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The Samaritan More at IMDbPro »

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39 out of 51 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.

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33 out of 45 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.

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14 out of 17 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 ...

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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.

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12 out of 16 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.

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11 out of 15 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 (

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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.

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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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: jmason-64994 from United Kingdom
19 November 2016

The background music far too loud to hear the mumbled dialogue in many scenes. Plus the background music is horrible, often vibrating in my head completely distracting me from the dialogue. The plot is disjointed and barely believable, yet predicable. The grift twists were not believable, in fact the grift itself was too simple to be realistic. Too many scenes are in the dark or weird yellow light. The 'surgeon' must been absolutely brilliant to work in the dim yellow light of his room. It's very hard to say more about this movie as it was pretty much a yawning waste of ninety minutes. Samuel L Jackson is an excellent actor, I'm a fan but I'm surprised he made this movie. The English actor/master criminal Tom Wilkinson wasn't believable, he looked more like a merchant banker. Very disappointing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Where an old grifter is forced into his last con…

Author: Roger Burke from Brisbane, Australia
8 November 2013

This story is a pleasant surprise: not only because it doesn't deserve the low score at IMDb, and not only because Samuel Jackson provides an excellent characterization of an ex-grifter and ex-con who is forced into another caper. It's also refreshing, paradoxically, because the story echoes aspects of that classic Korean flick, Old Boy (2003).

If you haven't seen Old Boy, however, then you can still see this as a credible piece of entertainment. In a nutshell, Foley (Jackson) is persuaded by Ethan (Luke Kirby) to conduct another grift – upon a thoroughly unpleasant Xavier (Tom Wilkinson), a high-powered business mogul, crook and murderer who is always looking for ways to turn a few million bucks. Foley is unwilling, but Ethan prevails – because he has an advantage Foley can't ignore. Ethan brings in two women – a working girl, Iris (Ruth Negga) and Helena (Deborah Unger) – to assist with the grift. On the night of the caper, though, it all begins to unravel when Helena can't make it...even when eight million is up for grabs.

Jackson is excellent as the tired, old ex-con who just wants to be left alone; Kirby is perfect as the wanna-be con artist who needs help from an old grifter; Negga does a good job as a possible love interest; Wilkinson overacts somewhat as the heartless bad guy; Unger, though, acts as though she's in a trance, the only sour note. Watch, especially, for Foley's parole officer, Deacon (Tom McCamus), in a small but effective part – with a decided twist.

The plot moves quickly for the most part. And, it has sufficient surprises and twists to keep any viewer's interest. Be aware, though, this is not to the standard of, say, The Sting (1973) or that other classic, The Spanish Prisoner (1997). That said, Samaritan deserves more than five.

I give it six out of ten. Recommended for all adults.

November 9, 2013

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