The Saint (1997)



Critic Consensus: The Saint is watchable thanks to Kilmer and Shue, but the muddled screenplay stretches credulity.

Movie Info

Based on the popular novels about that other suave, globe-trotting man of action, this genre picture from director Phillip Noyce mixed romance and character development with dangerous stunts, geopolitical intrigue, and a variety of elaborate disguises, resulting in an uneven stew of a spy thriller. Val Kilmer is Simon Templar, a classy, cunning master thief and "man of a thousand faces" who cribs his phony names from those of obscure saints and sells his illegal services to the highest bidder. … More

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action & Adventure, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Jonathan Hensleigh, Wesley Strick
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 6, 1998


as Simon Templar

as Dr. Emma Russell

as Ivan Tretiak

as Ilya Tretiak

as Dr. Lev Botvin

as Chief Insp. Teal

as Tretiak's Aide, Ver...

as President Karpov

as Gen. Sklarov

as Insp. Rabineau

as Woman on Plane

as General Sklarov

as Russian Prostitute

as Young Simon Templar

as Catholic Priest

as President Karpov

as Skinhead

as Scarface

as Scratchface

as Boy in Orphanage

as TV Reporter

as Old Russian Lady

as Old Russian Man

as Prostitute's Mother

as Frankie's Curator

as President's Aide

as Russian Doctor

as Russian Policeman

as Russian Chief of Pol...

as President Karpov's W...

as Red Square Tramp

as Rat Club Comedian

as Ilya's Girlfriend

as Rat Club Party Girl

as Rat Club Beauty

as Russian Colonel

as Russian Soldier

as Tretiak Guard

as Tretiak Security Gua...

as Tretiak's Builder

as Orphanage Nun

as Pub Waiter

as Customs Officer

as Customs Officer

as Chairman at Oxford

as Young Student

as Second Student

as Academic Woman

as Running Student

as Policewoman

as Marine Guard

as Embassy Official

as State Department Off...

as Cold Fusion Broker

as Jamaican Video Girlf...

as Japanese Video Girlf...

as English Video Girlfr...

as Private Hotel Recept...
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Critic Reviews for The Saint

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (16)

A generic suspenser that doesn't taste bad at first bite but becomes increasingly hard to swallow.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Top Critic

This insufferable romance-adventure includes vague comedy as well as unintentional humor, and its target audience seems to be preadolescents who won't notice the calculated enthusiasm with which it sidesteps sexuality.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Eminently forgettable.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Love redeems this profiteer; it also renders him conventional.

March 6, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Reinvention in the hands of Hollywood is seldom cause for celebration.

Full Review… | June 26, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

There isn't a contemporary film actor more crafty than Val Kilmer -- or one who reveals less of his true self. That's why Kilmer is so perfectly cast as Simon Templar, the master thief and elusive disguise artist of The Saint.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Saint

Based on a character created back in 1928, this film tells the story of an expert thief and master of disguise who, in this telling, has all sorts of aliases, all of them named after Catholic saints. The Saint gets involved in all sorts of troubles when his latest caper sees him falling in love and caught up in some nutty geopolitical issues in Russia.

The concept and ideas, mostly that of using saint names as aliases, are pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, the way thigns are executed here leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Noyce has experience with this sort of thing, so maybe most of the blame goes to the script and the specific story. Some of it's cool, but it seems a little lifeless and dull.

That said, I still found the film to be entertaining and watchable, even though it isn't really that good. It kinda comes close though.

The love story is a little hokey, and some of this stuff overall is kinda silly, but it's fun, and definitely had potential to be awesome. Val Kilmer is fun to watch use all kinds of different wigs, accents, and costumes, though it amazes me how many of the characters get fooled by some of his disguises, especially since some of them are really not all that great. He does a good job though. Shue is okay, or at least servicable, though she kidna comes off as a little silly, which clashes with some of the more dramatic and seriosu thriller elements at hand.

Actually, I think I just figured it out. Part of the issue here is the tone. It's uneven, and unsucessfully tries to mix levity with drama. In a lot of ways, this is like the Bond films, although some of those manage the mixing far better than others. Maybe I'm just underwhelmed by all of this because it didn't seem all that fresh and exciting.

Like I said though, it did entertain me, and I was never bored. See it if you like, but don't expect it to be the real gem it should have been.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


The Saint, for me is a borderline decent action film. The ideas in the film, are good, but poorly executed, and feel kinda cheesy, yet there's something appealing the film too. The Saint for all its flaws, is a fun film to watch. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, but somehow the film is entertaining enough to be a passable action film. I agree that this film is uneven, but there are far worst films than The Saint out there. Val Kilmer give a decent performance, but one that is forgettable as well. The Saint is a cheesy action film that you have to watch when you want to be a mindless movie night where you pick something that doesn't have much plot. The Saint is a cool decent flick, but because there a lot of flaws with the film. Especially that now, watching the film today, the film looks dated all around. The film hasn't aged well. I was surprised at the names involved in this film, and considering that this film isn't good or excellent, it's just decent I was surprised to see actors like Michael Byrne in this. The Saint for all it's imperfection is entertaining, I liked it, but I wouldn't call it a good film. Like I said earlier, it's a decent flick at best. Nothing special on screen

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

A cinematic sin.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

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