The Samaritan Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2014
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.
LWOODS04
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2012
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
½ January 15, 2013
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.
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
November 4, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2012
The Samaritan is just simply too derivative, too cliche, and too much in love with the style of a film noir rather than creating an honest portrayal of characters at crossroads. Samuel L Jackson plays Foley, an ex-grifter who has just got out of a 25-year sentence for murdering his best friend. Foley is simply trying to live his life, get a legit job, and spend his nights at a local bar feeling sorry for himself. That is until Ethan, the son of the man Foley killed, comes to him with a "one last job" offer. Despite pulling one major twist, the plot consistently treads familiar territory.
The performances are restrained but not in a good way. Everybody here seems completely bored, as if they're looking forward to a nice tidy paycheck more so than a solid performance.
Furthermore, the piano based soundtrack attempts to create a very sad, melancholic tone for the picture, but it quickly starts to feel very monotonous. Combined with an uninteresting visual style where everything seems filmed under gold filters, The Samaritan just treads along in a meandering fashion that never manages to engage. Its minor twists aren't enough to make up for a story that we've seen way too many times before.
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2012
The Samaritan is both a meditative noir film, and a pulpy action thriller. It does a good job handling its set-up, not being afraid to slowly develop its characters, giving Samuel L. Jackson a complex role, of which he delivers a strong performance. It also features some good work by Tom Wilkinson, always a formidable screen presence. The script does a generally good job with its plot twists, and has a number of good dialogue exchanges. What hinders the film, however, is a sloppily executed final act, with ridiculous turns and a hasty resolution. On the whole, however, there's more substance to The Samaritan than its limited budget and release would indicate, not quite an "A" noir piece, but better than a low-level "B" pulp action entry.

3.5/5 Stars
½ April 18, 2015
How in the world did Jackson wind up in TWO movies that rip off Oldboy?! I'll say this, its a better movie then the Spike Lee remake at least. But once the twist is revealed, its hard to take the movie seriously anymore. A shame, as Jackson does a really good job and the movie sports some fine cinematography.
½ January 9, 2015
Probably the most ho-hum Sam Jackson movie I've ever seen. Some elements from Oldboy borrowed here(oddly enough another one of his movies, the remake anyways) with a very predictable outcome. This was an hour and a half long but felt more like 2 hours. Snooze.
½ December 16, 2014
I love Samuel L. Jackson but this disappointed me. It just would not end but I felt so vested I had to finish lol.
½ May 9, 2013
a film that can't make up it mind what it wants to be and when it reaches the final act some of the twist it takes make go did they just go there
September 18, 2012
Samuel L. Jackson has made a career of being an action star. Starring in movies the likes of xXx, Pulp Fiction, and most recently Marvel's Avengers and its related movies among many others has made him a household name. His resume stretches all the way back to the early 1970's. So starring in IFC Films' latest action/drama, The Samaritan, was old hat for this veteran actor. Starring as ex-con Foley, Jackson eases his way throughout the story written by Elan Mastai and David Weaver. Having played so many roles throughout his career, he shows once again his ability to adapt to any role and any story.

For the most part, The Samaritan runs as well as any big screen crime drama. If one were to watch this story without knowing it's an indie flick, one would think it was a major blockbuster that they simply hadn't heard of. That's thanks in large part to the story's writing. It's got enough crosses and double crosses to leave audiences guessing who is on whose side right to the story's closing minutes. The fact that the movie clocks in at barely over an hour and a half makes it that much more watchable for audiences. Perhaps the only major downside to the story would be the blatantly disturbing twist involving Foley's relationship to Iris (Ruth Negga). The way in which this relationship played into the story was disturbing to say the least. The argument would be made that that was the intent. But it could have been written differently than it was. Had their relationship been written differently into the story, then that alone might have made it far more appealing to general audiences.

