The Lincoln Lawyer Ultra HD Review

Ralph Potts reviews this legal thriller that follows low-rent defense attorney Mickey Haller who barely keeps his head above water, representing low-life clients and working out of the back of his classic Lincoln Town Car. When he lands the case of a lifetime, to defend a rich playboy, who stands accused of rape and attempted murder, Mickey jumps in with both feet, only to learn that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 119 minutes
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, Josh Lucas, John Leguizamo, William H. Macy, Frances Fisher, Michael Pena, Bryan Cranston, Bob Gunton
Directed by: Brad Furman
Music by: Cliff Martinez
Written by: John Romano
Region Code: A

Release Date: August 15, 2017

“There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”

My Take:

Mickey Haller is L.A.’s top criminal defense lawyer – a fast-living, freewheeling pro who does business out of the back seat of his classic Lincoln Town Car. He knows all the ins and outs of the legal system and how to exploit them to his clients’ advantage. But after agreeing to defend a wealthy young man accused of rape and murder, Mickey suddenly finds himself embroiled in a deadly game of violence, vengeance, and deception that threatens to not only end his career, but also his life.

I saw The Lincoln Lawyer back when it was first released on home video. Thematically speaking it didn’t and doesn’t offer anything original, but contains all the right ingredients to make for a fast paced, and fairly entertaining legal thriller. Based on novel by Michael Connelly, it builds a solid foundation from which its characters emerge, delivering a narrative formula that is a bit shaky, but manages to deliver the type of unfolding elements that when looked at as a total, strike the proper chords.

The cast is filled with talent, beginning with a pitch perfect turn from McConaughey, followed by strong supporting performances from Phillippe, Tomei, Pena, and Fisher. John Leguizamo, Bryan Cranston and Josh Lucas didn’t have role with enough meat on them for them to be effective, but I enjoyed watching them nonetheless. Oddly enough I found that I enjoyed revisiting The Lincoln Lawyer quite a bit, probably more than when I originally saw it. In that light, it has found a place in my video library.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some violence, sexual content, and language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 74
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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Dolby Atmos Rating: 78
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

The Lincoln Lawyer comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 63 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD The Lincoln Lawyer was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD either sourced from 2K or 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.

In looking at The Lincoln Lawyer, I found its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray was reminiscent of my impressions of several recent catalog releases on UHD. It’s a contemporary film that adheres to sepia tones and color grading, which ultimately leaves some sequences appearing less visually engaging than others. In looking at the opening moments the first thing that struck me was that there wasn’t an appreciable uptick in sharpness and detail compared to the Blu-ray. Upon closer inspection, I could make out finer details in facial features and clothing but this predominantly came during close ups. On occasion, discernible improvements in depth could be seen in wide-angle shots such as those taking place on the streets of Los Angeles, or on the soccer field during Mick’s daughter’s game, but in most respects I saw little difference in apparent resolution when checking select scenes from the UHD and Blu-ray.

I also found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark. The image didn’t make any visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements. In general, the image appeared to be middle of the road, when compared to the better Ultra HD presentations I have seen. I wouldn’t describe it as poor quality, but there is little about this Ultra HD presentation that left an impression on me.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the less aggressive variety, but considering the source material that’s not a complete surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above is limited to ambient extension. This is done to good effect when implemented. The music score is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While this mix doesn’t make constant use of discretely placed audio objects, I found that it complimented the soundtrack in support of the film’s thematic tone.

Bonus Features:

  • The Lincoln Lawyer Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • The Lincoln Lawyer Blu-ray
  • “Making the Case: Creating The Lincoln Lawyer” Featurette
  • “At Home on the Road” Featurette with Michael Connelly
  • “One On One” Featurette with Matthew McConaughey and Michael Connelly
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer isn’t a film that comes to mind when thinking about classic Hollywood legal drama/thriller, but it’s got a place among the formulaic and entertaining films, that are fun to revisit from time to time. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring fair, but unremarkable Ultra HD image quality, complimentary Dolby Atmos surround sound, and a middling supplemental package that looks behind the scenes. Depending on how big a fan you are The Lincoln Lawyer may or may not be worth the upgrade to Ultra HD Blu-ray. Perhaps a rental is a good place to start.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package