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Modern court room drama. Strong casting for the supporting roles (Frances Fisher, William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston), but they did feel overcast for such small parts.
McCaunaghey is is usual charming yet intense self, and Ryan Phillipe is perfectly cast as the douche-bag client. Marisa Tomei is rather good too, and there's a cameo by Trace Adkins.
|Matthew McConaughey||Mickey Haller|
|Marisa Tomei||Maggie McPherson|
|Ryan Phillippe||Louis Roulet|
|William H. Macy||Frank Levin|
|Josh Lucas||Ted Minton|
|John Leguizamo||Val Valenzuela|
|Michael Peña||Jesus Martinez|
|Bob Gunton||Cecil Dobbs|
|Frances Fisher||Mary Windsor|
|Bryan Cranston||Detective Lankford|
|Trace Adkins||Eddie Vogel|
|Margarita Levieva||Reggie Campo|
|Michaela Conlin||Detective Sobel|
|Shea Whigham||DJ Corliss|
|Michael Paré||Detective Kurlen|
|Cliff Martinez||Original Music Composer|
|Lukas Ettlin||Director of Photography|
|Richard S. Wright||Production|
|Michael Connelly||Story Contributor|
Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) operates around Los Angeles County out of his black Lincoln Town Car. Haller has spent most of his career defending garden-variety criminals, including a member of a local biker gang, until he lands the case of his career: Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a Beverly Hills playboy and son of real estate mogul Mary Windsor (Frances Fisher), is accused of the brutal beating of prostitute Reggie Campo.
Haller thinks Roulet is innocent, having simply been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Haller and his investigator Frank Levin (William H. Macy) analyze the pictures and evidence, notably the injuries the victim sustained. It bears a similarity to a past case of Haller that landed a previous client, Jesus Martinez (Michael Peña), in prison for life for murdering a Donna Renteria, despite always proclaiming his innocence.
Haller has a daughter with his ex-wife, prosecutor Maggie McPherson (Marisa Tomei), who has never appreciated Haller's efforts on behalf of guilty clients. Haller begins to wonder if he should have tried harder on behalf of Martinez instead of convincing him to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
Martinez becomes agitated when Haller visits him at San Quentin and shows him Roulet's picture. Haller begins to suspect that Roulet could be the real killer in the Martinez case, but bound by attorney–client confidentiality rules, he cannot tell the police what he has learned. That night, Roulet breaks into Haller's house, nonchalantly admits to committing the murder that put Martinez in prison, and makes veiled threats toward Haller's family.
Levin is shot to death after leaving a voicemail message claiming that he has found Martinez's ticket out of jail. The murder weapon used in Levin's murder is a .22 caliber pistol and Haller finds his .22 Colt Woodsman is missing from its carrier box. Haller is suspected of killing Levin because the police discover that a Colt Woodsman is registered to Haller. Haller believes it was stolen by Roulet when he had broken into Haller's home.
Obliged to do his best for his client, guilty or not, Haller ruthlessly cross-examines the prostitute and discredits her in the jury's eyes. However, Haller sets up a known prison informant with information on the previous murder. When the informant testifies, Haller discredits him and the state later moves to dismiss all charges in the current case. Roulet is set free, but the police then arrest him immediately for the previous murder based upon testimony Haller had coaxed out of the informant.
Haller acquires a Smith and Wesson pistol from his driver, Earl (Laurence Mason), as a precaution against any retribution he may face. Roulet is released due to lack of evidence and sets out immediately to kill Haller's ex-wife and child, but Haller finds out in time to get them out of the house. He is waiting as Roulet arrives and Haller draws his gun. Roulet mockingly tells Haller that he will not be able to guard his family this way every day. Just then, a group of bikers whom Haller has previously represented starts bashing Roulet's Maserati and they brutally beat Roulet. As Haller walks away, he says: "The hospital, not the morgue." He gets a call from Maggie that a parking ticket was issued to Roulet near the house of the previous murder victim, strong evidence against Roulet in his pending murder trial that will support Martinez's release.
Upon arriving home, Haller discovers Roulet's mother, Mary Windsor, inside. She shoots him with the Colt Woodsman, the same one that killed Levin, confessing that she committed that murder to protect her son. Haller, wounded, draws the Smith and Wesson pistol that Earl got for him and shoots Mary Windsor, killing her.
Upon being discharged from the hospital, Haller learns that Martinez has been released and the District Attorney will seek the death penalty against Roulet. Haller rides off to his next case: the biker gang, which he takes pro bono because of their previous help.
Theatrical : 2011-03-18 : United States of America
Theatrical : 2011-03-10 : United States of America
DVD : 2011-07-12