave the movie a backstory, visually.
With such a dialogue driven drama a lot hinges on the story. The few issues I had were with the twist reveal and the aftermath. With a film like this from 2011, I assume those that have seen it would come to a review like this for the A/V quality and packaging and do not need a review of the film. For those that have not seen The Lincoln Lawyer yet, I would say the presence of liking crime dramas and anyone in the cast is enough to check it out.
Visuals/Picture Quality (4/5)
With 4K UHD still being a relatively new format, it’s hard to define the difference of what we expect and what we actually get. The Lincoln Lawyer was filmed digitally with the Red One camera at 4K+ but used a 2K digital intermediate. The Blu-ray looks great on its own, what we see with the UHD is a slight uptick in detail and clarity. This may be one of the better instances where if you are looking to upgrade, it would depend on if your TV has HDR or not. Quite a few of the scenes had a lot more life brought to them. If you haven’t bought the film yet, then this is certainly the definitive version.
Score/Audio Quality (5/5)
I know some home media lovers will be miffed that a dialogue driven film like The Lincoln Lawyer gets a Dolby Atmos track where other big blockbusters still get neglected. Kudos to Lionsgate though for stepping up and putting it on a bunch of their films. While it is not necessarily needed here, it does shine quite nicely. Ambient surround is plentiful and adds a nice depth to the film. Of course, the powerful and more action driven scenes really stand out and pack a nice punch.
Special Features (3/5)
*In 1080p and surprisingly included on the actual UHD Disc unlike a lot of 4K releases
Making the Case: Creating The Lincoln Lawyer (13:41) An interesting featurette that focuses mainly on the cast. The writer (Connelly) and the producers talk about how the found the actors and director and what they were looking for in the film. There isn’t too much behind the scenes info, however if you enjoy the cast it’s nice to get their take on the roles.
Michael Connelly: At Home on the Road (10:17) Connelly the author of The Lincoln Lawyer novel takes the viewer around Los Angeles. He gives us a brief look at his life and why he became a writer. We get to tour a few of the places the film was shot. Worth a look if you are a fan of his work.
One on One with McConaughey and Connelly (5:28) The actor and author interview each other in the middle of production.
Deleted Scenes (4:07) Four scenes each about a minute. Usually I enjoy director commentary as to why they were cut, however they are pretty much all filler and self-explanatory.
- 4k UHD + Blu-ray
- Disc Art
- Dual Eco-case
- Ultraviolet Code (As of now cannot be redeemed in UHD) This link lists every 4K UHD movie out and where to redeem it to get it digitally in UHD. It’s searchable and very informative. It might be confusing to look at first, but for those that also like their movies digital, it’s an invaluable resource.
- Rounded Slipcover
Short rant on rounded slipcovers. When UHD began Universal started with these rounded one and Lionsgate had the normal O-rings. Now they have switched with Universal even restocking their old films with the “normal” one. I’m just curious why these exist, they look awful on the shelf (see packaging pic #4) and don’t seem to serve any purpose. I know many many Blu-ray lovers that absolutely hate slips in all forms and they will care even less about this. However, many do enjoy slips and will buy movies on release just because the first run has them. I just wish Lionsgate stuck with their original plan with the UHD’s, many of the other releases look so nice compared to these.
- Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
- English Dolby Atmos
- English True HD 7.1
- Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- French Dolby Digital 5.1
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 (Optimized for late night listening)
- English SDH
Runtime 118 Mins
The Lincoln Lawyer Overall (3.5/5)
I’m slightly conflicted with this release even with the positive score. If you already own the Blu-ray it’s probably not necessary to upgrade, however if you haven’t bought it yet this is certainly the version to get. It still could be better if Lionsgate was able to make a true 4K transfer, offer a digital UHD and put some corners on their slipcovers (slight joke, but not really). The Dolby Atmos and HDR grading is a nice touch and may be worth it for those that really love the film. I do enjoy their UHD pricing on catalog titles!
Available at Amazon and other fine retailers.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.