McConaughey is absolutely knock-out as sleazy defender, Mike Haller. This could well be the role that he's been waiting for - it showcases his acting ability superbly. He excels as Haller, who walks the fine line between jaded, crooked, 'seen it all before' world weariness and street smart hustler with a passion for justice.
Ryan Philippe is great as the rich pretty boy accused of a violent crime, and the resulting 'is he, isn't he?' cat and mouse game between him and McConaughey is well executed.
Sad to read about Sydney Lumet dying, but this film has echoes of the sun-bleached 'Dog Day Afternoon' in terms of lighting, and of 'Serpico', in that no one can be trusted and those on the side of right rarely have clean hands or motivations.
The 70s-flavoured soul soundtrack is superb, although remixed with rap, when it should have been left pure.