‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ Trailer Has Denzel Washington Growing Disillusioned with the Law
This trailer leaves out the finer points of that synopsis, but it does a fantastic job at portraying the moral (and legal) gray areas that writer-director Gilroy is playing in here. It dips into highly contested perceptions of sexism and racism, the perennially dysfunctional legal system, and the internal conflict between the thankless and costly job of being a crusader for social justice versus using your inherent advantages to game the system. Roman J. Israel, Esq. sure looks and sounds like it’s going to tackle a lot of complicated topics, so I’m curious to see how well it actually accomplishes this.
Matt caught the film at TIFF, and noted that while Washington gives a great performance (as always), the movie doesn’t hold together as well as Nightcrawler. As he also notes, “It’s not a bad movie, but it doesn’t quite know what it wants to say beyond showcasing a guy wrestling with idealism and pragmatism in the legal profession. It almost feels like a rough pilot for a CBS drama about a lawyer on the spectrum rather than a prestige picture.”
Check out the Roman J. Israel, Esq. trailer below. The film opens November 3rd and also stars Carmen Ejogo.
Here’s the official synopsis for Roman J. Israel, Esq.:
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 events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.