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11 Movies Similar to Lincoln Lawyer (the Movie)

11 Movies Similar to Lincoln Lawyer (the Movie)
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My favorite 3 movies similar to Lincoln Lawyer are:

1. Just Cause (1995)

2. Primal Fear (1996)

3. High Crimes (2002)                    

Based on Michael Connelly‘s 2005 bestselling novel of the same name, The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American legal thriller film. The screenplay was written by John Romano. It has   Matthew McConaughey in the lead role of the titular lawyer, Mickey Haller, an unconventional, idealistic lawyer who operates his law practice from the back of his chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town car.

Related: 23 TV Shows Similar to The Lincoln Lawyer (TV Show)

Brief plot, Director, and Actors

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) is about a defense attorney, Mickey Haller who is hired by a wealthy realtor, Mary Windsor to defend her son and heir, Louis Roulet accused of murdering a prostitute.

Haller takes the case and is later shocked to find out that his present client, could have also been responsible for the murder of yet another woman some years before-a murder for which his then client, Jesus Martinez had involuntarily confessed to avoid the death penalty.

Together with his detective friend, Frank Levin, Haller sets out to prove Martinez’s innocence by finding evidence against Roulet, the real killer. The result is a whole lot of thrilling drama, intrigue, and action.

Directed by Brad Furman, starring Matthew McConaughey (Haller) Ryan Phillippe (Roulet), Marisa Tomei (Margaret McPherson), William H. Macy, (Frank Levin), Frances Fisher, (Mary Windsor), and Michael Peña (Jesus Martinez)

Related: The Lincoln Lawyer TV Show Cast

1. Just Cause (1995)

Just Cause

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

In this tale of lies and revenge, Bobby Earl a convicted rapist and murderer has for the past eight years been awaiting the electric chair for the murder of Joanie Shriver. Eight years after the crime, with the help of his grandmother, he solicits the help of Paul Armstrong, a liberal law professor, to help prove his innocence.

With Earl and also electric chair destined Blair Sullivan’s help and “guidance”, Armstrong quickly uncovers some overlooked evidence to present to the local police, resulting in Bobby’s retrial and acquittal. However, just when Armstrong thinks it all over, it turns out it is just beginning, as it turns out Bobby Earl and Blair Sullivan have been working together to each revenge for past hurts.

Both movies are crime and legal thrillers about liberal defense lawyers who initially wrongfully believe in the innocence of their clients, only to later realize their deadly guilt. In addition, the two protagonists also have side-kick detectives working with them to bring about justice. Lastly, the erstwhile defendants end up revealing sociopathic behavior and becoming their lawyers’ antagonists.

Directed by Arne Glimcher, the movie stars Sean Connery (Paul Armstrong), Laurence Fishburne (Detective Tanny Brown), Kate Capshaw (Laurie Prentiss Armstrong), Blair Underwood (Bobby Earl Ferguson), Ed Harris (Blair Sullivan)

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

The result of a $27million budget,  Just Cause was released on February 17, 1995, it went on to gross $36.8 million in the United States and Canada and $63 million worldwide.

2. Primal Fear (1996)

Primal Fear

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

In this thrilling crime mystery drama, an arrogant, high-powered Chicago defense attorney, Martin Vail takes on the case of a seemingly poor altar boy, Aaron Stampler found running away from the scene of the gruesome murder of Archbishop Rushman. The case gets a lot more complex when the accused reveals that there may or may not have been a third person in the room-as it later turns out, his alter ego, Roy.

The intensity builds when it is discovered Rushman had been sexually abusing Stampler and that the latter is actually not a schizophrenic sociopath, but simply a vengeful sociopathic cold-blooded killer.

This film is similar to The Lincoln Lawyer in that, it also involves a cover-up-this time of sexual abuse. Initially, both lawyers believe in their client’s innocence. That is until both evidence and eye-witness accounts prove otherwise.

In the case of Chapman, Roulet, and Stampler, the erstwhile defendants end up revealing sociopathic behavior and becoming their lawyers’ antagonists.

The movie was directed by Gregory Hoblit. It stars Richard Gere (Martin Vail), Edward Norton (Aaron Stampler / Roy), Laura Linney (Janet Venable), John Mahoney (Shaughnessy), Tony Plana (Martinez), Stanley Anderson (Rushman), Maura Tierney (Naomi), Jon Seda (Alex).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

The film received positive reviews, with Norton’s breakthrough performance earning critical acclaim. Norton was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.

The movie had a production budget of $ 30 million and grossed $102.6million at the Box Office.

