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Roman J. Israel, Esq.  (DVD)


Stars: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Lynda Gravatt, Amanda Warren, DeRon Horton, Amari Cheatom

Director: Dan Gilroy

If it proves nothing else, this talky and sometimes confusing drama shows us that an Afro hairdo definitely does not suit Denzel Washington. The familiar toothy handsomeness of the star practically disappears under the mass of fuzz as he plays Roman, an ageing lawyer, and the longtime legal partner at a small firm whose frontman lawyer has, as the film begins, just had a heart attack which he is not expected to survive.

Washington is solid, if not entirely comfortable, in an Oscar-nominated turn, creating character, but never quite flesh and blood. The film does conceal its hand as to its final destination, although this becomes obvious towards the end.

And any hopes of seeing Roman triumph in the courtroom are dashed by a writer-director who has other ideas.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by Company 3 (Print by FotoKem).
116 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 17 Jun 2018