Matthew McConaughey stars low rent defense attorney Mickey Haller who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car. According to Mickey, he’s never had an innocent client until a new case involving a spoiled rich playboy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) comes his way.
Oh, Roulet isn’t innocent, far from it. He’s not only guilty of the charge of assaulting a prostitute (Adventureland‘s Margarita Levieva) but also the death of another woman (Yari Deleon) years before who Mickey’s previous client (Michael Peña) is serving time for on advice from his lawyer to cop a plea.
The realization causes Mickey guilt over not taking his previous client seriously as well as anger at Roulet who chose him specifically to not only shield himself from the previous crime but to mess with Mickey’s life. Now Mickey has a choice, expose Roulet and be disbarred for sharing privileged information with the police or do his job and get the smug son of a bitch off.
Adding a little more intrigue to the mix are Mickey’s ex-wife (Marisa Tomei) who works as a prosecutor (though not on his case – that falls to Josh Lucas) and William H. Macy as Mickey’s longtime friend and private investigator.
Although the plot itself is somewhat cliched (lawyer gets a crazy client who makes his world Hell) the film is actually fairly entertaining with a few nice twists along the way. Odds are you’ll see the last reveal long before Mickey does, but for the most part the film delivers by giving us a charming, is sleazy, lawyer who honestly wants to do the right thing. All he has to do is figure out how. Watching him do that is, at least, half the fun.