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Roman J Israel, Esq.

Denzel Washington plays the title character, who has been working as a “behind the scenes” partner in a law firm. He is something of a legal savant, and he was much better at researching law records and preparing background information while his partner fought the battles in court. Roman’s partner suddenly has a massive heart attack, leaving Roman looking for a job. He gets hired by George (Colin Farrell), who had an agreement to settle the affairs of the company in the event of the partner’s death. The movie is the story of the three weeks that follow his partner’s hospitalization. I am not sure of what I thought of the film. Washington is excellent and absorbs himself into his character, and it is the strength of his acting that makes the movie work as well as it does. However, the film is hard to follow. Several storylines have little development, and it is a bit confusing trying to figure out exactly what is going on and the point of some of those stories. While there is some satisfaction at the end, the threads left hanging are never resolved. I rate it a modest thumbs-up because of the strength of Washington’s performance. I found that even though I didn’t understand the story well, I grew to like Roman and his quirkiness.

About Gary Burkholder

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