232 user 164 critic

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

2:42 | Trailer
Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action.


Dan Gilroy


Dan Gilroy
3,092 ( 791)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Colin Farrell ... George Pierce
Carmen Ejogo ... Maya Alston
Lynda Gravatt Lynda Gravatt ... Vernita Wells (as Lynda Gravátt)
Amanda Warren ... Lynn Jackson
Hugo Armstrong ... Fritz Molinar
Sam Gilroy ... Connor Novick
Tony Plana ... Jessie Salinas
DeRon Horton ... Derrell Ellerbee
Amari Cheatom ... Carter Johnson
Vince Cefalu ... Security Bailiff
Tarina Pouncy ... Hallway Bailiff
Nazneen Contractor ... Melina Nassour (Ass't. DA)
Niles Fitch ... Langston Bailey
Jocelyn Ayanna ... Court Officer Bailiff


ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action. Colin Farrell costars as the monied, cutthroat lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm. Written by Sony Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All rise. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


At the very beginning the Notice document title is spelled with all proper case words (each word initial letter upper case) Except the personal pronoun "he", in this case referring to the author (and narrator) of said document. This implies the writers subservience a higher power, regardless whether it be deity or judicial. See more »


When Roman and Maya find a dead homeless man on the sidewalk, a police car approaches them and the lights on the front of the car turn on. The film is set in Los Angeles, California and the police car's lights do not display a steady red light. In the California Vehicle Code, all police and emergency vehicles in California are required to have at least one steady red light facing forward when the flashing lights are on. See more »


George Pierce: Roman, Roman! Jesus, I heard about what you did in the kitchen. Salinas is our number two. And not only that, while you were schooling Sanchez in a crowded elevator...
Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Hey, the man doesn't understand character evidence.
George Pierce: You'll find a quiet corner. I sent you an e-mail today to come to my office.
Roman J. Israel, Esq.: I'm sorry, when people send e-mail, they seem to think it goes straight to your brain.
George Pierce: You better take what I'm saying seriously, because I'm being very sincere with you.
Roman J. Israel, Esq.: I think you knew what you were ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film was re-cut by director Dan Gilroy and star Denzel Washington. The new version is 12 minutes shorter than the festival premiere. In addition to dropping some scenes, the film now features different music on the soundtrack (replacing a number of songs) and moves a scene depicting Roman and Israel going to a Lakers game at the Staples Center to an earlier point in the story. See more »


Featured in The Oscars (2018) See more »


In Too Deep
Written by Renald Francoeur (as Renald Renan Francoeur)
Performed by Juvon Taylor
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
See more »

User Reviews

The Viewer Becomes The Character
16 February 2018 | by tin-BSee all my reviews

This is a BRILLIANT journey from the perspective of someone utterly detached from any personal connection to those around him.

The story is told and presented in such a way that you, the viewer, feel as detached as Roman is, but compelled to follow his journey to the end. For although he has difficulty with human interaction, and detached from humanity on a personal level, he feels a strong responsibility for humanity itself.

Denzel, as Roman, is a behind the scenes lawyer, a legal savant with some mental complications (I'm no doctor) which many brilliant people, especially savants, often face.

Colin Ferrell is a successful lawyer who finds himself perplexed by Roman's behaviors while increasingly inspired to adopt Roman's mission in life as he is reminded of the reasons he went into law himself.

As the story unfolds, you find a detached sympathy for Roman in the same way he would feel for you. How uncanny that we can be so manipulated in the acting and direction process, while some viewers leave disappointed with the movie as "flat" or bad because they couldn't get emotionally involved with Roman, silly gooses, that was supposed to happen.

Roman's emotions are absent, or sometimes buried, as in the way he continually failed to express a normal response to the health predicaments of his former legal partner, something presented from the beginning of the movie and throughout.

It's a story which moves fast but isn't an action movie, it has no needless scenes or dialogue. In addition to the story of Roman, it tells the story of one particular concern within our legal system. It certainly deserves much more than the 6.4 rating it currently has. I would give it a solid 7.5 which is quite respectable at IMDb.

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Official Sites:

Official site


English | Spanish | Armenian

Release Date:

22 November 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inner City See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,999, 19 November 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)| SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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