Maksim's Review of The Samaritan
The Samaritan is a mildly entertaining, neo-noir thriller which may not be among the top-notch deliveries from this genre,but surely it is not as bad as the critics say. While its cliched plot and slow pace deprive it from being an excellent movie, it offers intriguing psycho-sexual elements, solid performances and a pretty good story build-up.
The main story is pretty cliched as the ex-convict Foley (Samuel L. Jackson),comes out of prison after 25 years and tries to start up from the beginning. When he is found by his ex-partner's son, he is involved back in one final set up. This basis for the movie provides nothing special and David Weaver's movie would have been absolutely boring if it was not for the psycho-sexual connection between Samuel L.Jackson and Iris (Ruth Negga). The more the story develops, the nastier and more nuanced it becomes. Unfortunately, this is accompanied by some quite improbable twists which increase the movie's predictability.
In terms of performances, the heavy-weights Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Wilkinson are solid and in line with the overall noir feeling of the movie. The leading performance of Jackson is The Samaritan's biggest asset as his character is tortured by the wrong choices of his past, the desire for redemption, the shame of his recent actions and his restrained fury. On the opposite pole are the peformances of Ruth Negga and Ethan (Luke Kirby). The latter never really convinces of being capable to control Jackson and the true motivation for his actions remains unclear during the whole movie.
The Samaritan is definitely not among the best movies one could see and if one is not a fan of neo-noir thrillers he or she would find it boring and stupid. The multiple cliched twists and the unconvincing "bad guy" certainly create a bad overall taste and partially overshadow the good parts of David Weaver's movie.