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The Samaritan (2012)

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After twenty years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion.


David Weaver


Elan Mastai (screenplay), David Weaver (screenplay)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Foley
Luke Kirby ... Ethan
Ruth Negga ... Iris
A.C. Peterson ... Miro
Gil Bellows ... Bartender Bill
Aaron Poole ... Jake
Tom McCamus ... Deacon
Martha Burns ... Gretchen
Deborah Kara Unger ... Helena
Tom Wilkinson ... Xavier
Rob Archer ... Vernon Hicks
Diana Leblanc ... Celia
Rufus Crawford ... Construction Foreman
Andrew Butcher Andrew Butcher ... Construction Worker
Frank Moore ... Walker


After twenty years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You've got to know a secret to tell a secret.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

20 April 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Samaritan See more »

Filming Locations:

Havana, Cuba See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,744, 20 May 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,744, 20 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Samaritan was Samuel L. Jackson's character's nickname in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995). See more »


Near the end of the film, when Iris is shot and needs a blood transfusion, Foley tells the doctor to use his blood because 'it will work.' However, parents are not automatically compatible blood donors to children. They could actually have different blood types which are incompatible. See more »


Iris: If you keep on doing what you've always done ,you'll keep on being what you've always been, nothing changes unless you make it change, I know what it sounds like but every morning that I wake up I think about what that really means .Nothing Changes Unless You Make It Change.
See more »


Written & Performed by David Whalen of 'Addicted to Lipgloss'
Courtesy of Addicted To Lipgloss
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pastiche of film noir and crime thrillers
9 January 2013 | by krachtmSee all my reviews

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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