Movie review: 'Bad Samaritan'

Suspenseful thriller manages to transcend its clickbait title


Tempo grade: C+

Dean Devlin is a producer best known for blockbuster pictures, such as "Independence Day," "Godzilla" and "Stargate." But, as a director, his rather light resume now lists a nifty little thriller with a typical Saturday afternoon clickbait title, "Bad Samaritan."

Starring Robert Sheehan, the film follows a guy who apparently is a talented but struggling photographer who has a pretty girlfriend that is head over heels in love with him. To make ends meet, he works as a valet for a fancy Portland, Oregon restaurant.

To make ends meet even further, he and a coworker run a little burglary racket on the side. They break into the homes of restaurant customers while they are eating. There, they take a few inconsequential yet valuable items. Then they return their car to the mark after the meal, none the wiser. That is, until the boys pick on a customer with a very dark secret back home.

Devlin's film revels in placing the audience in a near-constant state of anxiety even when Sean Falco (Sheehan) is enjoying the company of his girlfriend, Riley (Jacqueline Byers), innocently snapping a private photo of her he swears he will never show anyone else. Later, his buddy Derek (Carlito Ontivero) conducts one of the thefts and nearly gets caught when he discovers a doberman in the house.

It's all about the thrill of doing something extremely risky and fraught with disaster at each move. All of this, of course, is rehearsal for what will come.

This time, a man named Cale Erendreich (David Tennant) drives up to the restaurant in a gorgeous Maserati sports car. Obviously stinking rich, he sneers at the boys as he hands over the keys before stepping into the eatery.

It's Sean's turn, so he zips over to Cale's very modern, tech-dominated domicile and instantly knows he's hit the jackpot. That's when he discovers Cale has a special room where he has a young woman tied up and held captive.

But, when he removes Katie's (Kerry Condon) gag, she tells him he has the place wired for surveillance, including the ability to access the cameras via his cellphone. Then, Derek tells him Cale is suddenly done and demanding his car.

Sean is now faced with several dilemmas at once: Find a tool to cut Katie loose, risk being caught by Cale who obviously is seriously deranged, or simply leave without a trace and call the cops later provided Cale doesn't kill Katie in the meantime.

After that, it's a roller coaster ride of dilemmas for Sean as Cale discovers his secret has been discovered and now takes great pleasure in doing everything he can to destroy the boy's life. Sean, surprisingly, has been shown the error of his ways and even tries to get the police and FBI involved, but Cale is smart, very rich and very wily. He may also be a very experienced serial killer.

Although somewhat cartoony and very manipulative, "Bad Samaritan" knows what buttons to push, plus it keeps its pace fast enough to prevent the audience from taking note of certain plot holes. The acting isn't bad either, with Tennant having a great time as a total madman, and Sheehan forever on the edge of madness while trying to get someone, anyone, to believe him.

"Bad Samaritan" is rated R for violence, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity.

It is showing daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit

Also showing in Taos

The following were compiled from press materials

The Leisure Seeker

MPAA rating: R for some sexual material

Movies at the TCA

A runaway couple (Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland) go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker, traveling from Boston to The Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West. They recapture their passion for life and their love for each other on a road trip that provides revelation and surprise right up to the very end.

Directed by Paolo Virzi, this comedy-drama co-stars Dana Ivey.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (May 13), and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (May 14-16).

Movies at the TCA film series, Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call the Taos Center for the Arts at (575) 758-2052 or visit


MPAA rating: PG-13 for suggestive material, partial nudity and some language

Mitchell Storyteller 7

Kate (Anna Faris) is a single, working-class mother of three who’s hired to clean a luxury yacht that belongs to Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez), a selfish, spoiled and wealthy Mexican playboy. After unjustly firing Kate, Leonardo falls off the boat and wakes up with no memory of who he is.

To get payback, Kate shows up at the hospital and convinces the confused amnesiac that they’re married. As Leonardo tries to get used to manual labor and his new family, Kate starts to wonder how long she can keep fooling her fake husband. A remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn-Kurt Russell comedy, this movie was directed by Rob Greenberg.

This film will be screened daily.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit

Super Troopers 2

MPAA rating: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug material and some graphic nudity

Mitchell Storyteller 7

Fired for their previous “shenanigans,” former Vermont Highway Patrol officers Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directs), Farva (Kevin Heffernan), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Foster (Paul Soter) and Mac (Steve Lemme) get a shot at redemption from Capt. O’Hagan (Brian Cox) and Gov. Jessman (Lynda Carter). The wacky quintet must provide law enforcement for a French Canadian town that’s transitioning to U.S. sovereignty. Their unconventional methods soon get put to the test when they encounter a smarmy mayor, mischievous Mounties, a smuggling ring and a 1,300-pound bear.

Sequel to the 2001 raucous “Broken Lizard” comedy, this film was greenlit after a highly successful Indiegogo campaign  to raise $2 million. In 24 hours, they surpassed their goal.

Co-stars include Damon Wayans Jr., Rob Lowe, Seann William Scott and Will Sasso.

This film will be screened daily.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit