The Samaritan
2012



This was the official website for the generally poorly received 2012 film, The Samaritan, starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Content is from the site's 2012 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.

Rating: R (for strong violence, language, some sexuality and drug use)
Genre: Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:  David Weaver
Written By:  Elan Mastai, David Weaver
In Theaters:  May 18, 2012  Limited
On Disc/Streaming:  Sep 25, 2012
Box Office:  $1,744
Runtime:  93 minutes
Studio: IFC Films

 

  

Synopsis

After twenty five years in prison, Foley (Samuel L. Jackson) is finished with the grifter's life. Prison and a lifetime in the game have stripped him of friends, family and a reason to get up in the morning, but when he meets an elusive young woman named Iris (Ruth Negga), the possibility of a new start looks real.

Yet his past is proving to be a stubborn companion: Ethan (Luke Kirby), the son of his former partner, wants to learn the game – and who better to learn from than the closest thing he has to a father? And he has the perfect mark – Ethan's boss Xavier (Tom Wilkinson) a brutal man admired in the straight world for his business savvy, and feared in the underworld for his ruthlessness, is coming to town, and there's an easy $8 million to be had if you know how to play smart.

The play is an old classic con – The Samaritan – the inside man, the outside man, the catch and the mark. It's a dangerous and high risk setup requiring nerves of steel, precision timing and a bit of finesse to make it convincing. Foley could do it in his sleep – if he wanted to. But he doesn't and he won't. That is until Ethan raises the stakes and plays some cards that Foley never knew were in the deck. He's trapped and the con is on.

Foley finds himself caught up in a nightmare situation and for the first time, with something personal to lose. The mark proves more formidable than Foley anticipated and every unexpected turn could blow the whole thing up, leaving Foley vulnerable, exposed and hopelessly watching everything that matters to him slip through his fingers.

In a good con nothing is as it seems, and Foley finds out, too late, that the player has been played.

The only way out is to play the game to the end, and hope they make it out alive.

 



The Samaritan Official Trailer #1 - Samuel L. Jackson Movie (2012)
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.

 


 

Samuel L. Jackson

Respectfully acknowledged as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson is an undisputed star, as demonstrated by the fact that his films have grossed more money in box office sales than those of any other actor in the history of filmmaking.

Jackson has been honored with awards from some of the most prestigious organizations in the world. He won the Best Supporting Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991, for Jungle Fever, the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1998 for Jackie Brown, has received Golden Globe nominations for Pulp Fiction, A Time to Kill and Jackie Brown, five NAACP Image Award nominations, and one win in 2005 for his performance in Coach Carter, and most recently he has garnered two People's Choice Award nominations in 2006 and 2007 for Favorite Male Actor.

Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of 'Jules', the philosophizing hitman, in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Among his many award-winning performances, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2007, Jackson starred in the Rod Lurie directed film, Resurrecting the Champ and had a supporting role in the successful horror film 1408 based on the Stephen King novel. Also in 2007, Jackson starred in the Craig Brewer film, Black Snake Moan, and Irwin Winkler's MGM war drama, Home of the Brave.

Jackson was recently onscreen in the Doug Liman sci-fi action film Jumper. Later in 2008 he appeared in the Neil LaBute thriller Lakeview Terrace, and the quirky crime drama Cleaner, directed by Renny Harlin, for which Jackson also served as executive producer.

Jackson recently completed production on Frank Miller's action drama, The Spirit, where he portrays the nemesis, Octopus. Shortly to be released is Soul Men, a comedy for Dimension Studios, in which he stars with the late Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes.

Other film credits include Snakes on a Plane, Coach Carter, the Star Wars trilogy, In My Country, The Man, The Incredibles, S.W.A.T., Formula 51, Changing Lanes, Caveman's Valentine, Red Violin, Shaft, Unbreakable, 187, Eve's Bayou, Jackie Brown, The Negotiator, A Time To Kill, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea.

