By Marc S. Sanders

Jurassic Park III.  What’s to say?  Well not much.  The third film in the dino franchise plays like an extension of the first two.  Sam Neill is brought back as paleontologist, Dr. Alan Grant.  Sadly, the rest of the cast is terrible.  Yet, the dinosaurs remain marvelous.

Following an opening sequence parasailing adventure gone wrong, an enormously wealthy couple, the Kirbys (William H Macy, Tea Leoni), recruit Dr. Grant and his apprentice Billy (Alessandro Nivola) for a vacation excursion to the restricted island of Ilsa Sorna as a twentieth anniversary celebration for them to see the exotic, resurrected animals.  Grant and Billy are to be their tour guides.  The offer is too good for the doctor to refuse and off they go. Once on the island, the mayhem we’ve all grown accustomed to commences.

The intelligence of the Jurassic films only comes from one source, and that is the special effects makers of these animals.  The attention to detail in skin texture, eye movement, teeth, roars, claws, limbs and facial expressions are sensational.  You truly believe these are actual living creatures.  These wizards reinvent themselves with a new dinosaur known as the Spinosaurus.  Bigger than a T-Rex and at least as fast as the velociraptors.  This is a BEAST!!!!!! 

Director Joe Johnston takes the director chair from Steven Spielberg. While the magic is lacking this time around in some of the thrills and scares, at least the new director has some fun with a couple of gags.  A cell phone (the new novel household item at the time of this film’s release) plays for some laughs, especially when the Spinosaurus appears on the scene.  There’s also a magnificent sequence in the Pteranodon bird cage.  Love the Pteranodons.  Finally, we get to see the winged dinosaurs in action as they lift the various members of the cast into the air with their claws and snap their beaks for a couple of nips.  There’s a great close up of one Pteranodon that is one for the ages.  He turns his sinister head over his shoulder towards the camera with a “Wanna fuck with me?” expression.  It’s like it was modeled off of Robert DeNiro.  Great stuff.

Raptors are back, and while we may have seen all of this before, I don’t get tired of it.  It’s like seeing a thrilling car chase for the fiftieth time.  As long I’m thrilled, I guess I’m satisfied.  Nevertheless, being that this is the third chapter, I was hoping for something more with some insight in the film.

My colleague, Miguel Rodriguez, notes that this installment as well as the prior one serves merely as amusement park fun rides.  All true.  I think I’ve backed that up here.  However, there are so many unexplored elements within the franchise originally conceived by novelist Michael Crichton.  For example, there’s the secret scientific research and development company known as InGen – the party responsible for discovering how to resurrect dinosaurs in the modern age.  Three movies in, and we’ve barely gotten to know InGen.  I think it’s time we do.  There’s gotta be a CEO at the top who is twirling his mustache amid his or her dominance.  That would really play for some good storytelling.  At best, in all three films to this point, we just get the InGen logo printed on the side of some motorized vehicles and laboratory doors. 

Much like the Alien franchise (with Weyland-Yutani), these puppet masters are never fully realized.  One of the three (THREE????) co-writers of Jurassic Park III is director/writer Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt).  With a genius mind like that couldn’t we have been treated to something that had more depth than just jaws, beaks, teeth, claws and roars?  What we are left with is an annoying William H Macy (one of his worst career roles) and an even worse Tea Leoni (feels like I’m watching Chrissy from Three’s Company) as the Kirbys.  They quickly provide a twist to their purpose in the movie.  It’s a dumb twist.  It’s hard to believe a doctorate mind like Alan Grant is supposed to have never seen this unexpected turn of events coming and it takes up space where the writers could have spent time bringing more back story to the Jurassic Park universe.  Crichton lined it all up!  Why didn’t the filmmakers pounce on these golden ideas?

That’s all there is to say.  Jurassic Park III is a popcorn movie.  Nothing else.  It’s only just a somewhat satisfying popcorn movie, though.  You miss the Spielberg touch, and you wish for just a little more dimension.  You don’t get it, but you do get the “don’t fuck with me” attitude of a nasty looking Pteranodon.  That alone is worth ninety minutes of your time.


By Marc S. Sanders

In A Civil Action, writer/director Steve Zaillian allows John Travolta to demonstrate the workings of a remorseless ambulance chasing lawyer with a pride for the finest in men’s wear and the title of one of the most eligible bachelors in Boston, Massachusetts.  Then, all of that crumbles apart when a self-effacing acknowledgment breaks through. 