 3. High Crimes (2002)

High Crimes (2002)

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

In this American legal thriller, a female attorney, Claire Kubic learns that her husband, Tom (aka Ronald Chapman) is really a marine operative who has been AWOL for over a decade and accused of murdering fifteen civilians in El Salvador.

Believing her husband when he tells her that he’s being framed as part of a U.S. Military cover-up, she decides to defend him in a military court when he is assigned an inexperienced young attorney, Terrence Embry. During the trial, Claire and her aide Charlie Grimes successfully uncover proof there had indeed been a cover-up and use it to blackmail the military’s top brass into dropping the case.

However, things get deathly interesting when a surviving El Salvadorian victim positively identifies Tom/Ron as having taken part in the massacre. This film is similar to The Lincoln Lawyer in that, they both involve cover-ups. Initially, both lawyers believe in their client’s innocence. That is until both evidence and eye-witness accounts prove otherwise.

Directed by  Carl Franklin, starring Ashley Judd (Claire Kubic) and Morgan Freeman (Charlie Grimes), Jim Caviezel (Tom Kubik/Ron Chapman), Adam Scott (First Lieutenant Terence Embry), Amanda Peet (Jackie Grimaldi), Bruce Davison (Brigadier General Bill Marks).

Production Cost, Worldwide Box Office Revenue, and Awards

The movie had a production budget of $42 million and grossed $63.8 million at the Box Office.

As for Awards, Morgan Freeman was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture but lost to Denzel Washington in John Q, the actor’s fourth consecutive win in this category.

4. Fracture (2007)

Fracture (BD) [Blu-ray]

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

In this psychological legal crime thriller, brilliant, wealthy, and meticulous aeronautical engineer, Ted Crawford shoots his unfaithful wife, Jennifer, and confesses to the crime. During his trial, Crawford forgoes his right to legal representation in favor of representing himself.

However, as the trial progresses, Crawford sets in motion as if by clockwork a series of calculated events that see his confession rendered inadmissibly. Suddenly, the seemingly open and shut case is not so after all as both the accused and the ambitious district attorney, Willy Beachum engage in a game of cat-and-mouse as both men try to battle and outwit each other over the technicalities of the law.

This film is similar to The Lincoln Lawyer in that, it too involves a cover-up by the perpetrator himself. Both perpetrators are wealthy and their attorneys have to do some investigation in a bid to set the actual victims free. The result of these lawyers is a battle of the wits, as they both try to bring the other down.

Yet another film directed by Gregory Hoblit, it stars Anthony Hopkins (Theodore “Ted” Crawford), Ryan Gosling (William “Willy” Beachum), David Strathairn (District Attorney Joe Lobruto), Rosamund Pike (Nikki Gardner), Embeth Davidtz (Jennifer Crawford), Billy Burke (Lt. Rob Nunally).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Fracture was nominated for two awards, a Teen Choice Award for Ryan Gosling in the “Choice Movie Actor” category, and a World Soundtrack Award for Mychael Danna in the “Film Composer of the Year” category.

The movie had a production budget of $ 10 million and grossed $92.million at the Worldwide Box Office.

5. The Trials of Cate McCall (2013)

Trials of Cate Mccall: Kate Beckinsale Nolte James

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Actors, and Director

In this paradoxical drama, alcoholic recovering Cate McCall is on probation and estranged from her family. To be reinstated to the bar and recover custody of her daughter, the hotshot lawyer, pro bono takes on the appeal of Lacey, a woman wrongfully convicted of murder. Aided by her assistant, she obsessively pursues the case until she has Lacey set free.

However, when she later discovers that Lacey was actually guilty, Cate not only returns to the bottle, she undertakes various illegal actions to ensure Lacy is reconvicted and sent back to prison. Similar to The Lincoln Lawyer, both lawyers are estranged from their families. Initially, both lawyers believe in their client’s innocence.

That is until both evidence and eye-witness accounts prove otherwise. Similarly, both lawyers resort to illegal actions and associations to ensure the conviction of their erstwhile defendants and see that justice is done.

Directed and written by Karen Moncrieff, the film stars Kate Beckinsale (Cate McCall), Nick Nolte (Bridges), Brad Greenquist (Dr. Ennis), and Anna Anisimova (Lacey).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

The Trials of Cate McCall’s total box office revenue from foreign markets was less than $250,000.

6. Jagged Edge (1985)

Jagged Edge (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] [1985]

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

Described as an  American neo-noir legal thriller, in it, a San Francisco heiress and socialite, Paige Forrester is brutally murdered in her remote beach house by a masked intruder. Her husband Jack is devastated by the crime but soon finds himself accused of her murder. He hires former high-profile female lawyer, Teddy Barnes to defend him.

