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Don Verdean (2015)

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A self-professed biblical archaeologist who has fallen on hard times starts to bend the truth in order to continue inspiring the faithful.


Jared Hess





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Rockwell ... Don Verdean
Amy Ryan ... Carol Jensen
Will Forte ... Pastor Fontaine
Danny McBride ... Tony Lazarus
Jemaine Clement ... Boaz
Steve Park ... Poon-Yen (as Stephen Park)
Leslie Bibb ... Joylinda Lazarus
Sky Elobar ... Dr. Stanley
P.J. Boudousqué ... Gary
Yaniv Moyal ... Israeli Police Officer
Jared Shipley ... Lab Tech
Logan Rogan Logan Rogan ... Tourist
Michael Flynn ... Church Elder
Pete Rockwell ... Antique Store Owner
Harry Bonner Harry Bonner ... Security Guard


Hired by an ambitious small-town pastor to find sacred relics in the Holy Land, a self-proclaimed Biblical archaeologist comes up short and his attempt to cover up his failure fuels a comic conspiracy from the filmmaking team behind Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. DON VERDEAN stars Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Bibb, with Will Forte, and Danny McBride. Written by Lionsgate Premiere

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fraud works in mysterious ways.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, some language and brief violence | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site





Release Date:

11 December 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don Verdean: O Que o Passado Nos Reserva See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Many of the extras did not recognize Sam Rockwell, until they were told by the crew. See more »


Boaz: There are a lot of rocks out there, Don. They all look the same. How do I know which one is the one?
Don Verdean: Well, it can't be that hard. We need the one with breasts.
Boaz: Oh, the breasts. Okay, that one.
Boaz: Oh, yeah. There's one big white rock, and it has breasts on it.
See more »


References Planet of the Apes (1968) See more »


His Hand in Mine
Written by Mosie Lister
Performed by Elvis Presley
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of RCA Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable performances with a great story, but did not wow me as expected.
17 December 2015 | by subxerogravitySee all my reviews

Huge fan of Sam Rockwell so I was excited to see this flick. He plays the title character a Archaeologist specializing in finding artifacts that prove the Christian faith is real, but under pressure he becomes a con artist and gets over his head keeping the con going.

Danny McBride and Jemaine Clement (of flight of the Concords fame) give the quirky comedy to Rockwell's straight man. Both men give me some laugh out loud moments. While Will Forte who is also in the movie is good for just a few giggles here and there.

The story was actually really cool as it becomes very outrageous when the devoted Christian starts to go a little too far to keep his con going.

It is unfair to compare Don Verdean to Napoleon Dynamite, but I can't help it after finding out the same guy directed both. I'd say Don Verdean had more story and is strengthen by Sam Rockwell's performance with McBride and Clement supporting him. It has the same style of charm that makes all the characters interesting to watch.

Plus it really is good for a few laughs.

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