Travolta portrays real-life attorney Jan Schlictmann, who heads a small personal injury law practice with three partners (Tony Shalhoub, William H Macy and Zeljko Ivanec).  They go after the cases that promise large settlements from hospitals, insurance companies and multi-million-dollar corporations.  The best cases are where the mid-30’s breadwinning male of the household has suffered irreparable damages.  The victim is not deceased, but permanently handicapped, unable to work and provide for his family.  A dead victim is not as theatrically attractive.   Better to put the poor soul in the wheelchair on stage for the winning cash settlement. 

When Jan is boxed into a corner to meet with the residents of a small New England town, he dismisses their case as an unwinnable nuisance.  The townsfolk believe that their children have taken ill, with some not surviving, due to locally contaminated drinking water.  Kathleen Quinlan is one mother who wants an apology and explanation from whoever is responsible.  An apology holds no tangible value for Jan though, until he observes who the primary suspects are likely to be; two large corporations that own well known brands like Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Tropicana Orange Juice, and Samonsite Luggage.  Now the pockets to collect from could go on forever, and Jan does not realize until it’s too late how much of a personal gamble he is undertaking with himself and his partners in tow.

A Civil Action has always left me thinking on so many different levels since I first saw it in theaters.  The value of a life, especially a child’s life, is not very significant when corporate America profits on dollar bills.  The priority of environmental protection and its most precious resource, water, is just as minimal, maybe more.  Zaillian uncovered a fantastic character arc from a very frighteningly sad and true story.   Jan Schlictmann proudly dons an appearance of false care for victims of botched surgeries and car accidents to advance his ego and materialistic nature.  However, then he found a conscience, as he realized that money doesn’t win cases for his clients.  Instead, the acceptance of responsibility triumphs.  That surrendering admittance, though, is not expected to come from these companies.  Not when the burden of proof only comes from a measly platoon of four small town attorneys, who could never bear the expenses of proving such gross negligence and wrong doing.  This is a David & Goliath confrontation. 

Beyond a cast of recognizable faces, there are scenes in this film that just stay with you.  Most especially for me is the unforgiving nature of Quinlan’s suffering maternal character.  She no longer has any care in the world for whatever sacrifices are made by the lawyers to reveal the truth of what happened.  I didn’t think that was fair of her, frankly.  Zaillian demonstrates what these four guys endure as the case prolongs itself.  However, people are unfair.  Sometimes they are unreasonable because they have been pushed down to a bottom they’ll never climb up from.  This movie and the circumstances at play are not here to please me and make me feel good with a tidy ending wrapped in a bow, however.  The script is brutally honest in its characterizations.

What’s also disturbing about this case is simply water.  Countless times, Steve Zaillian gets close up shots of glasses and pitchers of clear, crisp water.  Children are drinking water.  Water is spilled on tables.  Jan’s enemies in trial will indulge in a refreshing gulp from a glass as they finish a scene with him.  The movie reminds you time and again that water is the silent killer.

Robert Duvall is the shining talent on the other side of the aisle from Travolta as an attorney in a fifty-dollar suit with a beat up fifty-dollar briefcase representing one of the large companies that is being sued.  Duvall makes his shark of an attorney appear effortless.  He falls asleep in court.  He tucks away in a corner to listen to the Red Sox play on his transistor radio.  Yet, he’s wise enough to know how to derail an opposing counsel’s case with just his quiet, unspoken presence at the table.  He isn’t even so much a villain or an antagonist as he allows the hero of the film ample opportunity to settle rather than charge on.  His urgencies don’t work however because Jan has changed.  Where he once saw money, he now sees something much more valuable that is beyond any variance of negotiation.  The scenes shared between the handsome, fit and well-dressed John Travolta against the older, short, hunched yet astute Robert Duvall play beautifully here.  There is top notch stage performance work happening here.

