Roman J. Israel, ESQ.

Featured In Issue 224, February 2018

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Language and some violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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122 Minutes
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Dan Gilroy
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Roman J. Israel, ESQ." is a dramatic thriller set in the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Israel (Washington) is a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is suddenly disrupted. When he is recruited to join a firm led by an ambitious lawyer George Pierce (Farrell)—and begins a friendship with a young champion of equal rights (Ejogo), a turbulent series of events ensue that will put the activism that has defined Roman's career to the test. (Gary Reber)

Special features include eight deleted scenes (HD 11:47); the featurettes "Denzel Washington: Becoming Roman" (HD 05:56), "The Making Of Roman J. Israel, ESQ." (HD 10:25), and "Colin Farrell: Discovering George" (HD 04:46); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed in Panavision® digitally using Arri Alexa Mini and XT and on Kodak Vision3 film stock using Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 camera systems and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. Film grain is virtually undetectable. Picture quality is effectively realistic with a saturated color palette that exhibits rich and warm hues, yet is naturally rendered throughout. Fleshtones are perfectly natural as well. Contrast is well balanced with deep, solid black levels, revealing shadow delineation, and natural brightness. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail evident throughout in facial features, skin pores, hair, clothing, and object texture, particularly in close-ups. This is a superb picture with impressive resolution and saturated color fidelity that is effectively engaging throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is emotionally strong in conveying the conflict with working for justice in a system of expediency and non-justice, with a sense of tension throughout, underscored with a jazzy score. Atmospherics are urban focused with all manner of street sounds contrasted with quieter interiors, disrupted with sounds of construction. Everything sounds perfectly natural, with an enveloping extension to the surrounds. The music extends to the surrounds far more aggressively. Dialogue is the focus, of course, and intelligibility is excellent, with good spatial integration. As the story develops into a dramatic thriller, dynamic energy intensifies with segments of stressful bass energy and heightened atmospherics and sound effects. This is a serious delivery of sonics in support of idealistic legal work amongst dangerous situations. (Gary Reber)