IMDb > The Samaritan (2012/I) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
The Samaritan
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
The Samaritan More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 5:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [Next]
Index 45 reviews in total 

37 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Stylish Neo Noir

Author: messiercat from Oregon
7 April 2012

Samuel Jackson shows off his acting chops in this gritty action thriller, with supporting actors doing a great job. He plays a man fresh out of prison after twenty five years who wants to go straight, but as it's mentioned in the movie, cons always say that at first. His past catches up to him in a huge way. Sure, we've seen plenty of this before, but the action moves right along with suitably dark sets and mood music to accompany all the nifty twists and turns. A nice surprise is young Ruth Negga who more than holds her own with the veterans. All in all a good effort, well worth the time to seek out, especially for Jackson fans.

Was the above review useful to you?

31 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Very good film noir

Author: mizwright from United States
22 April 2012

Samuel Jackson, executive producer, takes a big gamble with this movie because of its genre: film noir. These movies aren't made anymore. At one time they were prominent with stars like Barbara Stanwyck, Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart. The bad girl, the man she strings along, the steal, the con. Film noir is one of my favorite genres and I'm sorry that we don't have the pleasure of seeing them like we did.

This is an indy film, and will probably be released to the art houses. It's a good movie. Smart script, good acting. Twists and turns and a major surprise about mid-way that may make you stop the tape, walk away take a breath, come back and continue watching. I saw this video on demand. Jackson gives a worthy Oscar-rated performance, but I doubt since this is an indy movie and won't be seen by many he will get it. The main female actress, Ruth Negga, is a standout as the lost soul who gets used by man after man and finally with the help of the con Foley (Jackson) gets a second chance in life.

Was the above review useful to you?

20 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good.

Author: kimjarman19 from United Kingdom
5 July 2012

I started to watch this film not really knowing what I was going into, I had watched the trailer and it looked good, but I didn't expect all the twists!

Samuel L Jackson is one of my favourite actors and he definitely delivers in this film, as do the rest of the actors.

It may not be everyone's cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if you like films of this genre then you should enjoy it too. There were a few bits of the film that I guess weren't explored far enough (for me anyway, I pay too much attention to detail perhaps) but all in all I enjoyed it enough to want to watch it again sometime in the future.

Was the above review useful to you?

12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: kosmasp
14 October 2012

Samuel L. Jackson and his "rival" in this movie bring their A-game for this. I can only imagine that Sam read the script and went "Holy ..." when he read one of the "turning points" in it. It's really something, though maybe not completely unpredictable, it did catch me by surprise and was a nice thing.

While the cover might be suggesting more action that is actually in this, it still is highly thrilling and tries to stay as grounded (in reality) as possible. It achieves that more often than not and will surely not only appeal to fans of Mr. Jackson. Maybe the bad guy here will get a few new fans as well. It's not an easy task to hold your own against the sheer ferocity and will of Sam. A nice little thriller that can ...

Was the above review useful to you?

11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful movie I'd never heard of

Author: Yvette Hernandez from US
7 October 2012

After seeing "Meeting evil", I was concerned this was another dud for Samuel Jackson. He always gives a great performance, but the story isn't always up to par. I had never heard of this movie so I had lower than low expectations. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised. Shocking twists and turns kept me interested from beginning to end. I don't want to give a synopsis because I think it's better if you go in green like I did. But now I'm struggling to fill 10 lines without any spoilers. Glad I didn't check the reviews on IMDb else I would have never would have rented it. The 5.5 is totally undeserved, but I understand it. Many judge movies based on how many explosions and CGI it contains. And I've never seen Oldboy so it didn't feel like a remake. Bottom line, this is a great drama and all the characters are believable.

Was the above review useful to you?