Luke Kirby

Luke Kirby has recently finished work starring with Seth Rogen alongside Michelle Williams in Sarah Polley's 'Take This Waltz'

Luke begin his career in the theatre, where he won considerable critical acclaim, including a Best Actor nomination for the Dora Mavor Moore Award.

His feature film debut was in 'Halloween: Resurrection' with Jamie Lee Curtis, followed by 'Shattered Glass' alongside Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloe Sevigny and Rosario Dawson and starring with Lindsay Lohan in the comedy 'Labor Pains'. Luke was also a regular in the HBO series 'Tell Me You Love Me'.

Ruth Negga

Ruth Negga made her screen debut in the Irish film Capital Letters (2004), playing the lead role of Taiwo. She went on to play the lead role of Mary in Isolation (2005).

After seeing her act, director Neil Jordan changed the script to Breakfast On Pluto so that she could appear in the movie. She has also starred in Colour Me Kubrick (2005), with John Malkovich.

Negga's theatre work includes roles in Duck, Titus Andronicus and Lay Me Down Softly. In 2010, she played Ophelia in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet.

Ruth Negga was nominated as 2003's Most Promising Newcomer at the Olivier Awards. She was chosen as Ireland's Shooting Star for the 2006 Berlin Film Festival.

Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson's exceptional body of work ranges from Michael Clayton with George Clooney, and In the Bedroom with Sissy Spacek - both of which garnered him Academy Award nominations - to Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, as well as leading roles in Batman Returns and The Green Hornet. Mr. Wilkinson is currently starring in the controversial mini-series The Kennedys.

 



 

REVIEWS

 

User Reviews / www.tribute.ca/

2 stars "other than the cool toronto scenery, this movie was horrible."
1 star "Calling this movie stupid would be too kind."
1 star "Luke Kirby was excellent...but the movie was awful"
horrible movie...nice to see it being flimed in toronto..but otherwise it was horrible.
1 stars awful
3 stars love samuel jackson, but not a great story. okay thought!
1 stars other than luke kirby, this movie was awful
4 stars liked the story. good acting from samuel l. jackson as usual. i recommend this movie.
2 stars did not enjoy this movie at all. storyline was confusing and terrible.
2 stars weird....weird...jackson is good, but the movie is weird.


Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
Tomatometer CRITICS 26% | AUDIENCE 40%

 

CRITICS REVIEWS

 

May 18, 2012 | Rating: 2/5
Jeannette Catsoulis New York Times   Top Critic

[Jackson's] 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.

+++

May 18, 2012 | Rating: 2/4
Stephen Whitty Newark Star-Ledger Top Critic

It's not honest with its people, or its plot. And the only ones it really cheats are audience members.
This 'Samaritan' doesn't have the best intentions

the-samaritan-movie-review.JPG

Sabrina LantosLuke Kirby as Ethan and Samuel L. Jackson as Foley in "The Samaritan"

The reason confidence games work is that con men can always rely on people acting in their own greedy best interests.

Someone asks them to hold onto some found money, a guy in a bind offers to sell them a real Rolex, a peddler has an Xbox that “fell off a truck.” They strike the deal and run home.

And find out that sealed Xbox carton has a brick inside, the Rolex is actually a “Rulex” and that envelope full of money they put up some “good faith” security for is, in fact, only full of paper.

Movies depend on people acting in their own best interests, too, though. Even if a character sacrifices himself, it’s because it serves his needs to do so.

But “The Samaritan,” a movie about confidence games, has characters who act in nobody’s interests but the screenwriter’s.

They are, at times, murderous, short-sighted, self-destructive, even suicidal — and in every case their behavior not only runs contrary to their own aims, but to the logic of the situation. Yet they move the story along and that’s all that matters. They’re puppets, not people.

The Canadian film — one of the few to actually let Toronto be Toronto — has Samuel L. Jackson as a con man finally getting out of prison after 25 years on a murder charge. And there is absolutely nobody waiting for him when he gets outside.

