A dramatic comedy set in the world of male strippers, “Magic Mike” is directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Soderbergh (“Traffic”) and stars Channing Tatum in the title role. The film follows Mike as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.
In theaters Friday, June 29, 2012.
Smart and sassy, Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) has no problem running his business from the back of his Lincoln sedan with his driver, Earl (Laurence Mason). In fact, it’s perfect for those drive-by consultations with motorcycle gangs that can’t all fit in a tiny office. As a criminal defense attorney, Mick has what it takes to be street savvy and downright manipulative in the courtroom. He knows how to handle things to go his way, until he finds himself defending a rich playboy, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), accused of attempted murder.
What starts out as a straightforward case soon turns into a complex web of suspicion and manipulation. Mick finds himself battling with his conscience as he sorts out another case from his past, a dilemma involving an incarcerated individual, Jesus Martinez (passionately played by Michael Peña). His relationships are further complicated when his daughter’s mama, Maggie (Marisa Tomei), a prosecutor, re-enters his life, and they become subject to threat of harm. Frank (William H. Macy), Mick’s investigator, becomes the turning point of the thriller when he reveals he has a clue to the case.
Matthew McConaughey surprisingly plays Mick with a depth of character and stoicism that is rarely seen in his films. The easygoing Mick at the beginning of the film is usually what you expect from McConaughey. Yet, as the story progresses, his character becomes more three-dimensional. It is his portrayal that makes this film a vehicle of support for criminal defense attorneys anywhere. Defense attorneys are held to the same standard of criminal justice as prosecutors, no matter what or who they defend. This form of legal standard makes the job of a criminal defense attorney twice as interesting and complicated in terms of compromising ethics, and this is what gives this film the edge.
In another twist of courtroom drama, the two witnesses called in to testify, Corliss (Shea Whigham), and Charles Talbot (Eric Etebari), provide entertaining glimpses into characters possibly typical in the mainstream public. Shea Whigham plays a prison snitch bent on getting favors for himself, and he aces his role with defined stupidity as Corliss. Eric Etebari, as the suave businessman who insinuates his sexual prowess when testifying about the victim, simply captivates with his playful ego-centrism. These two performances provide brief moments of lightness in the sea of heavy drama.
Director Brad Furman (The Take, 2007) put together an impressive cast in this thriller. This includes Josh Lucas (the prosecutor), John Leguizamo (the pawn shop dealer), Francis Fisher (the defendant’s mother), Bob Gunton (the family lawyer), Bryan Cranston (the detective), and Margarita Levieva as the victim. Another player worth mentioning is Katherine Moennig (the jailhouse client), who previously appeared in a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode (Fallacy) as a pre-op transgender involved in a crime.
The film sufficiently plays out the suspense, although, like in real life, it turns into a courtroom piece for a long period. It is, however, heartfelt as it progresses and the twists it takes keeps you on the edge of your seat. Matthew McConaughey impressively delivered this time around.
In the gripping thriller “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Matthew McConaughey stars as Michael “Mick” Haller, a slick, charismatic Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental sedan. Having spent most of his career defending petty, gutter-variety criminals, Mick unexpectedly lands the case of a lifetime: defending a rich Beverly Hills playboy (Ryan Phillippe) who is accused of attempted murder. However, what initially appears to be a straightforward case with a big money pay-off swiftly develops into a deadly match between two masters of manipulation and a crisis of conscience for Haller.
Opens March 18, 2011
I have a confession, I have always had a soft spot for Matthew McConaughey films. A Time to Kill, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sahara, Reign of Fire, and even The Wedding Planner. Well, I think this film just broke my infatuation.
Matthew is still Matthew and maybe that was the problem, along with the entirely too predictable story. That, of course, should be expected since it is a new take on the old theme of A Christmas Carol, with none of the charm.
The disillusion began with the sun dried tan that showed every wrinkle on the poor man’s face, something that wasn’t seen as he did the talk show circuit last week. Maybe it was by design, as the character would have a fondness for tanning booths as he worked the serial sleaze circuit. It was just enormously distracting. Maybe it was the character himself, that not even MM could rescue and redeem. A cad is a cad, but even some cads can become endearing, unfortunately, it didn’t happen here.
I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to see Michael Douglas finally looking his age. Michael, stop fighting it! You looked great as the Hugh Hefner of the movie.
Another week spot were the women of the film. Jennifer Garner really needs to go back to kicking some ass. That’s when she shines. All the bridesmaid and the conquests of the leads just faded one into the other. The only standout was Noureen DeWulf as the abused assistant who hooks up with Jennifer’s designated wedding sex (the very handsome Daniel Sunjata [James Holt, from The Devil Wears Prada]) once all is said and done.
The only redeeming quality of the film, was the soundtrack. If you are in my age group, these songs will take you back to the days of old. REO Speedwagon, Simply Red, Cindy Lauper, KC & The Sunshine Band, Kool & The Gang and more, all make you forget the film and bring you back to the movie in your own mind of your own past.
I can’t even classify this as a good “girls night out” film or NetFlix queue addition. Wait till it shows up on cable for free. Then it may be worth the price.
All you fans of the 2003 film How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days can look forward to a re-teaming of the adorable actors in this Friday’s release Fool’s Gold. This time the locale has taken on a decidedly tropical feel to it and director Andy Tennant (Hitch) has added some action and adventure to the mix.
Fool’s Gold: that’s what treasure hunter Ben “Finn” Finnegan (Matthew McConaughey) is ever in pursuit of. Specifically he’s hot on the trial of The Queen’s Dowry – a fabled treasure of 40 chests of unimaginable wealth. His relentless quest has claimed his reputation, his boat and his marriage to Tess (Kate Hudson). Literally on the day of his divorce Finn stumbles onto a significant clue but understandably has trouble convincing his former partner/now ex-wife to throw away her plans for a normal life and help them complete their years-long obsession. Read more