Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Roman J. Israel, Esq. Movie Review

Denzel Washington stars in Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The Man Behind the Curtain

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm. Directed by Dan Gilroy.

Roman tells it like it is, "My lack of success is self-imposed," but don't mistake the old-school lawyer's candor for a lack of genius and idealism. I won't lie: Take away Denzel Washington, and Roman J. Israel, Esq. barely registers. But it does have our favorite actor, and the two-time Oscar winner dazzles, despite his character's many cosmetic weaknesses (except for the Sony headphones... they're cool.) Negatives? Farrell's turn (as Roman's eventual boss & ideological polar opposite) is sadly all-too-brief, and a second half twist takes the film slightly off course. Luckily, Denzel steers it home to a satisfying conclusion.

Grade: B