'Roman J. Israel, Esq.' clip: You've never seen this Denzel Washington (exclusive)

Denzel Washington characters rarely lack confidence, and neither does the criminal defense attorney he plays in the new legal drama Roman J. Israel, Esq.

But as you can tell from the exclusive clip above, this is an entirely new type of Denzel character: a desperate man who’s a savant when it comes legal matters (particularly in the area of criminal law reform), yet who does not possess… a particular set of social skills. (As Washington noted when the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, he believes Israel to be on the autism spectrum.)

The film, written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), follows the challenging journey of Israel, a behind-the-scenes defense attorney forced into a more public role after the death of his longtime partner and face of the law firm.

In the scene here, the longtime activist Israel attempts to convince the head of a local non-profit organization (Carmen Ejogo) why they desperately need him on their team. Things do not go so smoothly.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. opens Nov. 22. Watch the trailer:

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