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The Lincoln Lawyer Review Critics


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How to Lose a Bad Rep in 2 Hours Read full review


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Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    An L.A.-based story with more turns and curves than a Hollywood canyon.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Legal thriller entertains but is too dark, heavy for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this John Grisham-esque legal thriller has enough language, violence, and substance use to make it far too mature for younger teens -- plus plot twists and courtroom intrigue that will also go over some heads. The violence includes everything from murders and a gang beat-down to sexual assaults replayed a few times from different perspectives. Language includes a few uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "a--hole"; there's only one actual love scene (with partial undressing but no actual nudity) but several references to prostitution and sex. This Matthew McConaughey thriller is far too heavy to attract younger audiences, but parents with teens should be aware of the violence and crimes depicted in the story.

  • Families can talk about the way the movie depicts drinking. Are there consequences for characters who drink too much? Do those consequences seem realistic?
  • How does wealth affect the justice system? Is Louis treated differently than the other suspected criminals depicted in the movie?
  • Why are legal thrillers are so captivating? Are real-life court cases ever this twisty and surprising?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: There are troubling messages about how wealth can get criminals acquitted and excused and how the justice system can be manipulated by those with means. Many characters also seem to solve their problems with alcohol or by thinking that they're above the law. That said, Mick also proves that everyone deserves a good, knowledgeable defense attorney and that true innocence is something that should be fought for at all costs.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Most of the characters are deeply flawed, and a couple have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Main character Mick is sort of a rogue, but he truly believes in the justice system, in his friendship with Frank, and in the innocence of one of his clients. He also seems to be a loving father.  But overall, most of the characters -- especially the Roulets -- are pretty despicable.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Three characters are shot -- at least one is killed in an execution-style murder. Many references to violent crimes, and the entire movie is focused on a possible rape, assault, and murder (shown in flashback a few times). A gang of bikers brutally beats up a character. A character threatens another's family. Suspects recall the crimes they've been accused of committing.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A formerly married couple flirts with each other on several occasions and sleeps together once. The woman is shown in her bra, and the man is shown in varying degrees of undress, but there's no actual nudity, and the scene is brief. Two different prostitutes in skimpy outfits flirt with potential clients in clubs.

  • language false4

    Language: Language includes a few uses of "f--k," plus "a--hole," "s--t," the occasional "prick" and "p---y," "ass," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and "goddamn." In one conversation, a character uses the derogatory terms "fag" and "faggot" at least four times.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Several brands are featured or mentioned more than once in the movie, including Mick's titular Lincoln Continental, a client's Maserati and Range Rover, a bike gang's Harleys, Apple computers, a Mustang, and a recognizable brand of vodka.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Nearly every scene shows a character drinking (beer, cocktails, hard liquor) -- in a bar, at home, at dinner -- and more often than not, the characters are getting drunk. It's mentioned that Mick is chauffeured around because he lost his driver's license; the implication is that it was DUI related. Both he and his ex-wife drink excessively; they even have sex after they're both fairly drunk. A character asks for a smoke, and another is seen with a pack of cigarettes, but she's not shown smoking them. References to drug use, substance abuse, and rehab.