Though several notches above the last Hasidic crime drama I remember (Sidney Lumet's daffy A Stranger Among Us, with Melanie Griffith as an undercover cop among New York's ultra-Orthodox), this lackluster indie proves that the flattening power of cliche can trump even the most exotic social setting. The talented Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) does what he can playing a restless young rabbinical student who's recruited as a mule by the neighborhood ecstasy dealer (Justin Bartha). The novice's knack for business yields rapid advancement, hot blonds, nightclub frolics, and briefcases full of money, but pretty soon he's manifesting all the classic and fateful character flaws of the cinematic drug slinger. This is based on actual events, but it feels a lot like television. Kevin Asch directed.
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