She reluctantly accepts, as she hasn’t handled a criminal case for many years and has some history with the district attorney and her unscrupulous former boss, Thomas Krasny. As Barnes and Forrester prepare for the trial, some chemistry develops between them and Teddy soon finds herself dutifully defending the man she loves but cannot completely trust.

Akin to The Lincoln Lawyer, this movie’s victim is also a woman-although, not a prostitute. The accused is equally affluent and known to the victim. Both lawyers engage the services of detectives and are unsure of their client’s guilt or innocence.

Ultimately, in both movies, the erstwhile defendants end up revealing sociopathic behavior and becoming their lawyers’ antagonists.

Directed by the late Richard Marquand, the movie stars Maria Mayenzet (Paige Forrester), Glenn Close (Teddy Barnes), Jeff Bridges (Jack Forrester), Peter Coyote (Thomas Krasny), and Robert Loggia (Sam Ransom).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Jagged Edge received positive critical reviews. Loggia was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.

The movie was also a box office success. With an initial budget of $ 15 million, it went on to earn  $40.5million at U.S. box offices alone.

7. Deceiver  (1997)


Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Actors, and Director

The gruesome death and decapitation of a prostitute, Elizabeth brings suspicion on one of her clients, James Wayland, a brilliant, self-destructive, and epileptic heir to a textile fortune. Detectives Braxton and Kennesaw take Wayland in for questioning, thinking they can break him.

However, despite his troubles, Wayland is a master of manipulation, and during the interrogation, he begins to turn the tables on the investigators, forcing them to reveal their own sinister sides of unfaithfulness and gambling debts owed to Mook.

Both movies are ignited by the death of a prostitute. As with The Lincoln Lawyer, the accused are heirs to vast fortunes, are guilty of the crimes they are charged with and have sociopathic manipulative sinister sides.

Directed by Jonas Pate and Josh Pate, the film stars Tim Roth (James Walter Wayland), Chris Penn (Detective Phillip Braxton), Ellen Burstyn (“Mook”), Renée Zellweger (Elizabeth), Michael Rooker (Detective Edward Kennesaw).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Deceiver won Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay at the 1997 Stockholm Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at the 1998 Cognac Police Film Festival.

Produced by Mark Damon, Peter Glatzer, John Saviano, and Don Winston, the film reportedly only earned $572,433 at the Box Office.

8. And Justice For All (1979)

A cover photo of a movie called And justice for all.

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

In this 1979 thrilling legal comedy crime drama, an ethical Baltimore defense lawyer, Arthur Kirkland, a Baltimore defense attorney, is jailed for contempt of court charge after punching Judge Henry T over his refusal to hear Jeff McCullaugh’s case.

Stopped for a minor traffic offense, McCullaugh had then been mistaken for a killer of the same name and had already spent a year and a half in jail without being guilty of a crime. Already disgusted with rampant legal corruption, one day Kirkland is requested to defend Judge Fleming, who has been accused of brutally assaulting and raping a young woman.

Fleming blackmails Kirkland over an old violation of lawyer-client confidentiality, for which Kirkland will likely be disbarred if it is made public. When the legal system and those representing it continuously make deadly decisions, Kirkland finally snaps and finally vents his rage at the legal system’s abuse of the law by revealing Fleming’s guilt during the rape trial.

He is dragged out of the courtroom and left to ponder his dark future on the courthouse steps. Like The Lincoln Lawyer, this movie reveals how lawyers sometimes voluntarily or involuntarily defend clients they despise. In the cases of Vail and Kirkland, they ironically end up seeking the conviction of their clients at the risk of either their careers or family members.

Directed by Norman Jewison this movie stars Al Pacino (Arthur Kirkland). Jack Warden (Judge Francis Rayford),  John Forsythe (Judge Henry T. Fleming), and  Lee Strasberg  (Sam Kirkland).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Largely positively reviewed, the film earned an 82% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 33 reviews. It received two Academy Award nominations: Best Leading Actor (Pacino) and Best Original Screenplay (Curtin and Levinson).

Produced on a modest budget of $4 million,And Justice for All opened to critical acclaim and box office success. It grossed over $33.3 million in North America, making it the 24th highest-grossing film of 1979

9. Michael Clayton (The Truth Can Be Adjusted) 2007

A shot of Michael Clayton in a scene of movie.