The issue with Foley and Iris' relationship aside, The Samaritan still has plenty going for it. The cinematography is stunning. The shooting done throughout the film really gives it a modern pulp fiction vibe. There's something about the way that the lighting was used that makes watching the movie appealing. The contrast of the buildings lit up against the night sky, and the general camera angles add a certain extra touch that makes it that much more enjoyable. Combine the top notch cinematography with a story that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats the entire time, and audiences have a movie that while it is an indie flick is one more impressive work from one of Hollywood's best actors.
June 13, 2012
If there's any particular sub-genre in cinema that I'd be inclined to enjoy more than anything other, it would be the slightly idiotic, pulpy thriller. Though nearly all follow the same conventions, forcing the predictability to the point where entire lines of dialogue can be recited due to sheer repetition from viewing multiple films from the genre, they're almost always able to provide, at the absolute least, cheap face-value entertainment with some thought involved. The expectations are always fairly low, and for me personally, the film only necessarily has to supply the satisfactory distractions of its genre to be enjoyed. However, it should be noted that enjoyment doesn't necessarily imply recommendation. Earlier in the year, I surprised even myself when I non-ironically praised the near universally panned Nicolas Cage thriller Seeking Justice. It was a throughly entertaining thriller, which achieved every low hanging goal set. But while I admittedly liked the film, I wouldn't recommend it because it never crossed any expectation, and failed to detach itself from the genre formula in any way. Seeking Justice was merely satisfactory pulp, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but isn't particularly excellent either. The Samaritan, an independent Samuel Jackson vehicle, sadly falls into the same trap; it's pure satisfactory pulp, and little more.


David Weaver's directing debut shows an almost extreme devotion to the conventional thriller formula in terms of plot: After being imprisoned for 20 years for the murder of his best friend, Foley (Samuel Jackson) is finally finished with his life of crime, and tries to start again with his new lover. However, his past is slowly catching up with him. It's by the books in almost every sense, so Weaver and Jackson resolve the problem by playing the formula to the best of their abilities, rather than tweak it too harshly. Other than a bizarre Oldboy-esque twist, and a downright ridiculous conclusion, every plot point, reveal, or piece of dialogue can be predicted from several minutes away. However, it's clear Weaver isn't necessarily trying anything too ambitious: What's more important is how well he directs what we already know.


Samuel Jackson gives one of his finer performances, or at least his finest in a while, as Foley, a former criminal trying to break clean from his former life of crime. Though he doesn't necessarily play the character with very much striking emotion, his lack of feeling gives the protagonist a nuanced detachment from the film surrounding it; a choice which works highly in the film's favor. Also very good is an almost cameoed Tom Wilkinson (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) as a notorious crime lord with an almost indecipherable accent. His performance is both simultaneously believable, and an enjoyably manic respite from the melancholic violence surrounding it. While both Luke Kirby and Ruth Negga play highly substantial roles, nothing can be said toward their performances, because they weren't particularly memorable.


The Samaritan is an entertaining, decent pulpy thriller. Though I know I enjoyed the film in the present, I would be curious to see how much I remember from it six months from now, because of how similar the film is to others of its ilk. Though I can honestly say I liked it, similar to Seeking Justice, I'm not particularly sure I can recommend it. It's simply satisfactory pulp, and little more.


