• R, 1 hr. 29 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Kevin Asch
    In Theaters:
    May 21, 2010 Wide
    On DVD:
    Oct 5, 2010
  • First Independent Pictures

Opening

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Holy Rollers Reviews

Tom Huddleston
Time Out
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This is moviemaking on autopilot.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

July 6, 2011
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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It's not a terrible movie, but all the way through you feel as if you've already seen it.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2/4

June 25, 2010
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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It's sadder and scarier than its predecessors, but it also may be the most important chapter in the tale.

Full Review Source: Newsday

June 18, 2010
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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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.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail

June 18, 2010
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The film is slight, but Eisenberg is a deadpan delight.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 17, 2010
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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As a thriller, it's bubkes.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 17, 2010
Christopher Kelly
Dallas Morning News
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The tense dynamic between these two fine actors, not to mention Asch's confident feel for New York City circa the late-1990s, keeps this slightly undercooked but wholly engrossing melodrama on course.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 3/5

June 11, 2010
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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Holy Rollers offers an intriguing portrait of an insular community, but its recounting of the seduction of a bright young man by the surrounding culture is heavy-handed.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

June 10, 2010
Michael Phillips
At the Movies
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I think [Eisenberg is] a much more astute and detailed actor then some people give him credit for.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

June 7, 2010
A.O. Scott
At the Movies
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Eisenberg showed this character's dilemma in, I thought, a really smart way.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

June 7, 2010
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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How could such a high concept sink so low?

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C-

June 4, 2010
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Inspired by an actual late-1990s case in which young Orthodox Brooklynites served as mules for an international drug ring, Holy Rollers has a great dramatic premise and no idea where to take it.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

June 3, 2010
Cliff Doerksen
Chicago Reader
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This lackluster indie proves that the flattening power of cliche can trump even the most exotic social setting.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

June 3, 2010
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The movie relates to its story as Sam relates to women: Look, talk, but don't get too close.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2/4

June 3, 2010
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Holy Rollers feels staged and exoticized in the way stories about insular communities often do when told by outsiders.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

May 26, 2010
Mike Hale
New York Times
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Mr. Eisenberg and particularly Mr. Bartha give appropriately twitchy, live-wire performances, and the film tells its basically bleak story lucidly and with touches of dark humor.

| Original Score: 3/5

May 21, 2010
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Eisenberg never makes Sam's seduction entirely convincing, and Asch goes so far out of his way to avoid sensationalizing the material that Holy Rollers is a bit of a snooze.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

May 21, 2010
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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The film is said to have been inspired by a true story, but the inspiration was insufficient, even though Mr. Asch has a strong sense of place and displays a confident touch with some of the action sequences.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

May 20, 2010
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
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Holy Rollers never quite catches fire ... still, it's an often evocative dip into unique territory fleshed out by a highly convincing cast.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

May 20, 2010
Bob Mondello
NPR
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Holy Rollers tells a startling, true story about drugs and religion in a manner so respectfully muted, it's hard not to wish first-time director Kevin Asch had tarted it up a little.

Full Review Source: NPR | Original Score: 7/10

May 20, 2010
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
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Holy Rollers gives a fascinating story the low-rent TV-movie treatment. Ecstasy profiteers and Hasidic Jews both deserve better than Asch's glum slog through their disparate worlds.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C-

May 20, 2010
David Fear
Time Out New York
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It's gratifying to see Eisenberg move past nerdy-cutie parts; his slim shoulders, it seems, are capable of handling more than Michael Cera's leftovers.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

May 19, 2010
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Part of the film's ability to hold attention must be credited to the guileless sincerity of Jesse Eisenberg's performance.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 19, 2010
Andrew Schenker
Village Voice
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Failing to generate either excitement as a crime story or credibility as a morality play, the film ultimately confirms the traditional values that helped push its confused lead to the brink of damnation in the first place.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 18, 2010
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Holy Rollers fuses a somber, old-world palette with a jittery urban unease -- a good mix of tones. It's also wonderfully acted.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

May 17, 2010
Justin Lowe
Hollywood Reporter
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Intriguing setting can't overcome conventional storytelling.

January 27, 2010
Justin Chang
Variety
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Asch's first feature is intelligent, respectable yet curiously muted in tone and impact, never fully catching the viewer up in either its crime saga or its account of individual rebellion within an insular religious community.

Full Review Source: Variety

January 26, 2010
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