Nobody except the son of his former partner — who has a scheme for (yes, yes) one last score.

The pleasures of a con movie such as this — or, rather, a better con movie than this — are twofold. One, the filmmakers are always one step ahead of you, often hiding a second trick in the tale. Two, once that twist is revealed, you have to nod and admit, yes, the film played fair.

That’s not something you can say about “The Samaritan,” which telegraphs some developments and pulls others out of thin air.
Bald-headed and coldly furious, Jackson is charismatic as ever as the ex-con con artist. And as the femme fatale, Ruth Negga — an Irish/Ethiopian actress — is as evanescent as fog, her smoky eyes concealing all sorts of secrets. Both help the film as much as they can.
Luke Kirby, though, badly overplays the sleazy slipperiness of Jackson’s new partner. And as some sort of untouchable mob boss, Tom Wilkinson has nothing but clichés to play, prattling on about vintage champagne like some snobby old Bond villain.
There are some complications, some melodrama, and then the game gets underway. Of course nothing goes as expected; the whole thing ends with blood everywhere, which is not the way cons are supposed to work.
But “The Samaritan” isn’t the way smart movies are supposed to work, either. It’s not honest with its people, or its plot. And the only ones it really cheats are audience members.
Ratings note: The film contains nudity, violence, drug abuse and disturbing sexual material.
'The Samaritan'
(Unrated) IFC (90 min.)
Directed by David Weaver. With Samuel L. Jackson, Luke Kirby, Ruth Negga. Now playing in New York.

 

+++

May 28, 2012
Todd Jorgenson Cinemalogue

What could have been an intriguing character study about redemption turns into an absurd series of eye-rolling plot twists that makes it impossible to take this mess seriously.

The Samaritan
Samuel L. Jackson offers a solid performance in this otherwise contrived noir thriller, playing a grifter who is paroled after more than two decades in prison. He wants to start a new life but finds himself drawn back into his old world through a series of double-crosses after meeting a troubled young woman (Ruth Negga) and a con man (Luke Kirby) with a connection to his past. What could have been an intriguing character study about redemption turns into an absurd series of eye-rolling plot twists that makes it impossible to take this mess seriously – something only Tom Wilkinson as the chief villain seems to understand. (Not rated, 89 minutes).

+++

The Samaritan
by Imaginary Amie on June 1, 2012 in Film Review, Grand Illusion Cinema

{The Samaritan opens in Seattle on June 1 at The Grand Illusion Cinema; screening June 1-7 Friday, Monday-Thursday at 9pm, and on Saturday and Sunday at both 5pm and 9pm. Tickets are $8, or $5 for GI Members}

Remember when Samuel L. Jackson used to act? Wayyyy back before he became a motherf**kin’ parody of himself? I do, and I was hoping that The Samaritan would give him a chance to do it again … and it did, sort of.

Samuel’s character, Foley, is fresh out of prison from a 25-year stint for shooting his best friend (and grifting partner) in the head. He’s not out for very long (like, a day) before his dead partner’s son Ethan tries to pull him back into some bad stuff by offering him a partnership in a new Grift—the Samaritan—which will cheat a volatile mob boss (Tom Wilkinson, natch) out of 8 million dollars. Of course Foley declines, but then matters get complicated when love interest Iris enters the picture.

It’s your basic “guy trying to be a better man, but getting pulled back into the fray” story—with one really sick, dark twist that gets thrown in your face in the middle. And let me tell you, when that twist happened, I started PAYING SOME SERIOUS ATTENTION.

The movie then had a bunch of interesting directions it could have gone, but unfortunately it relies on a few lame resolutions, followed by an unsatisfying and ridiculous ending.

That said, it’s still pretty entertaining, and while Jackson's performance is more subdued than usual here, you still get to see him kick some ass (duh) while he’s emoting the hell out of his eyebrows, so if that’s worth $8 to you, I say go for it.