It amazes me that A Civil Action is not available on Blu Ray or 4K.  Look at this cast and its direction.  It’s magnificent.  Zaillian’s film moves with a fast pace of easy-to-follow courtroom theatrics.  Additional performances from Sydney Pollack, James Gandolfini, Dan Hedaya, and John Lithgow are so engrossing.  William H Macy is very good too, as the desperate man trying to keep Jan’s cause afloat.  Why is this film not being granted the accessibility it deserves?  I actually had to pay for a streaming rental watch.  No matter, it was worth it.  For like Jan Schlictmann, money is not the most important commodity known to man.  Morality and decency will stretch further than money that’s been spent, never to be replenished.  A noble and most human thing you can do is to experience Steve Zaillian’s film, A Civil Action. Then you will understand what an unjust world any one of us could fall victim to.  Then maybe you will understand the loss a loving mother endures far outweighs any financial liability from a grocery food company.


By Marc S. Sanders

In a game of chess, if your queen is taken, it might mean a permanent loss of what was thought to be a god given talent. Seven year old Joshua Waitzkin does not realize that, and thus it allowed him to become the greatest chess champion in the country.

Josh (Max Pomeranc) is not a chess player. Josh is a boy who plays chess, as well as baseball. He also builds Legos, plays Clue and does just about anything else including fishing with his dad. He knows this about himself. The problem is the adults in his life only see chess, and nothing else. Writer/Director Steve Zaillian assembles a film that turns the world’s most historic board game into a means of recognizing self-worth and the limits of talent with its correlation to identity.

Josh gains influence from a cutthroat formal chess instructor named Bruce (Ben Kingsley) who doesn’t just teach chess but also offers guidance in manners of contempt and dislike for your opponent. It helps that he recognizes Josh’s talent but is Bruce coaching with the best intentions?

Contrary to Bruce is a city park speed player named Vinnie (Laurence Fishburne) who reminds Josh to always play on offense. Play the board, not the opponent. Josh’s father (Joe Mantegna) only sees victory through beautiful trophies. When Josh loses interest in champion accomplishment, his father only sees nothing but failure. His mother (Joan Allen) sees the boy losing his boyhood.

These are all good people and necessary for Josh. The conflict lies in the clash of their different ideals. I love that. There isn’t a villain here. There’s a debate.

Zaillain devotes time to footage of renowned champion Bobby Fischer who eventually went into seclusion probably due to the lack of any worthy challenger beyond himself. The worry of the film lies in whether Josh will end up with the same sad fate of Fischer. Everyone is on the hunt for the next Bobby Fischer. Does everyone want to be the cruel, cold and isolated Bobby Fischer, though; a man with talent yet also hates his talent?

Zallian films very effectively in a majority of close ups, hardly showing the surroundings of the settings. He wants his camera to maintain a tunnel vision to only allow Josh, and those that discover and observe him, per se, to see what’s directly in front of him. Nothing else. Nothing but the chess pieces on a board and how many moves until check mate arrives are all that matters.

The film edits beautifully in sound as the speed play pounds the chess pieces in an aggressive music accompaniment. Pieces are KNOCKED onto the board, and when a queen is taken it is SLAMMED on to the table. A person has ultimately been disabled and weakened. When check mate eventually comes, the king piece weakly drops over.

Josh is not proud of his ability to conquer. He’s proud of his ability to play.


By Marc S. Sanders

Boogie Nights was director Paul Thomas Anderson’s second feature following a very different and very quiet film debut with the gambling addiction piece Hard Eight.

Heck, it’s fair to say all of Paul’s films are very different; here is the seediness of porn while later in his career he will focus on the ruthlessness of a wealthy and angry oil man and then an obsessed dressmaker devoid of care for the models who parade his accomplishments. (See There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread.). Paul was definitely striving for recognition with his familial depiction of life in the California pornographic film industry.

What I’ve always liked about Boogie Nights was Anderson’s intent to show the naive innocence of this large cast of characters. Filming blatantly oblivious awful porn scenarios can still be regarded as very proud efforts by its talent.

The main character is Eddie Adams (aka the amazing Dirk Diggler) played with macho pathos by Mark Wahlberg. It’ll likely be the best role of Wahlberg’s entire career. Dirk is proud of his natural talent in front of the camera. He’s even more proud of what God has gifted him. Don Cheadle is another porn star named Buck. He’s also proud of his accomplishments and simply a kind fellow looking to make country cowboy a trendy look for a black man while selling the “Hi-est Fidelity” in stereo equipment on the side. Julianne Moore is Amber Waves, the maternal porn mom of the bunch; very affectionate, very comforting and very reassuring when Dirk shoots his first porn scene. The one individual who really holds all of these misfits together is Burt Reynolds as Jack Horner, the porn film director. He’s the paternal one who believes in his artistic merits of shooting porn but with a story, and only with the integrity of film, and never the cheapness of videotape. So, Jack is like any artist who insists on a certain type of canvas. It might be smut, but he has principles, and he has pride.

