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


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Holy Rollers Reviews

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August 23, 2013
Jewish guy imports some ecstasy pills...thats it really. Grab it at a charity shop near you soon. If in the charity shop its 99p, haggle them down to 49p.
July 7, 2013
Another cinematic disappointment.
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

May 18, 2013
In what essentially amounts to a film version of a good Locked Up Abroad episode, Holly Rollers tells the story of young Hasidic Jews who were recruited to smuggle ecstasy from Europe to the United States. Specifically, the film looks at the inculcation of Jesse Eisenberg's character to this new lifestyle.

The story that Holy Rollers seeks to tell is a familiar one, but one that should translate well to film. The film does a good job at the start, establishing the rigid belief system and antiquated social structure of Eisenberg's background. His introduction to the world is believable, but the film soon seems to lose its sense of build up and pace. Whereas it set up the Jewish community so well, Essenberg's rise in the drug world seems rushed, with the character arcs of those surrounding him never being fully fleshed out. It's as if the film stopped trying to distinguish itself about 1/3 of the way through, and instead opted for auto pilot.

The performances in the film are all good, with Eisenberg having an especially interesting depiction of his character, conservative, awkward, shy, but yet curious and strangely competent. The problem, however, is that many of the supporting roles never fully developed, being especially pronounced with Justin Bartha's character. The relationship between Eisenberg and Ari Gaynor is also not handled especially well.
Despite the weaknesses, Holy Rollers remains entertaining. It has most of the hallmarks of an effective drama, though it never stops to catch itself and reignite its originality.

3/5 Stars
February 25, 2013
Not very original or interesting.
December 1, 2012
It is a decently made film that pits Jesse Eisenberg's character between two worlds: the Hasidic Jews and the mafia. Jesse Eisenberg is superb, in probably his second best role (behind, of course, The Social Network). The storytelling isn't anything of a revelation but its thematic structure is perfectly constructed. The visual metaphors representing Sam Gold's isolation from both cultures he is apart of. Also, his gradual downfall and assimilation in to the ecstasy smuggler trade as indicated by he slowly sheds all signs of his old life. This film is also pretty funny in a few parts. Justin Bartha, who portrays Yosef, turns in a surprisingly dark dramatic role, when all I know him is from The Hangover, National Treasure, and some shitty movie that had Matthew McConnaIamnotevengoingtotryspellinghisname in it.
October 15, 2011
One of the most underrated films of 2010.
August 6, 2012
Pretty slow moving and not that interesting of a story. Skip this one.
July 30, 2012
Too slow and too uneventful to offer anything truly appealing. Overly cliched, with humdrum performances by most of the actors (maybe except the always-socially-awkawrd-but-still-funny Jesse Eisenberg). A story - inspired by true events - about a group of Jews smuggling drugs to America sounds promising on paper, but with major flaws in the direction department it lacks the verve. Worth one watch, but don't expect to remember the whole intrigue a year later.
July 3, 2012
Film sur le communautarisme : ou tu marche ou tu creve.
Cameron S

Super Reviewer

July 7, 2012
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.

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2010
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.
June 16, 2012
Jesse Eiseberg is becoming a fine actor - this is a good film and nice to see Bartha playing against type
May 19, 2012
This is essentially the definition of formulaic. Every scene is pretty much predictable. Eisenberg's performance saves it from the depths of mediocrity and raise it to slightly entertaining.
April 7, 2012
Decent performance by Eisenberg in this "just kind of there" film. Not bad, but certainly not interesting enough to warrant much more. Ari Graynor is very hot. The film just kind of ends without a very satisfactory conclusion. Meh..
March 16, 2012
It looked really Interesting and started out good. Sadly it turned into unwanted scenes. Could have been great, starts off great though, but ends up dull and boring.
March 6, 2012
This film lacks on several levels. The story (though true, apparently) is not well developed. The main character doesn't have any depth and, consequently, you cannot follow his motivation. But, worst of all, this is some kind of imitation Dogma caper. Wonky cameras, wacky focus and weird angles do not make this enjoyable viewing. Could have lived with the story, but the antiquated technology wrecked it for me.
March 1, 2012
I'm a sucker for films of this genre anyway, but "Holy Rollers" is in the tier of maybe even "Blow". Eisenberg is his brilliant self and Bartha shows he can do more than just party hard in Vegas or Thailand.
February 17, 2012
(2 out of 4) Holy Rolers is half a good movie. Jesse Eisenberg puts forth a genuine effort while adding his trademark anxiety and the film is nicely directed by Kevin Asch. But it never delivers the dramatic climax we were all waiting for.
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2011
Sometimes very cliche, but with a terrific performance by Jesse Eisenberg and a nice screenplay, Holy Rollers is a good film to watch.
February 8, 2012
An interesting movie with a cast that makes it work. I think Eisenberg was good in this showing a little range subtley. I wouldnt watch it again but not mad I came across it.
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