Movie Reviews

Bad Samaritan – A Conventional But Well-Acted Thriller

Looking for another film to watch after Infinity War? Why not give this one a chance. With little to no expectations after hearing next to nothing about it, this one ended up a surprise.

Synopsis: Bad Samaritan is a terrifying cautionary tale of two thieves uncovering more than what they bargained for when breaking into a house they thought would be an easy score. After making a shocking discovery, they must choose to run and hide, or face the killer whose dark secrets they have exposed. (Electric Entertainment)

Starring: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, and Kerry Condon

Writer: Brandon Boyce

Director: Dean Devlin

Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 111mins


For showtimes and more, check out Bad Samaritan on

At first, it’s easy to see parallels to a similar thriller Don’t Breathe. While Don’t Breathe relied on the gimmick of sound to create tension (A Quiet Place did it so much better), this one relies on something different but with a better result. The story here was pretty much revealed in the trailers so for those who haven’t seen them, it’s about a pair of thieves named Sean (Sheehan) and Derek (Carlito Olivero) who just happened to mess with the wrong man, Cale Erendreich (Tennant), after discovering a chained up woman (Condon) while attempting to rob his home.

Both Sean and Derek weren’t overly developed characters who simply committed robberies in order to survive. Each had their own subplots with the story focusing more on Sean. He had a contentious relationship with his family and had a girlfriend named Riley (Jacqueline Byers), however, none of it mattered all that much. Erendreich was not going to let Sean and Derek get away with what they did or have anyone discover his secret.

Driven by guilt and the need to do the right thing, Sean fought to save the chained up woman and he would have to take on Erendreich to do so. Erendreich’s motivations were never overly clear, nor his backstory, but he proved to be formidable threat. He was an intimidating presence and a crafty character who used everything in his arsenal to break his victims down psychologically. This made for some tense scenes with a palpable sense of dread throughout. The psychological aspect of the story made it more endearing while watching whatever life Sean had get systematically stripped away.

Sean was still a sympathetic character, however, his lack of character development prevented it from being as impactful as it could have. Ultimately, the cat and mouse game between Sean and Erendreich was exciting to watch despite feeling a tad contrived and cliched. It took some dark turns but it could have gone much further. The film itself wasn’t overly original story wise and predictable for the most part. It was also constructed in such a conventional way that nothing should come as much of a surprise. Still, Erendreich’s unpredictability made him a compelling character to watch that it made up for the familiar story.

Suffice it to say that the best part of the film was Tennant’s amazing performance as Erendreich. The film would definitely not be the same without him as he single-handedly carries the film with his powerful performance. He can turn from charming to menacing on a dime and creates an intimidating presence throughout while interacting with other characters and/or lurking in the distance. He was such an overwhelming presence that the other performances simply paled in comparison. Sheehan was good as Sean and creates a likable enough character to root for despite some inconsistent writing at times.

Overall, this was a tense thriller that was still able to overcome its conventional nature and shallow character thanks to some good performances, including an amazing performance from David Tennant.

Score: 8/10

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2 replies »

  1. Tennant can only do so much in this movie, but he damn near carries it to being a good movie. In my opinion, it started off strong but slowly but surely got worse. And I think for me, I never cared much about Sean or Derek, kind of wanted both of them to get their comeuppance.

    • Tennant made this one for me. I sort of cared for Sean but not as much as I wanted to. I didn’t like how they flipped a switch and he was suddenly had morals. I hated Derek so I was happy to see him get his comeuppance bro. At the end of the day, it was a lot better than I thought it would be.