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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
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Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Melina Nassour (Ass't. DA)
Court Officer Bailiff
Prosecutor Michael Wesley
Hon. Adam W. Hilliard
Critic Reviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Audience Reviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Feb 26, 2021The 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, 2018Denzel 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, 2018A 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, 2018Denzel 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
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