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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Reviewed by Jay

Jay´s Review

Set in the gritty looking backdrop of Downtown Los Angeles, we find Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Denzel Washington) With his Afro, battered briefcase, and rumpled clothes, looks almost frozen in time - a relic from the 70s.

Roman has been toiling away for the better part of 30 years as the “brains behind the operation” of a small law firm. This suits him just fine as Roman is on the autism spectrum and while his laser sharp memory of the law is above challenge, his social skills are not.

This is not an issue as long as his partner is the face of the operation. But then tragedy strikes and Roman is forced to step up to the plate and take over the firm's cases. That doesn't last long and Roman is presented with a hard choice – to either remain true to his desire to fight for social injustice or use that brilliant mind to go “corporate" . Complicating this decision is his relationship with the idealistic Maya,who runs a non-profit and the seduction of some fast money.

Writer/director Dan Gilroy ("Nightcrawler") has custom fit his story for Denzel Washington because he knows what this Academy Award-winning actor can do. And watch Mr. W. do it! Look at his mannerisms: itchy, twitchy, and uncomfortable; look at his walk: rambly, shambly, and flatfooted.

Part of Gilroy's cast:

* Denzel Washington ("Fences") Roman is a 70's throwback. Look at his glasses, his afro, his clothes. He has a photographic memory and NO social skills; we suspect a touch of Asperger's.

* Colin Ferrell ("The Beguiled") Roman's partner was George Pierce's law professor. This sleek, elegant attorney presents a humiliating contrast to our rumpled hero.

* Lynda Gravátt ("Madam Secretary") Vernita Wells has only one thing to say, "Get a continuance." You'll see what she means!

* Carmen Ejogo ("Selma" she was Coretta Scott King) Maya admires Roman's idealism. Now she is concerned about his actions.

This is rated PG-13, so expect a bit of profanity, a moment of explosive violence, the threat of vehicular mayhem and a single gunshot. You'll smile at his peanut butter and groan at his courtroom etiquette, but you won't be bored. A small complaint: much of the dialogue is spoken quietly, closed captions would have been appreciated for our screening.

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Check out his manners!

Roman Trailer

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