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 film there's a visible gap between Denzel Washington's two front teeth. He had the gap fixed with dental caps sometime after high school, but decided to remove them for this role. 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 »
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 »
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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