Sean (Robert Sheehan: Mute) dreams of being a professional photographer. He takes his craft seriously and won’t take any job he considers beneath him. Thus limited, he shoots only random things on the street and his semi-naked girlfriend.
Until Sean and his buddy come up with a moneymaking scheme. As valets at a local Italian eatery, they lay hands on many car keys. While the customers are dining, the valets loot their homes.
The scheme goes wrong with Cale Erendreich (David Tennant: Jessica Jones).
In Erendreich’s house, Sean discovers a locked room. Instead of jewels, inside he finds a bound and beaten woman. He can’t break her chains but promises to find a way to save her.
From a pay phone, he calls the police, but doubling back he sees that the cops won’t enter the residence. His second strategy is to bait Erendreich into the open. Now he’s engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse with a serial killer.
Poorly shot, bizarrely plotted and hilariously acted, Bad Samaritan is a victim of serial bad choices. Director Dean Devlin (Geostorm) is bad at character development, cinematography and pacing.
Acting is bad, too. Sean isn’t a particularly interesting hero. Erendreich is supposed to be a terrifying serial killer, but his evil machinations are pretty much limited to prank phone calls and sexting. Tennant gives us a villain who glowers, bugs his eyes and snarls through every scene, an odd choice for a movie that takes itself pretty seriously.
This movie is so bad that the only entertainment you’ll get from it is the fun of mocking it.
Thrill-free Thriller • R • 110 mins.
~~~ New this Week ~~~
After the death of her father, Shaun (Gabrielle Union) and her kids prepare his home for sale only to find a recently installed security system that makes the house nearly impregnable.
The reason for this becomes clear when a violent gang shows up. She fights off her attacker, but the kids are locked in while the bad guys search for something Shaun’s father has hidden.
To save her kids, Shaun takes out the bandits one by one.
This is the Mother’s Day movie for the tough mom in your life. If you and your mom bond over Crossfit or Dirty Harry movies, this one’s for you.
Prospects: Flickering • PG-13 • 88 mins.
Ronit (Rachel Weisz) is expelled from her Orthodox Jewish community in London for her same-sex relationship with best friend Esti (Rachel McAdams). Moving to New York, she becomes a successful photographer but grieves for her lost family and friends. When the death of her father takes her home, she rekindles her relationship with Esti, now married to a prominent rabbi.
Director Sebastián Lelio, who gave us the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman, is known for respectfully exploring women’s issues. Both McAdams and Weisz are brilliant performers able to carry the nuance of a complex drama.
Prospects: Bright • R • 114 mins.
Life of the Party
When Deanna’s (Melissa McCarthy) husband dumps her, she pursues the dream of finishing her bachelor’s degree, enrolling in her daughter’s college and moving into a dorm. She and the doubtful daughter bond, and soon Deanna is the life of every party.
McCarthy is gifted at both physical and verbal comedy. With the right script, there isn’t much she can’t do. This getting-her-groove-back flick — complete with makeover, sex with a cute guy and reconnection with family — doesn’t set the bar high.
Prospects: Flickering • PG-13 • 105 mins.
This documentary follows feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg from Harvard Law School, where she is one of the first women admitted, to civil rights activism, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The filmmakers are admirers, so don’t expect challenges to this legend of justice. But if you want to know more of the life story of one of the most powerful women in America, this should be well worth the ticket.
Prospects: Bright • PG • 97 mins.