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Michael Scott Foster
The long black pieces of leather with small boxes attached to them that Sam puts on his arms and head several times during the movie are called "tefillin" (or less commonly, "phylacteries," which is their secular, Greek-derived name). Very observant Jews (traditionally men, although some women in the Reform movement participate as well) over the age of thirteen put them on and say a blessing. The four Torah passages inside the little boxes all contain some variation of specific instructions to put those passages "on your hand" (which is why one box goes onto the arm) and "between your eyes" (which is why one box goes on the forehead). "Laying" or "wrapping" tefillin is considered to be a very important "Mitzvah" (commandment) in Judaism. See more »
The movie is supposed to be set in the late 90s, but the Freedom Tower (built on the 9/11 site and under construction) can be clearly seen in the skyline. See more »
The closing credits mention the ring was responsible for importing over a million "Ecstacy" pills (should be "Ecstasy") See more »
Absolutely awful and boring. It's a wannabe film. A wannabe 'Goodfellas' that came off more like 'The Outsiders' with Hasidic Jews and Israelis. The fact that it's based on a true story is the only way they got this film made. Maybe it could have been interesting if it was told differently but it wasn't. You don't like the main guy you just want to smack him on the head for being such a dumb a**. In fact, you don't like anyone in this film. People don't go to movies to see a bunch of people they don't like in a boring story. It could have been interesting but it wasn't. You really have to wonder what Jesse Eisenberg is doing with his career if he goes from good hit films to this indie turd. Overall, badly written, badly directed. After the Jesus camp horror film he did, maybe he's trying to hit a religious gambit of poor films. It was clear that this film was trying to be poignant and edgy and it was your film student types who thought they could really shake things up with an "unheard of" true story. They sat around drinking beers talking about how they were going to get all of these awards, etc. It's a predictable glory piece that's banking on the fact that the subject matter will get it some awards and out there because Jewish films always get recognition. But, let's face it, if most of the judges at the Olympics were Russian, the Russians would always win. That's just how things go. It just seems that the film makers could have used their time to make something a little less trite. Maybe they should take the Robert Carnegie class or read something on how to develop characters and give them emotional depth. This film was completely void of that. It was just people going from place to place doing stupid and bad stuff. That's it. That's not a movie, that's a newspaper article.
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