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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

What is not to like about the thought of Denzel Washington being an attorney?  His track record speaks for itself.  He is a man who can become anyone.  I do not remember the last time I was disappointed in a Denzel Washington movie.  He is one of the most consistently extraordinary actors of our time.  So, of course I wanted to see Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The film is about a stubborn savant, Roman J. Israel, Esq.  He is a diligent and methodical defense attorney, who is hopelessly stuck in his ways.  When his career is flipped upside down, it sends his ritualistic life spiraling out of control.

The movie was written and directed by Dan Gilroy and the noteworthy cast includes Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, and Tony Plana.

Great quote from the film:  “Every weapon is a tool if you hold it the right way.”

This is not a great movie.  This is a meticulous, one man freight train, and immersive performance by an iconic heavyweight, Denzel Washington.  This is eloquence in motion and an exercise in character.

In Roman J. Israel, Esq., Denzel becomes his character down to the gap in his front teeth, glasses, mini fro, headphones, precision in speech, mannerisms, and tendencies.  He is a diligent and unique man who sticks to his guns, and is still stubbornly listening to records and using paper files.  He is an eccentric-minded “Rain Man-like” attorney of sorts

The movie itself, is not anything special.  It is good until about halfway through and then it starts to lose its momentum.  Denzel keeps it afloat and it sort of redeems itself at the end.

Colin Farrell’s character wafts badass arrogance.  His role is a good one, but feels like an afterthought.

Overall this is a great performance in an about average movie.  Denzel takes a mediocre film and makes it watchable.  It is an Oscar caliber performance.  He is submerged in his character.  He has multiple performances that are better than this one, but his character dominance in this movie brings it up a notch and makes it worth seeing.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.


If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:


Training Day (2001)

The Hurricane (1999)

Flight (2012)

Déjà vu (2006)

American Gangster (2007)

Inside Man (2006)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

Man on Fire (2004)

Antwone Fisher (2002)

John Q. (2002)

Remember the Titans (2000)

The Bone Collector (1999)

Philadelphia (1993)

Ricochet (1991)

Glory (1989)

2 Guns (2013)

The Equalizer (2014)

Out of Time (2003)


“Silent Night” Movie Titles Lyrics Remix

“Silent Night” Movie Titles Lyrics Remix


First Verse:

Silent Hill (2006), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

All is Lost (2013), All is Bright (2013)

Rounders (1998) Young Guns (1988) The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) Mother’s Boys (1994) Child’s Play (1988)

Holy Man (1998) Love Me Tender (1956) Mild Afternoon (2011)

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) War and Peace (1956)

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2003) Heavenly Creatures (1994)


Second Verse:

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Son of No One (2011) Friday Night Lights (2004)

Radiant City (2006) Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1986)

Dawn of the Dead (2004) The Raid: Redemption (2011) Maria Full of Grace (2004)

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Lord of War (2005) Birth (2004)

Jesus of Montreal (1989), Lord of the Flies (1990) Birth of the Living Dead (2013)


Third Verse:

Silence of the Lambs (1991), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The Good Shepherd (2006) Out of Sight (1998)

Glory (1989) Love Streams (1984) Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Oh Heavenly Dog (1980) The Host (2013) The Hallelujah Trail (1965)

The Passion of the Christ (2004) Savior (1998) Natural Born Killers (1994)

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Six Gun Savior (2014) Born on the Fourth of July (1989)


My wife and I started changing the lyrics to “Silent Night” to different movie titles and it started off as a joke.  I decided to see how far I could take it and this was the result.  I will never think of “Silent Night” the same way again.  Which version will you sing this Christmas?