Anderson is wise in how he divides up the developments. The film begins in the late 1970s during evening night life and decadence and everything seems fine and innocent and right despite the endless debauchery of reckless sex and drug use on a Disco backdrop. Wahlberg’s character is welcomed lovingly into this world, and nothing appears wrong. It all seems to stay that way for Dirk until New Year’s Eve, 1979. The 80s begin with a gunshot and then Anderson’s cast must pay for the revelry of their sins. A great moment presented on this night is where Amber Waves introduces Dirk to cocaine. Dirk has been thriving, making money, developing a following and now it is jeopardized in one moment thanks to his naivety. Julianne Moore is superb in this particular scene against Wahlberg. She’s the mentor with the peer pressure to pass on her high and keep it running.

Drug addiction, violence, sexual abuse and even changes in pop culture lead to hard times for these likable people.

It’s a hard life. It’s a complicated life. Yet it’s not all necessarily illegal. Morally, it might appear wrong, but it’s a life nonetheless.

Anderson was wise to use (at the time, relatively new) filming techniques of Martin Scorsese with rocking period music and fast edits along with savored moments of great steady cam work. One long cut especially works when the film first begins on the streets of Reseda and on into a crowded night club. This industry doesn’t sleep. So, neither will the camera that follows it. The music must also be celebrated. I do not listen to Night Ranger’s Sister Christian without thinking of firecrackers and a dangerously drug addled Alfred Molina playing Russian roulette. Though I know which came first, I also wonder if Three Dog Night’s Momma Told Me Not To Come and Spill The Wine by Eric Burton & War was written to enhance the celebratory introduction for Dirk when he attends his first party at Jack’s house. It’s another great steady cam moment from a driveway, followed by steps in and out of Jack’s house to simply a bikinied girl’s dive in the swimming pool. As a viewer I was absorbed in the California haze. Superior camera work here.

The cast of unknowns at the time were a blessing to this film. Anderson writes each person with care and attention and dimension. They have lives outside of this world like Amber’s child that we never get to meet, thanks in part to her lifestyle. She might be maternal but that doesn’t make her a good mother. Julianne Moore should have won the Oscar she was nominated for. Burt Reynolds’ own legacy seems to carry his role. His distinguished silver hair and well trimmed beard earn him the respect of every cast member and he performs with a quiet grace of knowledge, and insight, even if he will inevitably be wrong with how things turn out. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the dumb kid Scotty insecure and unsure of his homosexual attraction to Dirk. It’s not easy to play a dumb character when you are not doing it for laughs. Hoffman makes a huge impact with little dialogue but Anderson is wise enough to capitalize on him.

Boogie Nights offers one of the best cast of characters and assembled talents in any film ever made. An individual movie could be made about each of these people, and it’d be interesting and entertaining.

Try to avoid a blush and mock at the industry depicted because then you’ll see how another walk of life truly lives day to day. It might be porn. It might be smut. Yet, it’s still a thriving industry.


By Marc S. Sanders

David Mamet is one of the most renowned writers of the last fifty years.  The first film he directed was for his script, House Of Games, with his wife at the time, Lindsay Crouse, and Joe Mantegna.  It’s also important to point out that he recruited well known con artist and card trick player Ricky Jay to consult on the film and join the cast.  When you are constructing a film about the confidence game, a guy like Ricky Jay, who is widely known for his slight of hand and scam artistry, is important to ensure your story remains solid and airtight. (Note: seek out videos of Ricky performing eye popping card tricks and magic on You Tube.  He’ll make you believe that you’ve never seen a card trick before because not many come close to his mastery with a deck in hand.)

House Of Games plays like an instructional or “how to” video demonstrating how to be a successful con artist.  Crouse portrays a psychiatrist with a best-selling book titled “Driven” that focuses on obsessive behaviors.  One of her clients reveals that his compulsive gambling habits have put him $25,000 in debt with a card shark.  Crouse takes it upon herself to confront the card shark (Mantegna) on behalf of her frightened client.  Shortly thereafter, he’s got her acting as his wife to determine if the guy at the other end of a poker table is bluffing.  Then he’s introducing her to his con artist buddies, and she is becoming enamored, not only with him, but with the art of the con and the steal.  Her mundane life gives her the urge to see more.

