What to know

critics consensus

Intriguing yet heavy-handed, Roman J. Israel, Esq. makes the most of -- but never quite lives up to -- Denzel Washington's magnetic performance in the title role. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Show all services

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Roman J. Israel, Esq. Videos

Roman J. Israel, Esq. Photos

Movie Info

Roman J. Israel is an idealistic defense attorney whose life gets upended when his boss and mentor -- the legendary civil rights icon William Henry Jackson -- dies unexpectedly. He's then recruited to join a law firm led by George Pierce, an ambitious lawyer who was one of Jackson's former students. Israel's legacy of activism soon gets put to the test when he takes on the case of Langston Bailey, a young man accused of murdering a convenience store clerk.

Cast & Crew

Denzel Washington
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Colin Farrell
George Pierce
Carmen Ejogo
Maya Alston
Lynda Gravatt
Vernita Wells
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
Eli Bildner
Prosecutor Michael Wesley
Robert Prescott
Hon. Adam W. Hilliard
Sedale Threatt Jr.
Jeff
Elisa Perry
Felicity Ellerbee
Andrew Tinpo Lee
James Lee
Dan Gilroy
Screenwriter
Brian Oliver
Executive Producer
Betsy Danbury
Executive Producer
Charles D. King
Executive Producer
Kim Roth
Executive Producer
Poppy Hanks
Executive Producer
Michael Bloom
Executive Producer
Adam Pincus
Executive Producer
Aaron L. Gilbert
Executive Producer
Alex Lebovici
Executive Producer
Steve Ponce
Executive Producer
Derek Dauchy
Executive Producer
Ben Ross
Executive Producer
Robert Elswit
Cinematographer
John Gilroy
Film Editor
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Critic Reviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (59) | Fresh (96) | Rotten (80)

Audience Reviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.

  • Feb 26, 2021
    The way 'Black Swan' is a thematic sister to 'The Wrestler' in terms of destructive devotion to performance, 'Roman J. Israel' is Dan Gilroy's companion piece to 'Nightcrawler' in terms of an ostracized and meticulous individual spiraling into morally dubious territory. 'Israel' isn't nearly as cynical nor as grim as its fellow, but both are anchored by award-worthy performances. Whereas there's never any question as to where 'Nightcrawler' sits on the integrity spectrum, 'Israel' illustrates a much more sympathetic conflict (due largely to Washington). Although the tone ping pongs something fierce, the build is uneven, and the nuances of the script are hard to navigate without coming off as morally pandering, 'Israel' still raises some fascinating questions about the weight of guilt and holds a mirror up to the audience about what we are (or aren't) willing to sacrifice to preserve our ethical boundaries.
    Marisol M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2018
    Denzel Washington stars in the Dan Gilroy character drama Roman J. Israel, Esq. The film follows a civil rights attorney who gets a rude awakening when his law partner dies and he's forced to take a job with a large corporate firm and finds himself making compromises. Washington gives a strong performance, as usual, and Colin Farrell too is really good. But the story is a little unfocused and meanders at times. And the film tries to have things both ways; portraying Israel as a paragon of ethics that inspires others, but also as a little jaded and susceptible to, and complicate in, corruption. Yet while it has some weaknesses, Roman J. Israel is a compelling drama that addressing some important issues.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2018
    A compounding catastrophe of missed opportunities and baffling narrative choices. Washington's not bad, but the filmmakers have no idea what to do with his character.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2018
    Denzel Washington delivers one of the strongest and most multifaceted performances of his career in a decent, if flawed film that knows how to explore the personality and motivations of such a complex protagonist, even though it nearly gets lost in a confused third act.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

Roman J. Israel, Esq. Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Movie & TV guides