(2017) (Denzel Washington, Colin Farrrell) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A brilliant if unconventional behind the scenes defense lawyer must contend with the death of his business partner and the subsequent need to find a new job and pay the bills.
- For several decades, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (DENZEL WASHINGTON), has been the behind the scenes worker bee at a two-person criminal defense law firm in Los Angeles. While not paid much, and likely having Asperger Syndrome or something similar that makes him occasionally awkward in social intereactions, he believes in what he does -- what with being a former political activist -- and has been working for the past seven years on trying to change the overall plea bargain scenario in criminal cases.
But things change for him when his partner who did all of the courtroom work has a heart attack, ends up in a vegetative state and eventually dies. All of which brings in George Pierce (COLIN FARRELL) a former student of that man who now runs a very successful law firm and has been tasked with closing out any remaining cases and then liquidating the firm. When he realizes Roman is something of a savant when it comes to legal knowledge, George offers him a job, but Roman would rather work for social activists and thus ends up meeting Maya Alston (CARMEN EJOGO), a volunteer for such a firm.
But needing money and unable to find a paying job anywhere else, Roman accepts George's offer to work for him, although he clashes with some of Roman's executives. When he ends up assigned to a case involving a 17-year-old who's been charged with a convenience store murder the teen says he didn't do, Roman begins working the case. After hearing the teen knows the whereabouts of the actual killer, and learning there's a $100,000 reward from the local community to catch that perpetrator, Roman finds himself torn between doing the right thing and the potential of getting his hands on cash that could help him live more comfortably.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Unless they're fans of Washington or anyone else in the cast, or are interested in movies featuring criminal law, it doesn't seem that likely.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For language and some violence.
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