10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An Ex-Grifter Forced Back into the Grift

Author: Chris_Pandolfi from Los Angeles, CA
18 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Foley (Samuel L. Jackson) is a former grifter who has just finished a twenty-five-year prison sentence for murdering his best friend and partner in crime. This wasn't a case of one turning against the other. Quite simply, he was given a choice; he either had to kill his friend or resign himself to the fact that both of them would be killed. He chose survival. Serving time has given him time to think, but it has also left him with nothing. He has no family. Most of his friends, grifters like he was, are dead. The rest are either lying in a coma or wishing him dead. He doesn't understand the ins and outs of city life. He is, in fact, quite used to having his day strictly regimented. Nevertheless, he has been faced with starting a new life for himself, and he's willing to give it a go.

Here enters Ethan (Luke Kirby), the son of the man Foley was forced to kill twenty-five years ago. He learned of his father's double life after years of collecting newspaper clippings and personal photographs. Now he wants to know more, specifically how the grifter game is played. He already has the perfect mark: His boss, Xavier (Tom Wilkinson), a man respected and feared in both legitimate business and the criminal underworld. If Ethan plays his cards right – which is to say, if he can convince Foley into helping him pull off a grift – he can easily walk away with $8 million. Foley wants absolutely no part of this. He's out of the grifting business. But Ethan can be very persuasive. He knows, for example, that Foley is now in a relationship with a young prostitute and junkie named Iris (Ruth Negga), who is herself an unfortunate victim of circumstance. If Foley doesn't play along, let's just say that their hopes of starting over will be dashed.

Describing the plot of "The Samaritan" does not adequately convey how successful it is as a film. That's because it isn't about the plot so much as the stylistic nuances and the depth of character, both of which are superb. Here is a taut, suspenseful, intelligently structured thriller that pays homage to con movies without having to spoof them. The screenplay by Elan Mastel and director David Weaver is filled with dialogue that's just heightened enough to be interesting but not so heightened that it comes off as phony. We hang on every word, in large part because we become hopelessly wrapped up in the story. The screenplay also features some genuinely good plot twists, and contrary to how most films such as this operate, they're not all saved for the final act. And in a genre that easily lends itself to theatricality, we're treated to performances that are rich and convincing.

Some of the best scenes are reserved for Jackson and Negga, whose characters are essentially two wounded animals turning to each other for healing. One scene sticks out in my mind. We're in the bathroom of Iris' apartment the morning after she and Foley first make love; in order to get herself back up to normal, she has to shoot up, and Foley decides to be in the room as she does it. We've been conditioned to expect scenes like this to be dark and gritty, but in the case of this movie, we witness a tender moment between damaged people. Foley is not enabling her. If anything, him being there brings her self-destructive behavior into perspective. He's seeing a fragile young woman in need of help. Their relationship will quite suddenly and irrevocably become complicated, although it's for reasons I wouldn't dream of giving away. I won't even do what I usually do and supply you with vague hints.

Kirby makes Ethan a surprisingly compelling villain, for he's not motivated by money so much as revenge. He talks all the big talk about getting rich and being exactly like his father, but in reality, forcing Foley into this grift is a calculated power play stemming from anger over his father's murder. What makes this character even more interesting is that, despite his rage, he isn't as in control as he thinks he is. Remember, Foley was once a professional grifter. He knows the schemes inside and out. He has also picked up a few survival skills in prison. This grift will happen, but only under his rules. Of course, no one, not even a desperate man in a desperate situation, has the ability to always think two steps ahead. And of that, I will say no more.

The ending is the only aspect of "The Samaritan" that made me take pause. Although there is emotional closure, there is the nagging sense that, on a technical level, a piece of the puzzle was missing. Obviously, I cannot delve into this without issuing a spoiler warning. What I can say is that everything leading up to the ending was immensely satisfying. 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.

-- Chris Pandolfi (

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Pastiche of film noir and crime thrillers

Author: Matt Kracht ( from New York
9 January 2013

The plot: An ex-con looking to go straight is blackmailed into one last grift.

I'm a huge sucker for film noir, so it's not like I could pass up a chance at watching a gritty crime thriller with Sam Jackson. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the critical disdain, but I figured it'd be worth a try. I think some of the critics were a bit harsh, but this isn't really a great movie. There are certainly some good aspects to it, but the aggressively derivative elements really drag down the score. If it had been less of a pastiche (and outright ripoff) of certain movies, this could have been good. Unfortunately, to mention its primary inspiration would be a huge spoiler.