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

In this thrilling legal drama, a prestigious New York City law firm brings in its ‘fixer’, Michael Clayton, to remedy the situation after one of its lawyers, Arthur Edens has a maniac episode while representing an agro-chemical company, U-North in a multi-million dollar class-action suit that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit involving some 468 deaths.

After Arthur’s apparent suicide, Clayton takes over from where Arthur left off and also soon discovers the coverup over the effects of toxic agrochemicals. He blackmails U-North’s legal counsel Karen to offer him $10 million for his silence. Karen reluctantly agrees. Michael reveals that he is wearing a listening device and that his brother Gene and other NYPD detectives are listening.

Karen and U-North’s CEO, Don are arrested, as Michael gets into a cab and rides away. Like most movies on this list, it is another classic case of good triumphing over evil. This 2007 offering is similar to The Lincoln Lawyer in that both attorneys have issues with family members.

They are both called in to defend clients that they eventually discover to be guilty and gather evidence to ensure their conviction and that justice is done. However, this is not before their erstwhile clients make attempts at taking their lives.

Directed by Tony Gilroy in his directorial debut, the movie stars George Clooney,(Michael Clayton), Tom Wilkinson (Arthur Edens), Tilda Swinton (Karen Crowder), Sydney Pollack (Marty Bach), and Ken Howard (Don Jeffries).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Praised for its direction, performances, and screenplay; Swinton’s performance was particularly lauded. Michael Clayton was nominated for seven Academy AwardsBest PictureBest Director, Best Original Score, Best Original ScreenplayBest Actor for Clooney, Best Supporting Actor for Wilkinson, and Best Supporting Actress for Swinton, which she won.

Produced at a total cost of $21.5million, and released on October 5, 2007, the film grossed $93 million worldwide. 

10. The Judge (2014)

A concept photo cover of The Judge movie.

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Actors, and Director

In this drama, a successful Chicago lawyer, Hank Palmer returns to his hometown of Carlinville, Indiana for his mother’s funeral. After the funeral, he discovers that his estranged father, the town’s judge, is suspected of second-degree murder in a hit-and-run accident of Mark Blackwell, a recently released ex-convict known to the judge.

When hired defense counsel CP Kennedy proves ineffective, Hank takes over as lead defense counsel. Judge proves a difficult client and is eventually convicted on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years. However, he is released four months later on compassionate grounds.

This allows Judge to reconcile with Hank and peacefully die, paving way for Hank to possibly become the next judge. The movies are similar in that the lawyers involved are both estranged from their wives and daughters. Their clients are affluent and difficult to defend because of personality flaws and the fact that they are both guilty.

As a result, both clients end up in prison, or worse still, dead.

Directed by David Dobkin, this movie stars Robert Downey Jr. (Henry “Hank” Palmer), Robert Duvall (Judge Joseph Palmer), Vera Farmiga (Samantha “Sam” Powell), Vincent D’Onofrio (Glen Palmer), Jeremy Strong (Dale Palmer), Dax Shepard (C.P. Kennedy) and Billy Bob Thornton (Dwight Dickham)

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Duvall received multiple award nominations for his performance as Judge Joseph Palmer. These included the Academy AwardGolden Globe AwardScreen Actors Guild Award, and Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor. Thomas Newman also received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Original Score.

11. The Advocate (2013)

The Advocate concept photo for the cover.

Brief Plot Overview, Similarity, Director and Actors

A grieving defense attorney, Ray Shekar with a spotless acquittal record becomes involved in a twisted game of who-done-it when he takes on the case of a beautiful socialite Allyson Daugherty (Kristina Klebe) accused of murdering her husband. Already mired in the clutches of criminal law despite his repeated efforts to leave, Ray’s ambition and curiosity prompt him to sign on as Allyson’s defense counsel.

For him, it is also the only way of uncovering whether she is guilty or innocent. However, he has an adversary in the form of a persistent police detective, Detective Perkins who begins to suspect that there is a secret behind Ray’s success and sees the Daugherty case as an opportunity to settle an old score.

Both are legal thrillers about the protagonist attorneys’ quest for absolute justice. Their clients are both socialites accused of murdering a member of the opposite sex. Both lawyers are masters at their craft.

Directed by Tamas Harangi, the film stars Sachin Mehta (Ray Shekar), Kristina Klebe (Allyson Daugherty), Michael Raynor (Det. Perkins), Steffinnie Phrommany (Julia), and Mark Cardiff (William).

Awards won, Production Cost, and Worldwide Box Office Revenue

Produced by Matthew Temple, Sachin Mehta, and Tamas Harangi, nothing is known about The Advocate’s accolades-if any. Let alone production costs and box office revenue.