The Samaritan | Chicago Reader

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New
93 minutes

Drama
Samuel L. Jackson stars as an ex-con roped back into a life of crime by the son of a former associate. Scripted by Elan Mastai and David Weaver, this Canadian noir contains plot developments so grandiose they could have come from Greek tragedy (or, in one case, Chan-wook Park's Oldboy). Yet Weaver's direction is oddly subdued: scenes tend to play out slowly, under somber lighting, and the actors—even Jackson—are often quiet and composed. An odd stylistic mash-up, the movie never quite coheres, in part because the characters are so thin that the style doesn't have much to cohere to. With Ruth Negga (doing what she can with an abused prostitute archetype), Luke Kirby, and Tom Wilkinson (who seems to be channeling Edward Everett Horton).

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