Grade: B-
½ December 11, 2014
I really enjoyed this. Started out a bit slow but the middle of the movie plot twist turns everything upside down. Luke Kirby is a snake but a pansy at the same time. I spent a good part of the film hoping he found his demise. Not SLJ's best, but it wasn't as bad as some say it is
September 10, 2014
When not even great screen presences Samuel L. Jackson or Tom Wilkinson can elevate a film, you know you've got a bad one. It doesn't help that neither of them seem to care at all about the film they find themselves in, and neither of them could be bothered to try. The fact that Jackson, in all his lethargy, is still the best thing about this film tells you the lows this film sinks to. Jackson played Foley, who's out of prison on parole after twenty-five years. He's trying to go straight, but the son of his ex-partner forces him back into the job for one last grift. The first problem is the Samaritan is that it's premise is one we've heard several times before. The second is that it has a terrible screenplay that cannot transcend it's numerous cliches. The dialogue is uninspired and uninteresting, meanwhile the characters are undeveloped and terribly acted. The third problem is that it's stylistically and tonally uneven; at times it seems like the director can't decide which film he's actually directing. The worst part about the Samaritan is that it manages to be both tedious and unpleasant at the same time. The film takes itself dead-seriously, and somber attitude and attempts to shock the audience becomes very irritating. The Samaritan is a film that thinks it's cool, thinks it's clever, thinks it's edgy and provocative, but in the end it's just very, very stupid, very, very boring, and very, very unpleasant.
August 30, 2014
When not even great screen presences Samuel L. Jackson or Tom Wilkinson can elevate a film, you know you've got a bad one. It doesn't help that neither of them seem to care at all about the film they find themselves in, and neither of them could be bothered to try. The fact that Jackson, in all his lethargy, is still the best thing about this film tells you the lows this film sinks to. Jackson played Foley, who's out of prison on parole after twenty-five years. He's trying to go straight, but the son of his ex-partner forces him back into the job for one last grift. The first problem is the Samaritan is that it's premise is one we've heard several times before. The second is that it has a terrible screenplay that cannot transcend it's numerous cliches. The dialogue is uninspired and uninteresting, meanwhile the characters are undeveloped and terribly acted. The third problem is that it's stylistically and tonally uneven; at times it seems like the director can't decide which film he's actually directing. The worst part about the Samaritan is that it manages to be both tedious and unpleasant at the same time. The film takes itself dead-seriously, and somber attitude and attempts to shock the audience becomes very irritating. The Samaritan is a film that thinks it's cool, thinks it's clever, thinks it's edgy and provocative, but in the end it's just very, very stupid, very, very boring, and very, very unpleasant.
August 20, 2014
Very good movie it is on nexflix let know how like it.
½ May 8, 2014
This is one GREAT flick --- writing, casting, direction, editing, photography --- even if Uncle Sam(uel L. Jackson) supported Obama's re-election --- expressly --- because the nation's No. 1 golf and vacation professional is --- shhhhhh --- black. Fortunately, Uncle Sam --- not to be confused with Uncle Tom --- is also a GREAT actor, because --- as everyone now knows --- racists and Uncle Toms cannot own an NBA franchise.
January 8, 2014
Wednesday, January 8, 2013

(2012) The Samaritan
THRILLER

The situation is as follows, Samuel L. Jackson who is one of 11 executive producers, he stars as Foley who's just got out of prison after serving 25 years. He of course is not really a free man since he has to report for parole. At this point we initially don't know the real reason why he's in prison but as it turns out, it has something to do with shooting his partner who used to work as "Grifters" another slang for con-men. And apparently, as soon as he was let out, almost immediately he was confronted by the son of the partner Foley was forced to shoot and sent to prison for and his name is Ethan (Luke Kirby). At first, the audience assumes that Ethan has no malice towards Foley for shooting his father to death since both of them used to be involved into a shady business, but as it turns out Ethan very much want Foley to go back to the very business he was trying to avoid once getting out which is conning unsuspecting wealthy bad people. The movie dwells on Foley's complicated dilemma as Ethan continues to put more pressure Foley's blue-collar life, one of which is something coming from "Oldboy". Also, there's also some inspirations of 1990 movie called "The Grifters". This is just the low budget variation of "Oldboy" and "The Grifters". And I would've give this movie a pass except the ending totally sucked.

2 out of 4 stars
August 3, 2013
In een film waar het meeste is geleend van de Koreaanse film Oldboy, is Samuel L Jackson zelfs iemand die duidelijk kan laten zien wanneer hij niet veel zin heeft in acteren. Het heeft ze momenten voor een betere film, maar die moet je toch echt goed kunnen vinden.
July 12, 2013
This had all the makings of a good movie, but i was thoroughly disappointed. Their intentions where obviously to grip you with the plot twists, but instead I ended up unable to make any connection whatsoever with the film, and was stuck watching the mess unfold in front of me. Pure cliché.
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