A man has to have his principles. So this is the story about a lawyer who goes by the name (you guessed it) Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington). He is in a small law office that has the reputation of standing up for the little guy. He is one of two lawyers that work there, so when the other one suffers a heart attack, he has some major life changes in the immediate future, some of which may put him in a position where he has to decide if he is willing to compromise his integrity or not. Now as always, I kept my ear to the street on what people say about any and all movies that come out. This was the last film that I needed to watch that had a featured role that was up for an Academy award (I still have to see All the Money in the World for supporting), and from everything I had heard, this was to have an amazing performance in a disappointing movie. While I do think that Denzel outperforms the material, I was never bored watching this at any point, and I think that this was undersold to me. Now this is from Dan Gilroy, the director of the incredible Nightcrawler. This is nowhere near as riveting as that dark and obsessive film, but I do think it is a solid follow up. For one thing, he continues to show how well he can work with actors and get such remarkable performances out of them. The most noteworthy thing about this is undoubtedly the performance given by Denzel, just like everybody has been saying. The reason why it is so commendable is because it is so different than the roles he usually plays. He is always good, but when he owns his part, he is always playing it big with charm and charisma. He also has so much screen presence that when he makes an action movie, it is almost like he is a superhero without being a superhero (The Magnificent Seven, The Equalizer, Man on Fire...). With Roman J. Israel, he is playing meek and unconfident instead, which I have never seen him do before. Instead of going big, he always goes small here, and it really shows how much of a range he has as an actor. I think the story to this is decent, but not great. It is more of a character study than anything, and really, for the most part, you're just watching this guy do his job. It keeps your attention because Denzel is so great, and yeah, I will admit that if this had a lesser actor featured front and center, this would probably not be worth your time. That is me talking about a hypothetical movie that doesn't exist, so it is neither here nor there. As it stands, I think Roman J. Israel, Esq. is worth a watch.