The other Unpaid Critic, Miguel, recently reviewed this picture.  At the time of this writing, I have not read his review, but he forewarned me that the performances are stripped down to nothing.  Mantegna and Crouse are left bare to just delivering Mamet’s dialogue.  Miguel hadn’t liked this film the first time he saw it many years ago.  On my first viewing, this past week, I was engrossed.  However, I could foresee the ending as quickly as the film began.  I dunno.  Maybe it’s because I’ve seen several con artist films before like The Grifters and the granddaddy of them all, The Sting.  Films that focus on the best liars seem to always move towards a twist where even the viewer is scammed.  It’s fun to participate in the activity.

With House Of Games, the sequence of events move step by step.  Following the two characters’ introductions to each other, Mantegna is caught in the middle of doing another con but now he’s reluctantly forced to include Crouse in on the game.  This time it is seemingly much more complex and grander than the first time they worked together at the poker table.  It also gets all the more confusing when an unexpected murder is involved.  This con spells out a long night for the couple who are also falling for one another. 

Miguel is right.  The performances are most definitely stripped down and often the dialogue is wooden.  Crouse and Mantegna are deliberately flat.  I don’t even think they laugh or smile if I remember correctly.  It is likely because Mamet wants the viewers to follow along and pick up on how a successful con job is meticulous in its methods.  A con artist is not going to make waves with loud, angry monologues or passionate seductions and outrageous silliness.  What’s important is that everything that plays out seems convincing with no distractions that lead to doubt.  So, when the only African American in the cast (extras included) leaves a key on a hotel counter, you notice it.  It happened for a reason.  Later, when the characters come upon a BRIGHT RED Cadillac convertible, you are going to remember it.  A Swiss army knife with tropical artwork on the handle.  A gun metal briefcase with a large amount of cash.  A gun.  A murder.  Props and scenarios guide Mamet’s picture. Not the characters. 

Fortunately, the film remains very engaging.  As well, while I could figure out what was being played here during the entire course of the picture, as a viewer I had no choice but to feel proud of myself for uncovering the puzzles and riddles at play.  For me, watching House Of Games was like answering “Final Jeopardy” correctly when none of the contestants on screen had a clue. At least I was smiling by the end.


By Marc S. Sanders

Ernie Anderson was the cool voiceover for the ABC television network that would introduce upcoming programs for years. He was a staple of the television industry from the 1970s through the ‘90s. I promise that you or your parents know his sharp, recognizable tempo. So, it makes sense that his son Paul Thomas Anderson would center his multiple story crossover film Magnolia around the television industry, within a 10-block radius in the Hollywood Area. Magnolia presents the off-chance coincidences that somehow happen and the unusual phenomena that can occur when never expected.

Anderson’s three hour epic offers storylines centered around former and present day game show quiz kids (Jeremy Blackmon, William H Macy), the game show host stricken with cancer (Phillip Baker Hall), the drug addicted daughter he’s estranged from (Melora Walters), the dying game show producer (Jason Robards), the producer’s son who is a motivational speaker for men to sexually conquer women (Tom Cruise), and the producer’s gold digging wife (Julianne Moore).

Because the narrative of the film has a biblical theme specifically referencing Exodus 8:2, there are also two good natured guardian angels involved. John C Reilly as a sweet but clumsy police officer proud of his work, and a sentimental hospice nurse played beautifully with bedside sympathy by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Anderson’s film opens with three stories of random coincidence that resulted in the deaths of three different men. More than likely most people would say these tall tales of legend could only occur in a movie. Yet, the voiceover narrator , Ricky Jay, says they did not, and thus begins one specific day with torrential downpours of rain, where all of these random characters will come in contact with a personal experience of monumental impact that will change their individual lives forever. Oddly enough, all these people are somehow connected to one another and are within blocks of each other located near Magnolia Blvd in the Hollywood Hills.

