“The Samaritan” Review

jason February 1, 2012 9
“The Samaritan” Review


“The Samaritan” gets as many things right as it does wrong.  One thing it did right was remind us that Samuel L. Jackson is a credible actor and can do more than be Samuel L. Jackson.  He shows some nuance and grace which is a nice departure from being eaten by a shark or organizing a team of super heros. Now, even though Samuel L. Jackson shows some restraint, “The Samaritan” does not.

“The Samaritan” is pitched as a Neo-Noir, and assuming I know what that is, it sure hits its mark. “The Samaritan” looks slick, is exceedingly violent, and deals with a gritty subject matter with a plethora of twists and turns.

Samuel L. Jackson plays an ex-grifter named Foley. He was recently released from prison and is attempting to piece together a low-key lifestyle. During his attempt to live a normal life he is constantly prodded by the son of his deceased grifting partner, Ethan (Luke Kirby). Ethan is fairly adamant that Foley help him on one last massive grift.  Ethan even goes so far as to offer Foley sexual favors from a young drug addict named Iris (Ruth Negga). Foley continuously declines his offers, but does start a relationship with Iris. It starts off strictly sexual, but the two eventually find solace in one another.

There’s a pretty massive twist that occurs half-way through this movie. It’s hard to go on with a description without revealing the twist, so I’ll just say Ethan corners Foley. The man they’re conning is a hyper violent business man named Xavier (Tom Wilkinson doing his best Hannibal Lecter impression).

The main problem with “The Samaritan” is that it just reminds me of too many other movies. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just there. It’s not quite unique enough to be considered original, and it’s not quality enough to subjugate the genre. I felt as if I saw a good film when the credits started to roll, but I’m writing this review the day after, and I’m already having trouble remembering the details.

This movie does introduce the world to Ruth Negga (I can’t help but feel racist when I type her name).  She held her own with Wilkinson and Jackson and seemed to be at her best the more demanding the role became. Samuel L. Jackson is solid as Foley and his performance may be better than the movie in its entirety.

Here’s a weird paragraph that I have to write to make my 600 word quota. This movie is unnecessarily violent.  It’s not at the level of “Human Centipede 2” or “I Saw the Devil” but this story doesn’t call for it’s extraneous amounts of blood. This movie does call for some violence, but it wasn’t about violence. “I Saw the Devil” was about psychopathic murderers. “The Samaritan” is about grifting and redemption.


Shortly after Foley decides to get into a romantic relationship with Iris, Ethan reveals that Iris is Foley’s daughter. If Foley does not participate in his grift then he will reveal that information to Iris and her world will be shattered. The whole scenario was a setup for Ethan to blackmail Foley.  Was he really that certain Foley would fall in love with Iris?

This is really my fault more than the movies, but the incest twist is very similar to “Oldboy.” Then I just thought about how awesome “Oldboy” is. Now I just want to watch “Oldoy.” So, my conclusion for “The Samaritin” review is that “Oldboy” is great.


  1. Liz Simon February 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Why would you reveal the big plot twist?? That’s kind of douchy and stupid of you.

  2. AKA40JEVIN April 9, 2012 at 4:20 am - Reply

    Why’s he douchy and stupid? He did write “Crazy Plot Twist…” in all caps. It’s a fair review.

  3. jason April 9, 2012 at 4:23 am - Reply

    Yeah! He’s douchy and stupid for other reasons!

  4. SallyinChicago April 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Boy, I’m glad I saw it before I read your review. You need to remove the “twist” spoiler.

  5. jason April 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Why? It’s labeled.

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  7. dede April 24, 2012 at 12:52 am - Reply

    I just watch this movie without any idea of the plot , no trailer watch , and I saw before Oldboy longtime ago

    This movie offer more of my expectation, I really enjoy to see it

    I hear an oldboy remak in prod.
    if the remak are just shit, this movie ll become my remak of oldboy 🙂

    become here by imdb cya

  8. Andre Theman May 29, 2016 at 3:39 am - Reply

    I came here looking for any plot twists and spoilers I could find d. I had started 2nd ching this on netflix and became utterly bored with it. I skipped ahead just to end it all but couldn’t get the jist so I searched for a site that just told the whole story. Years ago I had a favorite place for that but I lost track of it.

    A double is a person that wants to read reviews beyond the studio own blurb but wants to be spared spoilers. Take you chances cold turkey and bail if ithe doesn’t keep your attention.

  9. Anthony Petronella September 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Jason my man, get a grip= he did write in big capital ass letters CRAZY ASS PLOT SPOILER!!! Do you understand what that means.? Maybe you should go watch Finding Nemo or some shit like that .

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