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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Movies We Watched This Weekend: The Lincoln Lawyer and Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses
The bad news first: This movie is not that witty. The script is nothing to write home about. The good news? The performances are so good that you might not notice. Everyone here has a lot of fun milking every line, moment, and facial expression for all it’s worth, including Jennifer Aniston, who is a lot more fun when she is playing a smart or evil character, rather than the regular “cute girl.”

Jason Bateman plays the same guy he usually plays (Michael in Arrested Development), but who doesn’t like that? (He plays a different kind of guy in State of Play, The Kingdom, Juno, and The Switch, in case you thought he was always the nice everyman.) They showed most of the first half of the movie in the trailer. If you haven’t seen the trailer, avoid the trailer and you will enjoy this movie more than everyone else. The theater laughed enough to make this worth a rental with some buddies and beer in a few months. We laughed.

Movie Grade: B-
The Lincoln Lawyer
There is a pretty nasty dilemma and example of necessary brokenness in the rivalry based legal system. What if you find something out through a client, and in order for justice to be done, someone has to find out, but you can’t tell because of lawyer/client confidentiality? If you break that rule, you can be tossed off the state bar association and even sued. You can’t be a lawyer anymore. There have actually been cases where lawyers knew innocent people were in prison but couldn’t say anything without permission from the client.

Even if you tell what you heard, take the hit, and get another job, the info often can’t be used against your client in court because it is “privileged.” This movie is about a lawyer who has to fix some messed-up things without getting in trouble, betraying his client in the case he was working on, or going to the police. It really is about time someone made a movie about this.

If you like legal dramas and understand the court system at all, this is the movie for you. We get to see Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Angela Montenegro from Bones as detectives in the movie, which is fun. It’s nice to see that Ryan Phillippe still has a purpose in life (if a small one). The mom from Titanic reprises her role has a snooty rich woman. Matthew McCona-we-are-never-going-to-know-how-to-spell-that-name-whatsit makes a good lawyer, as usual. Marissa Tomei, what are you doing? It’s sad to see an Oscar winner taking a bit role, but there aren’t as many roles for women over 35, are there?

Not groundbreaking, but enjoyable. If you like courtroom dramas/Law and Order, you will be entertained. If you do not, you won’t be.

Movie Grade: B+

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