Holy Rollers (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Despite a promising premise and a solid central performance from Jesse Eisenberg, Holy Rollers lacks the depth necessary to overcome its cliched script.

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Movie Info

"Holy Rollers" is inspired by actual events in the late 1990s when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the United States. It is the story of a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community whose neighbor propositions him to transport "medicine" for an Israeli dealer and his girlfriend. He is exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife, and as the business grows, his double life begins to rip his family apart and the community becomes suspicious of his illegal activities. Caught between life as a smuggler and the path back to God, he goes on the run, forced to make a fatal decision that could bring the entire operation crashing down.
Rating:
R (for drug content and language throughout, and brief sexual material)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Jesse Eisenberg
as Sam Gold
Ari Graynor
as Rachel
Q-Tip
as Ephraim
Mark Ivanir
as Mendel Gold
Elizabeth Marvel
as Elka Gold
Bern Cohen
as Rebbe
Stella Keitel
as Zeldny
David Vadim
as Mr. Maxim
Ori Pfeffer
as Israeli Gangster
Andrew Levitas
as Great Necker #1
Marc Rose
as Great Necker #2
Omer Barnea
as Dutch Hasidic Man
Karina Arroyave
as Fabric Customer
Eli Gelb Young
as Hasidic Mule
Evan Mathew Weinstein
as Young Hasid Father
Court Young
as Customs Officer
Caroline Stefanie Clay
as Customs Agent
Evan Matthew Weinstein
as Young Hasid Father
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Critic Reviews for Holy Rollers

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (28)

This is moviemaking on autopilot.

Full Review… | July 5, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

It's not a terrible movie, but all the way through you feel as if you've already seen it.

June 25, 2010
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It's sadder and scarier than its predecessors, but it also may be the most important chapter in the tale.

Full Review… | June 18, 2010
Newsday
Top Critic

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… | June 18, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The film is slight, but Eisenberg is a deadpan delight.

Full Review… | June 17, 2010
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

As a thriller, it's bubkes.

June 17, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Holy Rollers

½

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.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Sometimes very cliche, but with a terrific performance by Jesse Eisenberg and a nice screenplay, Holy Rollers is a good film to watch.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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