Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Crime, drama
Director: Dan Gilroy
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 122 minutes

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Great acting
Bad: Sometimes a bit too slow
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Being a lawyer might seem an easy way of making money, but less is true. You have to stand your ground in a world of despair and lies, putting justice as first priority. Of course, not all attorneys think this way though. Roman J. Israel is one of the guys that is on the other end of the balance. He has a strong vision about what is right and how society is changing for the worst. Will his principles stand in these times though?

This movie revolves mostly around the lawyer Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington). He is part of a small firm in Los Angeles, together with his partner William Jackson. Both have their specific tasks in this company, which works very well. Roman is responsible for the memos and briefs and remains behind the scene while William takes care of the in-the-field tasks like defending the clients in the courtroom. Everything seems to be going good, until that one day when William gets a heart attack. Roman has to do some courtroom presences, which didn’t go as planned. He has an amazing memory and strong convictions, but his social interactions are rather quirky. In the meanwhile, William’s health condition is deteriorating, meaning that the future of the firm is getting unsure. George Pierce (Colin Farrell) is put in charge to finish the last cases, which isn’t well-received by Roman.

He starts his search for a new job, but his rigidness and way of thinking doesn’t help much. During a job interview he meets Maya (Carmen Ejogo) and although the application didn’t go as planned, he is invited to speak at an upcoming event for the local activist network. In the end, Roman gets a job but isn’t all too happy about it. Due to some events, he drastically changes his life but will this change of heart make him happy?

The story of the movie is rather heavy and the subject might not be for everyone. To get the point across, the flow is rather slow as it focusses more on the interactions between the different actors and the underlying meaning of certain situations. This feels like it might be a drag to watch but there are enough moments of interest that will spark your interest and will keep you locked on the screen.

Acting wise, Denzel Washington does an amazing job to portrait the awkward, justice-driven lawyer. The evolution of the character during the film is remarkable and although it is strange at the beginning to see Denzel in such a role, he is able to make the right facial expressions and non-verbal communication to convey the right feelings. The same can be said about Colin Farrell, he evolves from a self-centered hypocrite to someone who finds his way back to the light. The feminine touch of Carmen Ejogo is a nice aspect in this movie as she is able to make the story a bit spicier and gives a different perspective about certain events. The combination of the three key actors makes this a rather enjoyable movie to watch.

If you were hoping to get a lot of extras, you might be a bit disappointed. The Blu-ray had four specials for you to discover. Two of them were about the actors getting inside their role and getting to know the character, while one of them gives you more details about the movie itself and the set-up. The last special are some deleted scenes, which might give you some extra insights if needed.


If you’re looking for movie with a more serious subject, then be sure to check this movie. It has some amazing actors and although it might seem a bit quirky in the beginning, the story and underlying subjects will keep you clustered to the screen. The extras aren’t that much though, so don’t get your hopes up to dig in some juice details.

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