 


AUDIENCE REVIEWS

+++

*½ Jim B November 27, 2012
Dumb plot about dumb people -- got bored an hour in. Skip unless your a huge Samuel L Jackson fan

+++

*** samuel j November 27, 2012
While packed with talented actors, The Samaritan seems more like a badly written copy of Park's Oldboy. The bitter and slow moving plot brings you to a conclusion that's just too weird to be rewarding. Samuel L. Jackson gives a great and expert performance, but unfortunately it's not enough to make this film as great as it could've been.

+++

*½ Rainbow R November 25, 2012
it only got a star because Sammie was in it, the half was for the movie itself. The plot was stupid like a dumb blonde in a horror movie. "Don't go upstairs!" *DEAD*

+++

Maridia B  November 24, 2012
Samuel L. Jackson isn't Frozone anymore--you could see how much excitement the role was for him. But fast forward...and this melts.

+++

***** erica w November 24, 2012
This movie seems to be a good movie just by watching the trailer.

+++

½* Charlotte D November 23, 2012
Garbage...don't recommend this at all....

+++

Miranda S November 23, 2012
This movie was weird, and confusing. Samuel did a great job of playing the same type of character he always plays. It was pretty intense at times, would have been better with less confusion.

*** mickjacobs21 Mick J November 19, 2012
plot was good overall i really liked it

+++

** Brendan N November 16, 2012 Super Reviewer
interesting noir film that begins well but falls apart. the only thing that holds it together is jackson who delivers in the lead. The plot is basically something you have seen 100 times before.
The love twist is just something I don't want to mention over and over again. The relationship is just something that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. I enjoy noir films but this clearly a dud only held together by Jackson.
Poor direction and uninteresting characters don't help the film at all and the whole noir concept is poorly realised. This could of been a much better film had the writing team and director got behind it

+++

****Vee H November 15, 2012
This movie is real good. I see why Samuel L. Jackson is one of the highest paid actors...

+++

Wendy W November 12, 2012
really liked this movie

+++

*** Lamar W November 11, 2012
Great story and performances

+++

*** Manu G November 4, 2012 Super Reviewer
You've got to know a secret to tell a secret.
Good movie! 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. All in all, it was a thoroughly entertaining flick which is worth a watch.

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.

+++

*** Bruno M November 4, 2012
3/5 because Samuel L. Jackson is in it...

+++

*** Carlos Z November 4, 2012
Pretty Good movie about redemption

+++

 
** Edward B November 3, 2012  Super Reviewer
The Samaritan is just simply too derivative, too cliche, and too much in love with the style of a film noir rather than creating an honest portrayal of characters at crossroads. Samuel L Jackson plays Foley, an ex-grifter who has just got out of a 25-year sentence for murdering his best friend. Foley is simply trying to live his life, get a legit job, and spend his nights at a local bar feeling sorry for himself. That is until Ethan, the son of the man Foley killed, comes to him with a "one last job" offer. Despite pulling one major twist, the plot consistently treads familiar territory.
The performances are restrained but not in a good way. Everybody here seems completely bored, as if they're looking forward to a nice tidy paycheck more so than a solid performance.
Furthermore, the piano based soundtrack attempts to create a very sad, melancholic tone for the picture, but it quickly starts to feel very monotonous. Combined with an uninteresting visual style where everything seems filmed under gold filters, The Samaritan just treads along in a meandering fashion that never manages to engage. Its minor twists aren't enough to make up for a story that we've seen way too many times before.

+++

** Luca S October 27, 2012
I'll be down right honest...I understood nothing of the story. I mean from what I got of it is that it basically was this ex con man who gets out of prison, finds the son of a friend he killed for idk what reasons, eventually gets into a relationship with his own daughter (that he later finds out) to then do the actual desception that gets screwed up because she wanted to get revenge on the son of Foley's friend for once again idk what reasons.

