Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 22, 2017
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Critic Score: 50% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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.

Adam Graham
Detroit News

It's a credit to Washington's rock solid performance that we care as much as we do.

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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

Part character study, part legal thriller and part morality tale about means manifesting their own ends, "Roman J. Israel, Esq." winds up being just as eccentric and unpredictable as its doggedly honorable, and far from perfect, leading man.

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J. Olson

An unusual, intermittently fascinating web of sociopolitical commentary and thrills carried painlessly by one of the great baby boomer thespians.

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Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

Roman J. Israel, Esq. has pockets of intrigue, and writer-director Gilroy and Washington have teamed up to create a promising dramatic character. We just never get full delivery on that promise.

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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

You can't stop watching [Washington] - and you can't stop wishing he didn't have to work so hard to keep the story together once it starts branching out in different directions.

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Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Denzel Washington is fun to watch as a character who doesn't know who he wants to be in a script that doesn't know what it wants to be.

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James Berardinelli

The story is surprisingly unfocused and, when it snaps out of the protracted setup phase, it plunges into quasi-thriller territory that relies on a series of hard-to-swallow contrivances.

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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

What a treat it is to see this great actor, after almost 40 years in movies, give a performance that feels both utterly unexpected and completely true.

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Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times

This is a story of shifting ethics that should be dramatic, but shaky logic prevents that from happening.

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More reviews for Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Flixster Audience Score: 66% Flixster User Reviews
Nate Zoebl
It was halfway through Roman J. Israel, Esq., a soggy legal thriller and morality play, that I got up and took an extended bathroom break and felt no guilt. At… More
John C
Too convoluted, too preachy and not enough empathy for the titled character makes Washington and Farrell performances the only saving grace. (12-6-17)
Paul Fuchs
I had few, if any, expectations for Roman J. Israel, Esq., the new film from Dan Gilroy, who directed of one of my all-time favorite films, 2014's… More
Christopher Oakley
A could of have been much more but I was so taken by Washington's offbeat performance I was invested enough. However, the message or Moral that the… More
K Nife Churchkey
To follow up one of 2014's best films, Nightcrawler, is no enviable task, but director Dan Gilroy had to do it eventually. While Roman J. Israel, Esq.… More
Philip Price
Rome and Israel. They share quite the history with one another; a history that is splattered with wars over ideals some of which deal in economics, but those… More