Movie Review: Where’s My Roy Cohn

The new documentary, “Where’s My Roy Cohn” is about the late Roy Cohn, arguably the most criminal and corrupt lawyer in the history of the United States. Despite his years of lying, stealing and destroying other people (including the Joseph McCarthy hearings in the 1950’s), he had many celebrity friends, including even Barbara Walters, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. All of them turned their back on him, after he was disbarred after years of corruption in the legal profession. Cohn was disbarred in part, for getting a wealthy dying man on his death bed, to sign over his property so Cohn could steal his money as his executor. It later turned out that the man’s signature was not only invalid, but nothing but a series of illegible lines.

Roy Cohn was a genius, with a photographic memory and an extremely high IQ. Despite this, he turned his powerful mind into wrecking the lives of other people rather than helping others. This documentary, like the recent movie “Joker” does a very good job not only showing the bad things Roy Cohn did in his life, but also why he became the hateful and despicable person he was. People become who they are for reasons, and it is never enough just to show the end result of anything. Cohn even became the lawyer to the Mafia, including even John Gotti, one time getting him a reduced sentence of 2 years for murdering someone in broad daylight in front of many witnesses.

The story about Roy’s mother was that she was so unattractive that her family had to promise a Judgeship to a local lawyer so he would marry her. Roy was an only child, who was spoiled and doted on by his mother, turning him into a selfish and mean child, who was smart enough to graduate from Columbia Law school when he was only 20 years old. Roy was very short and ugly man who was gay, but considering the time he lived could never admit he was gay. In fact, Cohn never admitted he was gay even days before he died of AIDS at age 59 in 1986. Roy’s vicious and attacking legal style attracted the likes of Donald Trump who considered Cohn his mentor, adopting many of his tactics to win legal judgement’s including getting away with not paying hundreds of Polish Immigrants who helped to build the Trump Tower in New York City in 1983.

While watching this documentary, it became easier to understand Cohn’s angry and vicious personality. Many of us have encountered in our personal lives or at work, people like Roy Cohn. People who are bitter about the way they look, and in the case of Cohn, having to hide being gay to save his career. People like Roy Cohn turn their anger outward and derive pleasure from damaging other people and for a time, make themselves feel temporarily better about their own miserable reality.

I agree with the very high rating for this documentary of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and highly recommend this film.