In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.
Kristin Scott Thomas
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
Denzel Washington stars as Roman J. Israel, Esq. a mildly savant criminal defense attorney whose life is turned upside down when his longtime law partner passes away. Suddenly the passionate civil rights attorney who thanks to his fiery demeanor should stay far away from an actual courtroom, is left looking for a job. He is forced to settle for working for George Pierce (Colin Farrell) a successful defense attorney, whom Roman views as a profiteer who doesn't care about his clients. The entire ordeal breaks Roman, who sells out his ideals and loses sight of who he was.
Denzel gives a good performance as the extremely passionate and slightly eccentric Roman J. Israel Esq., but Roman's penchant for long rambling speeches made for tedious viewing. Colin Farrell's Pierce develops into a much deeper character than he originally appears to be and is utilized well. However, while Roman's struggle to find his identity is the core of the film it never really is able to captivate. Ultimately the film settles in as an interesting character study that struggles to come together as anything more than that. While many would be content with that, it is a disappointing follow up for Dan Gilroy after his excellent debut with Nightcrawler.
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