Too many Hollywood thrillers use over-the-top attempts to build suspense -- the dark room, the concerned look on the protagonist's face, the pulse-pounding music. But here, director Brad Furman doesn't rely on parlor tricks because he's got a great combination of script, actors and pacing that successfully builds a believable, satisfying legal thriller. Matthew McConaughey is at his best -- likable, with the right balance of cute and smarmy -- as Mick Haller, a criminal-defense attorney who defends the lowest of the low from his office, which happens to be a very majestic Lincoln Town Car. He ends up defending a rich guy/alleged attempted rapist (Ryan Phillippe). The case is linked to a similar one in Mick's past, and he tries to connect the dots and sort out the truth for his new client, as well as the old. The pairing of McConaughey and Phillippe generates great tension, but a strong supporting cast, including Marisa Tomei, William Macy and Michael Pena, elevates this film from good to almost great.