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Holy Rollers (2010)

tomatometer

51

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 42

Despite a promising premise and a solid central performance from Jesse Eisenberg, Holy Rollers lacks the depth necessary to overcome its cliched script.

41

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 16

Despite a promising premise and a solid central performance from Jesse Eisenberg, Holy Rollers lacks the depth necessary to overcome its cliched script.

audience

33

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 3,121

My Rating

Movie Info

"Holy Rollers" is inspired by actual events in the late 1990s when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the United States. It is the story of a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community whose neighbor propositions him to transport "medicine" for an Israeli dealer and his girlfriend. He is exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife, and as the business grows, his double life begins to rip his family apart and the

R,

Drama

Oct 5, 2010

$0.3M

First Independent Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (90) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (42)

This is moviemaking on autopilot.

July 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not a terrible movie, but all the way through you feel as if you've already seen it.

June 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's sadder and scarier than its predecessors, but it also may be the most important chapter in the tale.

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Newsday | Comments (2)
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The scenes of family conflict are sketchily dramatized. We never get to the place where the two parts of Sam's personality meet -- the devoted son and sharp-dealing criminal.

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is slight, but Eisenberg is a deadpan delight.

June 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a thriller, it's bubkes.

June 17, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The one and only problem I had with HOLY ROLLERS was the pacing. I found myself getting slightly bored and at times, looking at my watch. I'm sure it's not easy to mesh Orthodox Judaism and Ecstasy, but Asch did a pretty good job.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Gordon and the Whale
Gordon and the Whale

Offering the viewer hardly any reason to feel this story is credible.

February 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Despite a suitably nervy turn from Eisenberg, there's no energy to the film-making or much insight into the story.

July 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's a surprisingly cool little film, not funny at all but rather seriously torn between the secular and the sacred, a conflict Eisenberg expresses with a neurotic intensity.

July 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

It's a familiar premise and Holy Rollers sprinkles precisely nothing new into the roll-up.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

We expect more than we eventually get, even if what we get is watchable throughout.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Dramatically uneven though well-performed and competently directed, Holy Rollers features an intriguing premise yet treads thin ice when battling an inconsistent script.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Holy Rollers is based on true events but it lacks any spark of originality.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

[A] breathless, enjoyable comedy-thriller based on the true story of how Hassidic Jews were recruited as mules in the late 1990s to smuggle ecstasy pills from Amsterdam into New York.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

It just feels content to glide along ... and if it wasn't for Eisenberg being his usual quirky and mildly entertaining self, would feel uneven ... and rather erratic.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Real.com

Jesse Eisenberg, in the main role, enhances the film again and again with his comic timing and ability to nail the part of a sheltered ingénu with an incipient rebel streak. It might be dodgy merchandise, but he sells it all the same.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

This is more accurately a film about a revolution against innocence and the vacuum it leaves behind.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

The film is slow, sometimes confusing and not very involving.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

The problem is that it's not terribly dramatic, despite good central performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Kevin Asch's morality drama restages the Fall of Man as a modern, real-life crime story. It is understated, but compelling, with yet another standout performance from Jesse Eisenberg.

July 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

If ecstasy was as boring as this film about it then the war on drugs would've been over 25 years ago.

July 3, 2011 Full Review Source: News of the World | Comment (1)
News of the World

Jewish clichés can be forgiven as Asch revisits the shtetl for his crime tale that shines a light upon a society within via one rebel's secular awakening.

May 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Beautifully, atmospherically shot and sporting a great soundtrack, this is an otherwise quite dull affair.

May 9, 2011 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Peters out at the end. ... Still, there are more than enough positive elements, especially Ben Kutchins' expressive and mesmerizing cinematography, to recommend it.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Audience Reviews for Holy Rollers

An interesting idea executed in an un-interesting way, 'Holy Rollers' had my attention, but due to a lack of interesting characters and some serious pacing issues failed to hit the mark.
July 7, 2012
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

For a movie based on a true story about Hasidic Jews working as drug mules trafficking ecstasy in the late 90s this movie was really dull.

Sure, maybe the limitations are the result of this being a low budget indie, but I think it would have been worse as a big budget major studio affair. The real issue is that the idea is inspired, but the script, direction, and acting are all lacking.

I liked the idea of a young guy torn between religious studies and making tons of money in the drug trade, but they really dropped the ball with the concept here. It all felt rehashed, unoriginal, and jut kinda blah. It doesn't help that the lead is done by Jesse Eisenberg. I like him, but he just doesn't really appear to be trying here. Justin Bartha however is awesome. He gives the best performance, is the most interesting character, and the focus clearly should have been on him.

I wasn't totally bored, but I didn't really care a whole lot either. Also, the washed out look really didn't fit for me and seemed unnecessary. You could see it, but I would ONLY recommend it for hardcore completists.
July 1, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Sometimes very cliche, but with a terrific performance by Jesse Eisenberg and a nice screenplay, Holy Rollers is a good film to watch.
February 12, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Weak and pointless film, more actors that could act should really have been here and not let Jesse Eisenberg carry all this movie by himself. The story is good but the way it was portrayed could have been so much better.

In Brooklyn, a youth from an Orthodox Jewish community is lured into becoming an Ecstasy dealer by his pal who has ties to an Israel drug cartel.
April 9, 2011
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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