6.5/10
30,722
224 user 162 critic

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

Trailer
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.

Director:

Dan Gilroy

Writer:

Dan Gilroy
Reviews
Popularity
1,602 ( 27)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
Learn more

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

If you can't break the law, break the system. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, director Dan Gilroy and Denzel Washington decided to re-structure and re-focus parts of the narrative, which resulted in the removal of 12 minutes of footage. The director said the TIFF premiere served more as "a very high end test screening," because there was no time to do it before, and all involved are now happy with the final cut. [Oct. 2017] See more »

Goofs

At about 0:49:48, as Roman and Maya are assisting the possible dead homeless person, Maya receives a call on her cell. When she "answers" the call the screen goes to sleep. During the call, the screen illuminates because of movement and reflects on her face. Neither would happen if she was actually answering then using the telephone feature on today's smart phones. See more »

Quotes

Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Well, I'm sorry for taking a nanosecond off of your assembly-line, rubber stamp existence
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 »


Soundtracks

Keep On Truckin'
Written by Leonard Caston, Anita Poree and Frank E. Wilson
Performed by Eddie Kendricks
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

 
Interesting story, told poorly but acted by Denzel brilliantly.
2 February 2018 | by TopDawgCriticSee all my reviews

This film was Dan Gilroy's second directorial debut, and although his forte of experience is writing, he failed that department, and did better in his directing (camera work, but not his choice of editing).

The problem with the writing is the dragged out mumbo-jumbo Denzel Washington had to say to express his savant mentality, most of it not making any sense or philosophically unnecessary, and it extended into 2+ hours of doing so. Denzel carried his role so exceptionally well, that had this film been edited down to 80 or 90 mins by getting rid of the convoluted and unnecessary dialogue, it would have been dramatized much better.

Then there's the premise to the film; standing all this time for a cause, then slipping to the other side, then going back. What was the point? What was the message?

This film is nothing extraordinary, but nevertheless, Denzel and Colin Farrell's great acting were the only reason this film has as high (6.3) of a rating as it does, and would have been much lower with any sub-A list actors, or higher with better writing.

It's a generous 7/10 from me


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,999, 19 November 2017

Gross USA:

$11,962,778

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,025,860
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)| SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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