This is a review of the Blu-Ray version.
Mickey Haller, a creation of high-profile novelist Michael Connelly, is a Los Angeles defence attorney who instead of having an office works out of an '87 Lincoln Towncar. The plot central to this film is his defence of a wealthy Beverly Hills property developer accused of attempted rape and violent assault - and possibly even more serious crimes from the past. The film examines the increasingly acrimonious relationship between defence attorney and defendant, the problems created by attorney-client privilege, and quite simply the conscience of a lawyer defending a man who grows more dislikable as the trial progresses.
As a film, it's pretty good with few obvious flaws. The acting is of a high standard, the script is sharp and the story is interesting. I was far from sure that Matthew McConaughey was the right choice before seeing this film, but within five minutes I had changed my mind and now feel that he did an excellent job. For large sections of the film as a whole, however, it comes across as more of a pilot for a TV series rather than a cinematic treat, this I would put down to rather ordinary cinematography and in particular some weak editing. I couldn't call it a must-see classic by any stretch, because it's bordering on the forgettable and offers very little in terms of truly new and original courtroom drama. In a way, the overall style and substance looks as old as Haller's Lincoln.
And that's disappointing because I read the book on which it is (heavily) based and although that was several years ago, I clearly remember being far more impressed with that than I was with this film, and never feeling that it was out of date at all. In the book, the suspect was more difficult to pin down as to his guilt or innocence, whereas in the film there was rarely any doubt at all, which removed a key element of suspense. In the film the prosecuting attorney comes over as weak and a complete mismatch for Haller; in the book it was far more gladiatorial, Haller having to fight much harder and this made for some of the best entertainment in the written product. It's fair to mention this difference because a large number of people seeing this film will be familiar with the book, or at least the character of Mickey Haller as there have been four novels so far and more on the way. For those familiar with the original novel, then, the film will be regarded as 'satisfactory' but lacking some of the fireworks of Connelly's written creation, not least in terms of courtroom dynamics.
There are some useful and interesting extras on the BD, including some deleted scenes, interviews with all the main characters and producers, and perhaps best of all an extended piece by Michael Connelly himself. His frustrations with his only other conversion to the big-screen (Blood Work) have been well documented, and reading between the lines I get the impression that while he's much happier with The Lincoln Lawyer as a film, probably because he had a considerable amount of influence in the screenplay, he's still a hard man to please. Sub-titles English only. I could find few benefits in either visual or audio terms for the high-definition Blu-Ray, and with hindsight I would definitely choose the standard-def.