Christian Living


Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Movie Review

Roman J Israel Esq, christian movie review
Star Rating
Movie Info


PG-13 for language and some violence


Crime, Drama


November 22, 2017


Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Tony Plana


Dan Gilroy


Columbia Pictures

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. has problems ab initio (from the beginning). It's unfortunate, but this Dan Gilroy film doesn't hold throughout -- despite a convincing performance from Oscar winner Denzel Washington.

Israel is a quirky, brilliant legal mind who's been working happily (or so its seems) in the background of the LA legal system. When his boss is incapacitated, Israel is pushed to the frontlines of providing the small firm's clients a good, level-headed defense. It gets rocky from there.

For all intents and purposes, Roman J. Israel, Esq. feels like it should be an Oscar contender. On paper, it has a lot going for it: Washington in the lead, Gilroy at the helm, and a strong story that makes a plea for criminal justice reform. Washington is usually a bona fide bet that a film will be critically acclaimed. He's that good at his craft.

So, what falls apart for Roman J. Israel, Esq.?

Well, Washington is the film's saving grace, offering some real vulnerable moments for audiences. But, his character -- for the most part -- comes off more annoying than charming. Bottom line: The movie isn't memorable by the end.

And let's talk about that ending. It's quick, super quick. And a big plot problem in those last scenes cuts the movie's impact at its knees. All in all, it feels like a missed opportunity, especially since it had the perfect framework for being a truly remarkable film.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. falters in the most disappointing way. For all of the intensity, great acting, and strong message, this Crime/Drama just doesn't prove its case well.

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