Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


    No Rating Available

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

As a lawyer, Mick Haller knows all about the murky nature of the human character. He's seen his share of bad behavior and devious duplicity—lying and cheating to get ahead, to "win" no matter what the cost. He sees it in court, he sees it on the street, he sees it even at home.

Pretty awkward, really, since the dude lives alone.

Mick, who does business out of the back of his classic Lincoln Town Car, is the sort of lawyer who gives lawyers a bad name. He's not picky about who he takes as clients: bikers, drug dealers, rapists … as long as they can pay. He's good at what he does—when his license isn't suspended.

In truth, Mick's greatest fear is defending an innocent man. And he's wondering whether his greatest fear just hired him.

Louis Roulet looks like an overgrown boy scout—certainly not the sort of guy who would beat a prostitute nearly to death. He swears he's innocent: He's been set up, he claims … an easy mark for an ambitious hooker looking to score some of his considerable wealth. The prostitute, he says, must've inflicted those bruises on herself—or had an accomplice do it for her.

Is it possible the guy could be telling the truth? At first Mick thinks so—particularly as evidence begins to corroborate his story. And yet, Louis doesn't appear to be telling the whole truth either. Mick uncovers inconsistencies, half-truths, bizarre connections. He begins to wonder, Is he assisting an innocent man? Or is he helping a serial killer go free?

Positive Elements

Mick's methods are as murky as a Louisiana swamp, as gray as the London sky. And he does a whole lot of things wrong. But in his own muddled way, he tries to take the high road. Mick, after all, does what good lawyers should do: He defends his clients with both vigor and creativity. Our judicial system hangs on the idea of due process and effective representation. Cops and district attorneys sometimes loathe Mick as he wheels and deals for lower bonds and shorter jail stints, believing he's helping societal scum get back on the streets. But by law, a defense attorney is supposed to defend his client, innocent or guilty. So the argument can be made that Mick's just doing his job, and without folks who do their job, our sometimes flawed system might break down entirely.

It turns out that Mick's greatest fear isn't actually defending an innocent man. He fears "evil. Pure evil." And he's increasingly convinced that if he does his job like he should, he'll be responsible for allowing it back on the street. During the course of The Lincoln Lawyer, Mick learns that one of his previous clients, a man who hired him years before, was innocent. But because the man was accused of murder and had no defendable case, Mick convinced him to cop a plea and avoid the death penalty—forcing him to admit to a crime he didn't do. So Mick makes a penitent trip to California's San Quentin prison, formulating a plan to clear the man's name.

"Please," he says. "I'm trying to make this right."

Mick and his ex-wife, Maggie, have a daughter that both of them dearly love. "At least we did one thing right, huh?" Mick tells Maggie as he holds his sleeping daughter in his arms.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

As mentioned, the victim in this case is a high-end prostitute: We see her wear provocative clothes and hear a great deal about her profession. Descriptive testimony is given by a man who hired her. And as part of a related crime, characters talk about condoms and semen.

Mick and Maggie still have feelings for one another. And after meeting in a bar, the two go back to her place and apparently have sex. (We see them kiss passionately and grab at one another as they disrobe—down to her bra and panties.) The next morning they find themselves in bed with their young daughter sleeping snugly between them. Maggie forces Mick to leave, telling him that their daughter can't wake up with them still in such an intimate environment.

A homosexual couple is involved in Louis' case. (He categorizes their relationship with an offensive slur.) There's a suggestion that Frank, Mick's investigator, is gay. One of Mick's clients is a prostitute, and she jokes about turning tricks for the PTA.

Women wear lingerie and skimpy bikinis. Crude references are made to the male anatomy.

Violent Content

The first time we see Reggie, the prostitute, it's in photographs showing the extent of her facial injuries. Her face is so battered and bloodied that when we meet her after she's recovered, she barely looks like the same person. In flashback, we're shown her version of events—how her assailant broke into her apartment, assaulted her with a knife and beat her severely before she managed to hit the guy over the head with a vodka bottle. The man told her he planned to rape her, kill her and rape her again.

Louis' version of events is less extreme: He walked through the door and was hit with something. When he woke up, he found blood smeared all over his sweater and hand.

A bloody knife shows up in police photos. We hear about another murder, bits of which are shown in flashback and the aftermath of which is documented in explicit photographs. A character is fatally shot in the head and chest. (Police say the victim's dog was shot, too.) Another is killed by a bullet to the gut. Still another is shot in the shoulder. A man is severely beaten by a motorcycle gang. (We see bats and other blunt instruments rain down on the fellow.) Someone smashes a car window.

Veiled threats are made concerning women and children. In court, mention is made of the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl. Several people discuss lethal injection.

Crude or Profane Language

Three f-words and about 20 s-words. The words "a‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "h‑‑‑" and "fag" all get exercised. Characters misuse God's name a half-dozen times (often pairing it with "d‑‑n"). Jesus' name is abused three times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Though he never shows up to work drunk, Mick exhibits a serious disregard for his health when it comes to alcohol. He drinks beer, wine and whiskey socially, and when he's alone he chugs hard liquor. Rarely does he go anywhere without a small bottle of something. It almost goes without saying that he regularly drinks to excess. And it appears that he drives home drunk.

Maggie's forced to babysit Mick after his binges, driving him home on one occasion, almost literally dragging him into a house on another. She drinks, too, for the record. And she might've been tipsy the night that she and Mick go to bed together. Others drink at bars as well.

This alcohol abuse isn't shown without at least some consequence. Mick's clearly hung over at times, and one morning he "sips" tablets out of an aspirin bottle much like he was sipping booze the night before. But it never seems to impair his ability in court, and the film casts no moral aspersions on his behavior.

As for drugs, there's talk of "farmers," getting high, driving under the influence and getting caught with "50 kilos." A drug-addicted prostitute says one of her clients paid her in cocaine—stuff she still has on her when she picks up another guy, who turns out to be an undercover officer.

A few characters smoke cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin' hard enough. That's what sports fans say when excusing their favorite spitball pitcher or flopping point guard. Defenders call such antics "gamesmanship," and you might call Mick a gamesman—working favors and twisting rules to do what's "best" for his clients. He doesn't as much break the law (in the courtroom, at least) as he creatively bends it.

Mick has his driver, Earl, buy an unmarked gun off the streets, which Mick uses to threaten someone. He uses subterfuge to impress a potential client, "hiring" a fake newsman to record something, then "bribing" said newsman to give him the footage he just taped. He sneaks into a treatment facility under false pretenses, and it appears that he even asks a bunch of ruffians to beat up someone for him. "The hospital, not the morgue," he says, as the assailants continue their beating. He lies to a judge and overcharges clients.

Others lie, cheat, steal, break into houses and fabricate evidence.


"If guilty people have rights, what about innocent people?" Louis says on the stand. "I am innocent!"

Unless, of course, he's not.

The Lincoln Lawyer begins as a taut legal thriller and ends as a misguided mess. But even if everything had been tied up with a neat, coherent bow, the film would be no less problematic—not with all the violence and drinking and lying and cheating and generally bad behavior we must sit through first.

Let me put it this way: If The Lincoln Lawyer was hauled into court and I was asked to sit in the jury box, my guilty/not guilty ballot would be obvious. And I'd have a strong recommendation for sentencing, too.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range





Matthew McConaughey as Mick Haller; Marisa Tomei as Maggie McPherson; Ryan Phillippe as Louis Roulet; William H. Macy as Frank Levin; Josh Lucas as Ted Minton; Laurence Mason as Earl


Brad Furman ( )





Record Label



In Theaters

March 18, 2011

On Video

July 12, 2011

Year Published



Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!