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
In the middle of the movie when Roman J. Israel exits a taxi, the camera is visible on the window of the cab. See more »
Roman J. Israel, Esq.:
You know, all those years of practicing, scouring law books, achieving technical triumphs through loopholes and ambiguities, none of which were adequate to same me from the reality of my present situation. Then today, in the middle of nowhere, lost, I had a revelation; an insight so sweeping, so clear. It's me George. See, I didn't see it before because I never experienced the other side. I'm the defendant and the plaintiff simultaneously. I file against myself, I represent myself, I convict ...
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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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