All rise: Denzel Washington to turn up awards season heat with ‘ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.’


Preston Barta // Features Editor

After seeing Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington expertly portray a rather despicable man in FENCES, it’s going to be nice to see him in a role that goes down smooth and doesn’t send your skin crawling. Don’t get me wrong; FENCES was an incredible achievement in acting across the board. But I like the “my man” version of Denzel, and his new film, ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. seems to fit the bill.

Along with THREE BILLBOARDS IN EBBING, MISSOURI, movie titles are getting a little more daring these days. Written and directed by Tony Gilroy (NIGHTCRAWLER), ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is “a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell co-stars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.”

Check out the trailer below:

ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. arrives in theaters on November 3.

Synopsis provided by Sony Pictures.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.