If you're tolerant of "homage", not looking for a unique story, and are a fan of either noir or Sam Jackson, then there's a fair chance that you'll enjoy The Samaritan. I found it quite watchable, but I was not impressed with the directing or writing. The acting, on the other hand, was fine. There are only two or three scenes with Sam Jackson's trademark outbursts of angry yelling, so you might want to load up Pulp Fiction again if that's what you're looking for.

Any true Sam Jackson fan has sat through some really terrible movies. This is nowhere near the bottom, but it's somewhat frustrating in that you can see how this could have been a good movie if they'd tried a little harder.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Better than I expected

Author: bowmanblue from United Kingdom
8 February 2015

I can't work out Samuel L Jackson - he's an A-list actor, who repeatedly turns up in these 'straight to DVD' type films. Fury has received no theatrical cinema release, no real marketing campaign and little online publicity except simply appearing among countless other releases.

Jackson plays an ex con who's spent most of his life in prison and is now trying to go straight in his old age. Guess what, he doesn't. He gets sucked into a web of blackmail by a face from his past and soon he's involved in a dodgy and dangerous scam. Okay, so the plot isn't that original, but maybe that's the point. There's nothing new here, but that's not so bad.

Fury ticks all the boxes. It has plot twists, shoot-outs and some double-crossing. It'll never be a classic, like Pulp Fiction, but if you like heist, gangster or con-artist movies (as it borrows from all genres), you may get something out of this. Plus it has Samuel L Jackson, who always puts in a good performance.

Not amazing, but enjoyable if you're in the mood.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Ultimate Movie Review! - - @tss5078

Author: Tss5078 from United States
14 September 2014

Taking story lines straight out of other films and blending them together, The Samaritan is one strange and confusing film, that will really turn people off. While watching this film, one could easily identify elements straight from films such as Shaft, Payback, and Oldboy, making this film anything but original. Samuel L. Jackson stars as a con man, who has just been released from prison. He's been in there a long time and wants to go straight, but his partners son is determined to make sure that doesn't happen. Samuel L. Jackson is a legendary star that can carry any film he stars in. I love his personality and will watch anything he's in, I even sat through Black Snake Moan, but The Samaritan makes even less sense than that did. The story is just completely all over the place, jumping from one thing to another, without resolving any of the issues it presents. Often times films like that will come together in a terrific ending, but the end of the Samaritan just leaves more questions than answers. Jackson is of course very solid and shows his wide range or ability and emotion, but the rest of the cast is just awful. Independent films often times only feature one person of recognition, but when you're releasing a film like this one, which is heavily advertising that star, you've got to give them something to work with. I honestly feel like some of these people were just pulled off the street and asked if they wanted to be in a movie, their inexperience is that obvious. When you add to that a confusing story line, that is full of slang and innuendo, the result is something that is unwatchable. The biggest star in the world couldn't have made a film like this work.The Samaritan is a rare instance where I wish I had listened to my fellow reviewers and just let this one pass me by.

Was the above review useful to you?

Good crime thriller

Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
30 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Foley is released from prison after serving 25 years for murdering (under duress) his best friend. He is determined to go straight, but his friend's son Ethan is equally determined to drag him into taking part in a con on a big-time criminal. Then his path is crossed by Iris, a young prostitute and junkie, and suddenly the future might be different.

I buy DVDs from Poundland every now and then. I am always optimistic about films I have never heard of, and I am almost always disappointed. This film is a rare exception. Moderately high profile (Samuel L Jackson is Foley, Tom Wilkinson is the mark, up and coming Ruth Negga is Iris), it is nonetheless a film which had passed under my (very active) radar without trace.

The action is infrequent and, when it comes, very violent, but this is not a film about action. It is about characters, the relationships between them, and the holds they have on each other. The story is strong, there are unexpected plot developments, the acting is good, and the direction is very good.

I expected to be disappointed: I was delighted.

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 1 of 5:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Ratings Awards External reviews
Parents Guide Official site Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history