One has a masculine sex symbol in its leading role…and so does the other one. One came out in Spring of 2011…and so did the other one. One kept me on the edge of my seat as it unveiled secret after secret. The other did the same. As far as excitement went, “Source Code” and “The Lincoln Lawyer” offered their fair share of thrills. 2011 hardly got any more exciting than these two.
“Source Code” took the sci-fi road…over and over and over again. An Air Force soldier, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, has a new mission. Find the man or woman who placed a bomb on a busy Chicago commuter train. But it’s not that simple. New technology allows for him to be on the train 8 minutes before the time the bomb detonates. And when he fails, he goes back to that same point until he figures it out. “Source Code” is essentially that level in your favorite video game that you can never seem to beat. Except when Gyllenhaal loses, hundreds of people die. It’s an explosive thrill ride. You want to know what happens next. You root for him to figure it all out. And when he becomes attached to a female passenger, played by Michelle Monaghan, the soldier has something else to fight for. Twists and turns throughout end in an exciting climax. It doesn’t get more exciting than this; 7/10
“The Lincoln Lawyer” takes the crime-thriller route. When a hot-shot L.A. lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) takes a new case, a young man accused of assault, he thinks he has a pretty standard defense strategy ahead of him. He couldn’t foresee where the case would go, or how he would need to alter not only his defense strategy but his ethics, but he takes this roller-coaster case in stride. McConaughey is in his best role ever. Ever. He’s not only as slick and sarcastic as ever, he brings some serious chutzpah to this role. You’ll take him very seriously when he wants you to. He makes this role his. His co-stars, including Ryan Phillipe, Marissa Tomei, and William H. Macy, are equally effective. “The Lincoln Lawyer” might be on of the most underrated movies of 2011. As crime-thrillers go, I give it a 7.5/10