But it seems to me that even if I would of understood the story, I wouldn't of been gripped since it seemed like a dramatic love story that went terribly wrong while I was expecting an on the edge deception/thriller.

Honestly don't know how i feel about this one

 


CREW

David Weaver, Director

One of Canada's most exciting emerging young directors, David Weaver has vast experience in feature films, movies of the week, and episodic television. David's films have played in over a dozen countries and won numerous awards. His television work has screened on major networks around the world.

A graduate of the University of Toronto, David received the Norman Jewison Fellowship for Film Studies, and Columbia University's renowned Graduate Film Program. He has written and directed several short films, including Moon Palace, which appeared at nearly forty festivals, won over a dozen international awards, and was selected to screen at the Museum of Modern Art.

David made his feature film directorial debut with Century Hotel, starring Colm Feore, Mia Kirschner and Lindy Booth. Century Hotel premiered at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival and received two Canadian Academy Award nominations. Variety termed it "a very strong first feature."

He followed that up with the critically-acclaimed Siblings, starring Alex Campbell and Sarah Polley, that also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2004.

His most recent film was Toronto Stories, an anthology featuring Gil Bellows and Lisa Ray, which Weaver also co-produced. Toronto Stories marked Weaver's fourth film in a row to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In addition to feature film work, David has directed series television and several highly-rated American television movies, including Charlie & Me, which was nominated for Gemini, Humanitas, and DGC Awards for Best Family Television Movie.

David lives in Toronto with his wife, Suzanne Cheriton, and son Jackson.

Andras Hamori, Producer

Films produced or executive-produced by Andras Hamori have been distributed in the United States by most major studios, as well as leading independent distributors around the world. His films have been nominated for two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and have won several major awards at the Cannes International Film Festival as well as the Berlin, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals. His films have also won European Film Awards and Canadian Academy awards, including Best Picture for Sunshine.

Hamori's current production of Stephen Frears' Cheri, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates, and written by Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton, recently premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival. Cheri is distributed by Miramax Films in the US and by Pathé in the UK and France.

Hamori's previous films include The 51st State, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle, Istvan Szabo's Sunshine, starring Ralph Fiennes, and David Cronenberg's eXistenZ, starring Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh. As executive producer, his credits include Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar, starring Samantha Morton, Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter, and David Cronenberg's CRASH. He was executive producer of Fugitive Pieces, the opening film of the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival.

In 2004 Hamori produced Fateless, the directorial debut of Academy Award nominated cinematographer Lajos Koltai, based on Nobel- Prize-winner Imre Kertesz's novel. Fateless premiered as an Official Selection at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival and was subsequently acquired for US distribution by THINKFilm.

Hamori's earlier producing credits include Max, starring John Cusack, and Owning Mahowny, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver, and John Hurt. Max premiered as a Special Presentation at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival, had its US premiere at the 2002 AFI Festival, and was distributed in the US by Lionsgate. Owning Mahowny premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and was selected for the Panorama Section of the Berlin International Film Festival. Sony Classics distributed it in the US.

Hamori also produced Big Nothing, a fast-paced caper-comedy starring David Schwimmer and Simon Pegg, and Opium – Diary of a Madwoman directed by Janos Szasz and starring Ulrich Thomsen.

Elan Mastai, Writer

Elan Mastai's current screenwriting projects include two films with Paramount Pictures, one a collaboration with Oscar-winner Alan Ball (AMERICAN BEAUTY) and the other with This American Life's Ira Glass, based on an episode of the Peabody-winning NPR radio-show.

Mastai's scripts in development include one with Warner Brothers and De Line Pictures, producers of GREEN LANTERN, and another with Fox Searchlight and Mr. Mudd, producers of JUNO.

THE SAMARITAN is Elan Mastai's fourth produced film.

 


TheSamaritanFilm.com