Rated 3.0

After portraying James Brown and Jackie Robinson on screen, actor Chadwick Boseman continues his tour of African-American icons from the 20th century with this courtroom drama-cum-biopic about Thurgood Marshall.  Prolific TV director Reginald Hudlin (House Party) makes his first feature film in fifteen years with the deliberately old-fashioned Marshall, featuring a story pulled from the eventual Supreme Court justice’s early years as a confident and crusading NAACP attorney.  The film centers on a real-life incident that occurred in Connecticut in 1941, when a black chauffeur named Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown) was wrongly accused of rape and attempted murder by a wealthy white socialite (Kate Hudson).  Marshall raced to Greenwich to defend Spell, but was forced to defer to local attorney Sam Friedman (a surprisingly adequate Josh Gad) during trial.  The courtroom aspect feels conventional and the film lacks real insight, but it’s professionally handled and Boseman does solid work. D.B.