First off, the trailer does not deliver on what the actual movie is. It advertised itself as a legal/crime drama/thriller and it was actually just a civil rights legal drama. Which, is fine, but if I'd known that I probably would have watched Thurgood Marshall. The film is interesting...but boring, and poorly strung together. The film mostly suffers from poor scripting, which, makes me think Nightcrawler is the script the writer polished and re-polished until he got a sale, and this film is the one they said, "Do you got anything else?" and the writer dug this out of a dusty trunk. It had a lot of potential, it just didn't soar, and afterwards you begin to question the whole thing and pick apart all the script, plot, and character development flaws.
I suppose if you're looking for a good martyr film where the main character is not particularly complex, other than his quirks that tinge upon mental illness, this is the film for you. Overall, it felt shallow. Nowhere does the film particularly dive deep, it just skims the surface of the story which ends up giving none of it much meaning, emotion, and only a hint of empathy for Roman, the basket case with good intentions.
Also, the heart of the script was to show the injustice of the legal system, but as I said before, the script only skims topics and never dives deep enough to give it much meaning or weight. It uses one boy, Darrel's arrest to convey the harsh system, but this boy is only in the movie for minutes. Then it counters by having Roman defend the actual perp, Carter, who is the evil baddy whom his arrest is just, and he only goes on to effortlessly kill others, making the legal system right to put away guys like Carter. Then when you examine the legal system from this perspective, it seems in the case of Darrel, the system is set up to reward those that use good judgement, which Darrel did not. He was hanging out with a guy who effortlessly murders people, including friends, and Darrel saw his gun, which means something could happen. And, even if Darrel's word is that he did not know what was going to happen and was not involved, it is up to the judge to believe him, which, as we know by those in prison, no one ever or rarely admits guilt. Why would they if they know the consequences? So, all Darrel has is his word. It's not just, but, you see where the legal system works because it will put away Carter, who not only killed someone, but when ratted on, kills two more. The legal system is showing that it prevents more destruction from guys like Carter by putting them away. In the case of Darrel, by the legal system's standpoint, he is more of a wild card of which direction he will go, and the conviction is the disciplinary. I know this is not what the movie was attempting to convey, which exactly shows the script's weakness. If the writer is trying to present an argument, he has to actually back it up, which he did not. By ending it with Carter, the writer instead conveys that the system is flawed, and some fall through the crack, but ultimately it puts away the right people, like Carter, giving others the opportunity to thrive by their removal. This make the entire end fairly meaningless that they want Roman's class action suit to move forward. Especially since the writer only skimmed what the contents of the papers were about.
Overall, just kind of a weak movie that had potential.