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The Samaritan
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Samaritan More at IMDbPro »

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36 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Stylish Neo Noir

7/10
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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28 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Very good film noir

7/10
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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19 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good.

8/10
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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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Performances

6/10
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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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful movie I'd never heard of

8/10
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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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An Ex-Grifter Forced Back into the Grift

8/10
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 (www.atatheaternearyou.net)

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Pastiche of film noir and crime thrillers

5/10
Author: Matt Kracht (krachtm@yahoo.com) 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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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A movie with an overused idea that really drug in the beginning but the last 15 minutes was pretty good. It's OK. I say C+.

5/10
Author: Tony Heck (cosmo_tiger@hotmail.com) from United States
10 July 2012

"Nothing changes unless you make it change." After 20 years in prison for killing his friend Foley (Jackson) is out and is determined to go straight. Less then a day after being released he runs into some old friends and discovers the old life isn't easy to escape from and the only way out is to go back in. I have to start by saying that I have never been a Samual L. Jackson fan. I liked him in "Pulp Fiction" but he plays that character in every movie that he has done (except "Resurrecting The Champ"). This movie is no different, although for some of it he is toned down and isn't screaming every line. The movie itself is really not original. Guy gets out of jail and wants to go legit...meets people he used to know...has to pull off one last job...yada yada yada. While the ending of the movie is really good and helps the movie getting to the end is a struggle. Some parts are good while others are pretty boring and tends to drag on. There are really interesting plot points that are brought up and forgot about which makes no sense. The movie isn't all bad though and if you are a Sam Jackson fan you will really enjoy this one. For me the last movie he did "Meeting Evil" was much better. Overall, not a bad movie but nothing to rush and see. I give it a C+.

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Better than I expected

7/10
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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The Ultimate Movie Review! - http://tss5078.blogspot.com - @tss5078

3/10
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.

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