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37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: After twenty‐five 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: Ethan, the son of his former partner, has an ingenious plan andAfter twenty‐five 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: Ethan, the son of his former partner, has an ingenious plan and he wants Foley in. The harder Foley tries to escape his past, the tighter he is ensnared in Ethan’s web of secrets, until it becomes all too clear to Foley that some wrongs can never be made right. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 15
  2. Negative: 5 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 16, 2012
    75
    The Samaritan isn't a great noir, but it's true to the tradition and gives Samuel L. Jackson one of his best recent roles.
  2. 70
    A gritty serving of pulp fiction masterfully perpetrated by Samuel L. Jackson as a philosophical ex-con trying to buck the considerable odds by taking a shot at redemption.
  3. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    May 17, 2012
    55
    Svelte enough in its reassembling of familiar elements to be, for a while, as comfortably pleasant as sipping on what once used to be your go-to drink - until The Samaritan takes a jarring turn right out of Park Chan-wook, and from there takes a tumble into ludicrousness from which it doesn't recover.
  4. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    May 16, 2012
    42
    It's difficult to describe The Samaritan, in which Samuel L. Jackson plays an ex-con trying to return to the straight and narrow after 25 years inside, without overlapping a dozen other movies in his nigh-endless filmography, nor watch any scene without thinking of how many times he's drawn from the same bag of tricks.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    May 18, 2012
    40
    His (Jackson) doleful revenant is in almost every scene, and this hardworking actor seems to know that the film around him should be a light-footed caper instead of a grim noir with a side order of deviance.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew Pulver
    May 12, 2012
    40
    A clotted, knotted, twisty noir that is, unfortunately, short on the required atmosphere.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 18, 2012
    12
    A would-be piece of pulp fiction about a parolee trying to go straight, The Samaritan proves that even Samuel L. Jackson can be boring.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Sep 14, 2014
    3
    Taking story lines straight out of other films and blending them together, The Samaritan is one strange and confusing film, that will reallyTaking 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. Expand

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