A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.
ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action. Colin Farrell costars as the monied, cutthroat lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.Written by
When approached at an LA Panda Express and asked "where he drew his inspiration for the role of Roman"? Denzel replied; "I have always admired the work of Edward Murphy and was heavily influenced by his character Norbit for this project". See more »
At about 0:49:48, as Roman and Maya are assisting the possible dead homeless person, Maya receives a call on her cell. When she "answers" the call the screen goes to sleep. During the call, the screen illuminates because of movement and reflects on her face. Neither would happen if she was actually answering then using the telephone feature on today's smart phones. See more »
Roman J. Israel, Esq.:
You know, all those years of practicing, scouring law books, achieving technical triumphs through loopholes and ambiguities, none of which were adequate to save me from the reality of my present situation. Then today, in the middle of nowhere, lost, I had a revelation; an insight so sweeping, so clear. It's me George. See, I didn't see it before because I never experienced the other side. I'm the defendant and the plaintiff simultaneously. I file against myself, I represent myself, I convict ...
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After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film was re-cut by director Dan Gilroy and star Denzel Washington. The new version is 12 minutes shorter than the festival premiere. In addition to dropping some scenes, the film now features different music on the soundtrack (replacing a number of songs) and moves a scene depicting Roman and Israel going to a Lakers game at the Staples Center to an earlier point in the story. See more »
No drama. No fun. No action. No suspense. Still it is very intelligent and fascinating.
What we have here is a portrait of an idealistic lawyer with autism, played by Denzel Washington. The lawyer loses his sheltered job and is now forced to take care of himself despite his huge autism handicap. Will he survive or will he break down?
"Roman J. Israel" is a thoughtful, intelligent and fascinating movie. But not suited for those without patience and understanding of people with autism. It is acted very well, but is unlike any other Denzel Washington movie I have ever seen. If you were only interested in Denzel's actionmovies before, then I strongly advise you to walk away, because this is a slowburner. Nothing much happens. Slow tempo.The dynamic of this movie mimics autistic characteristics: the movie itself becomes void of big emotions, just like the main autistic character played by Denzel Washington. The story meanders a bit, which can be confusing. But then again Denzels life as a lawyer is confusing and chaotic as well. The story follows the characters mindset, which is all over the place. Had difficulty understanding WHAT kind of film this was, because I didnt knew beforehand that Denzel played a lawyer with autistic tendencies.
Is it still any good? Yes, but it is probably only suited for a smaller arthouse audience, with an open mind for people with mental disabilities. Puzzling, intelligent portrait of an idealistic lawyer with autism, with an ending that comes close to feel good, but with some questions left open. I have never been so puzzled before by any Denzel movie as with this one...
At an end note: Mind you, look at the poster, what do you see? He looks away, you dont see his face. That's unheard of. But done deliberatedly. Autistic people fear communication with others. They look away. Avoid (eye) contact. Misinterpret other people's meanings. That is what this movie is about. And it is also about the positvie characteristics. It is also about idealism and the typical characteristics that make autistic people special and admirable. Very delicate and confusing movie. Fascinating nonetheless...
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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