Not every film is as critically successful as the producers and actors would hope, and Denzel Washington's new movie Roman J. Israel, Esq. is finding that out the hard way right now.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently sits at a score of 53% fresh (or rotten) and the consensus is that it "makes the most of -- but never quite lives up to -- Denzel Washington's magnetic performance in the title role."
A scan of the reviews reveal that Washington's performance does seem to be the most positive thing the film contains. "It's a credit to Washington's rock solid performance that we care as much as we do," wrote Adam Graham of the Detroit News.
"You can't stop watching [Washington] - and you can't stop wishing he didn't have to work so hard to keep the story together once it starts branching out in different directions," added Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic.
One of the more well-respected critics, Richard Roeper, gave the film a negative review, saying it has "pockets of intrigue" and "a promising dramatic character," but that the audience doesn't "get full delivery on that promise."
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is described as "a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system." Washington stars as the title character "whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career."
It co-stars Colin Farrell (Minority Report, The Lobster) and Carmen Ejogo (Alien: Covenant, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).
The film was written and directed by Dan Gilroy who also wrote and made his directorial debut with 2014s Nightcrawler, for which he won Best First Feature and Best Screenplay at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards in addition to being nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2015 Oscars.
Washington can be seen next in The Equalizer 2, a sequel to the 2014 film The Equalizer in which he stared in the lead role.