Like Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson directs a film of very weighty emotions that thematically focuses on the sins of fathers that carried over to the futures of their children. The game show is titled “What Do Kids Know?” which likely symbolizes what they didn’t know while at the behest of their parents during their youth. What they know now about their fathers is a burden to bear in insecurities, drug abuse and outright cruelty for the opposite sex. Every character represents some aspect of this ongoing theme during Magnolia. It’s a lot, a whole of information, but fortunately it moves at a very swift pace with an energetic steady cam and dramatic notes of instrumental soundtracks.

Anderson consistently shows different references to Exodus 8:2 by either using the numbers in clocks or decks of cards or temperature readings of the weather or on marquee signs. It’s almost like a scavenger hunt when seeing the film on a multiple viewings.


“But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs.”

Sure. Most recognize the Bible verse as Moses’ decree to Pharaoh to release the Jews from Egypt. I like to think Anderson used Magnolia to release his beloved, but damaged, characters from their own sins or the sins of their fathers. Set them free even if it could be by means of confession, judgment, offering and begging for forgiveness, or journeying towards a personal salvation.

The smart device that Anderson uses is the angelic music of Aimee Mann. Often I talk about how I love when film characters would spontaneously dance. In Magnolia, the cast surprisingly breaks into song with Mann’s confessional number entitled “Wise Up.” It more or less summarizes each individual plight that all the various characters must endure. Magnolia is only an even better film because of Mann’s music.

Magnolia is a beautiful film that I draw many personal parallels from, especially having now lost both of my parents and being by my father’s bedside during his difficult final days of illness.

It is very touching, sometimes funny, and sometimes a difficult film to watch with a belief in random coincidence that is only stronger after watching it.

Like the film insists “we may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.” After Magnolia finishes, you won’t be through with Paul Thomas Anderson’s film. It’s a film that will stay with you.


By Marc S. Sanders

Michael Connolly authored a series of best seller legal thrillers featuring his famed character Mickey Haller. His most favored book of that series was adapted into a 2011 film called The Lincoln Lawyer with Matthew McConaughey in the role and directed by Brad Furman. I only wish more of Connolly’s books were adapted thereafter, because this movie is at least as good as the novel.

McConaughey is well cast as Haller, a defense attorney who operates out of his Lincoln Town Car working to get low level criminals off on technicalities or by easy settlements with the prosecution. His clients range from prostitutes accused of possession to notorious motorcycle gang members. When these clients can’t pay, Mickey wisely becomes resourceful with favors they can provide later on. One of his former clients drives the car while Mickey works in the back seat making calls out of his mobile office.

Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) has just been arrested for beating up a prostitute at knifepoint. Roulet is a spoiled, preppy thirty something who is protected by the vast wealth of his mother (Frances Fisher) and their successful real estate enterprise. So it’s surprising that Roulet turns to street lawyer Mickey to be his legal counsel. At the same time though, this is a big score in legal fees. So Mickey is enthusiastic to accept the case, and go to trial. Louis doesn’t want it any other way to prove and insist upon his innocence.

It wouldn’t be fair to reveal much more about The Lincoln Lawyer because it’s got a lot of welcome surprises and twists along the way. What I can reiterate is how good an actor Matthew McConaughey is as I’ve written before. He just performs with a relaxed and confident swagger about himself. Mickey Haller is written as a smart and very strategic attorney. He knows the ins and outs of the courtrooms. He not only uses his clients for additional help, but he also sidles up to the bailiffs so he gets his clients cut ahead of the line to quickly face a judge. McConaughey is really good at not glamorizing the intelligence of Mickey Haller, but rather the charming personality of the guy. The character doesn’t come off as having all the answers at his fingertips, even though he likely does. It makes the film that much more dynamic to see McConaughey’s personality ahead of a Sherlock Holmes or Perry Mason kind of lawyer who might telescope everything five steps ahead of what’s eventually going to happen.

The supporting cast of The Lincoln Lawyer is also magnificent with Marisa Tomei, Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Bob Gunton, Michael Pena, Trace Adkins, Josh Lucas and William H Macy. These are just great character actors. Everyone serves a purpose, even if it is just for a few moments.

Again, Mickey Haller is a great, modern day crusader. Like other literary characters such as Alex Cross and Jack Ryan, based on this film, I always hoped McConaughey followed up with at least one or two more additional films. I’d sure as hell be there to watch. Heck, the eventual Oscar winner went on to be a spokesman for Lincoln automobiles. So why couldn’t he have continued to carry the torch on the big screen?