Directed by: David Grossman, Alonso Alvarez, Bill D’Elia, Erin Feeley, Liz Friedlandler
Distributed by: Netflix
Written by Jeff Sparks
In Netflix’s new series, “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Manuel Garcia-Rulfo stars as Mickey Haller, an LA defense attorney who finds his life in danger when he takes on a new client. The series follows the same character played by Matthew McConaughey in the 2011 film. Both the film and the series are based on the books of the same. While the series claims to be based on a later point in Haller’s timeline, the show is still very similar to the film. Many scenes and plotlines are ripped straight from the plot we saw Mcconaughey in along with very similar characters although the cast who plays these characters in the series is nowhere near as strong as the film. Alongside McConaughey, there was Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston, and John Leguizamo. While all the characters those actors played are represented the only real star in the series is Neve Campbell whose storyline, unfortunately, feels unnecessary.
Throughout the first five episodes, I found myself wondering if the show deserved to exist due to how similar it was to the movie except for a handful of changes. In episode six, however, a major departure finally occurred that brought fresh ideas into the story and continued for the final few episodes where the bulk of the courtroom scenes take place. In any legal drama that features extended courtroom scenes, it is up to the actor to use the script in any way they can to make these scenes as interesting as possible because in these dramas the viewers are not attached to the plaintiff or the defendant, they are attached to the prosecutor or the defense. While Garcia-Rulfo has one of the better performances of 2022 I don’t think he was as captivating in the courtroom as say Julianna Margulies who could make even the most basic writing compelling in her role as a lawyer in “The Good Wife.” If Netflix wants to make this a standout show in season two not only does it need to venture further away from the film but it also needs a script that is engrossing for the entire runtime, not just here and there.
“Lincoln Lawyer” Trailer