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The Samaritan (2012)


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 25

Critics Consensus: The Samaritan is a ludicrous neo-noir starring a seemingly bored Samuel L. Jackson.

Average Rating: 3.7/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: The Samaritan is a ludicrous neo-noir starring a seemingly bored Samuel L. Jackson.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 5,194


Movie Info

After twenty‐five years in prison, Foley (Samuel L. Jackson) is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris (Ruth Negga), the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion: Ethan (Luke Kirby), the son of his former partner, has an ingenious plan and he wants Foley in. The harder Foley tries to escape his past, the tighter he is ensnared in Ethan's web of secrets, until it becomes all too clear to Foley that … More

R (for strong violence, language, some sexuality and drug use)
Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Sep 25, 2012
Box Office:
IFC Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Samaritan

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (25)

It's not honest with its people, or its plot. And the only ones it really cheats are audience members.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

[Jackson's] doleful revenant is in almost every scene, and this hardworking actor seems to know that the film around him should be a light-footed caper instead of a grim noir with a side order of deviance.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

A scripted cliché: the ex-con who wants to go straight until the plot kicks in.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

"The Samaritan" proves that even Samuel L. Jackson can be boring.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

The haphazard feeling of the narrative deflates any real tension.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Way too much psychosexual melodrama, portrayed in performances that range from utterly bored (Jackson) to embarrassingly broad (Kirby).

Full Review… | May 17, 2012
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The Samaritan benefits substantially from the inclusion of a shocking turn in the narrative at around the halfway point...

Full Review… | July 26, 2013
Reel Film Reviews

What could have been an intriguing character study about redemption turns into an absurd series of eye-rolling plot twists that makes it impossible to take this mess seriously.

Full Review… | May 28, 2012

Director David Weaver and co-writer Elan Mastai's neo-noir script is just a shadow of the genre.

Full Review… | May 22, 2012
Paste Magazine

It packs its narrative with a succession of increasingly clichéd twists, one of which involves the sudden recognition that its main character, Foley (Samuel L. Jackson), is romantically involved with his own daughter.

Full Review… | May 19, 2012
Slant Magazine

The experience of watching Samuel L. Jackson actually act is the only real pleasure to be gleaned from the movie.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
Film School Rejects

Even the spirited Ruth Negga can't lift this by-the-numbers neo-noir out of its dull parboiled rut.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
Reason Online

Director David Weaver and co-writer Elan Mastai twist the movie in several different directions before settling for a professional but generic pulp thriller.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
NOW Toronto

It seems impossible that Jackson could go through an entire movie without ever raising his voice, but here he is.

Full Review… | May 18, 2012
Jam! Movies

The Samaritan takes a jarring turn right out of Park Chan-wook, and from there takes a tumble into ludicrousness from which it doesn't recover.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012

It's thoroughly mediocre, which feels like such a disappointment when one considers that the script's ingredients include murder, deception, sex, and ungodly sin.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012

Audience Reviews for The Samaritan


The Samaritan is a film that had the potential of being a truly memorable thriller. Unfortunately, the film never really takes off, and ends up falling flat. I found that this film was pretty bad and it didn't do anything to grab my attention. I tried to get into the story, but it was just a poorly thought out plot with hints of good ideas hidden under disjointed writing, which I think is too bad because the film does have a few good actors here. I really wanted to enjoy the film, and by what the trailer suggested, this would be a standout picture. However, it isn't and it fails on so many levels. The film's biggest flaw is that it just doesn't grab your attention; it's too long and boring. I do enjoy films that take its time to unfold, but this one really took its time, and while trying to build up the tension, the film had bland characters were simply not interesting aside from the characters that Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Wilkinson. Don't expect anything good here, as there is nothing here of note, except for a tedious thriller that never pays off. You'll be left wanting more by the time the credits start to roll, and you'll ask yourself why you spent the time watching this train wreck. Jackson is a great actor, but here he simply has poor material to work with, and it's a shame, because like I said, if the film would have been reworked, then this would be a truly engrossing thriller that would have definitely have stood out. Unfortunately it never realizes its potential, and it ends up being a mess and ultimately it's a film not worth your time.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


The Samaritan has to be one of the worse films SLJ has starred in. The script, acting, directing, and even the little bit of action was all bad. Then the big reveal of who Foley and Iris are to each other after everything they did made me absolutely sick. I was completely disturbed that Iris knew and continued to do the things she did with him. It's a film I will for sure avoid in the future.


Super Reviewer


A gritty and crisp serving of a thriller that`s twisty, enthralling and very entertaining. It delivers up some solid suspense and great performances from its cast. It stays true to the tradition of the old-school drifter films of the day and serves it up again like its fresh and new. A slick, brutal and sharp piece of film noir. Director, David Weaver crafts an exceptional and hard-boiled film. Samuel L. Jackson delivers a compelling and rock solid performance, it turns to be one of his best film roles in years. It truly separates him from what we have been used to seeing him in the last few years and gladly welcome him back to genre films once again. Tom Wilkonson is terrific. Luke Kirby and Ruth Negga are excellent, A real slice of Pulp Fiction that echos with Oldboy.

Al S

Super Reviewer

You've got to know a secret to tell a secret.

Good movie! This film represents a dying breed of crime thriller in which character and plot take precedence over action and special effects. It could have drowned in a sea of car chases, shootouts, brutal fistfights, and even gore. Whatever we do see in those respects is used only when absolutely necessary. That's good when those moments finally happen, they will elicit authentic shock and excitement from the audience. No one will be numb from scene after scene of mindless violence and choreography. All in all, it was a thoroughly entertaining flick which is worth a watch.

After twenty years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

The Samaritan Quotes

I had a partner once....I killed him.
– Submitted by Dan L (2 years ago)
I can't remember the last time I did something I was proud of.
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
If you keep on doing what you`ve always done ,you'll keep on being what you've always been, nothing changes unless you make it change, I know what it sounds like but every morning that I wake up I think about what that really means .Nothing Changes Unless You Make It Change.
– Submitted by Kim S (2 years ago)

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