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Denzel Washington was Oscar-nominated for his role here as a socially awkward defence attorney.

However, he’s much better than the film itself, writer-director Dan Gilroy’s follow-up to his gripping 2014 debut movie Nightcrawler.

An uneven mix of legal thriller and character drama, the film finds Washington’s idealistic back-room lawyer struggling to adapt to a more public role after his partner goes into a coma.

With roles for Colin Farrell’s slick legal hotshot and Carmen Ejogo’s civil-rights activist, the plot becomes rather contrived.

But Washington, sporting a shaggy Afro, baggy suit and shambling walk, is always compelling and makes the movie.