Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

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Critic 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.

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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.

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Critic Reviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (24)

You're left with another Denzel Washington performance that gets under your skin and stays there, rankling away. That's a lot more than most movies offer - even the better ones.

November 21, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The film is a stimulating sharp turn away from storytelling conventions and a challenge for viewers who prefer narrative pabulum to dense, savory, chewy material. But it's well worth making the effort.

November 21, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), this affecting suspense film has been compared to the excellent Michael Clayton (by his brother, writer-director Tony Gilroy), though Roman is more eccentric.

November 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Roman J. Israel, Esq. is one brilliant performance in search of a movie.

November 20, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Despite Washington's best efforts, Roman J. Israel, Esq. feels like it was named after the wrong character.

November 20, 2017 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The movie can't bring itself to push its central iceberg of a character into hotter water -- which is too bad, because that's exactly where Washington thrives.

November 20, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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