5.71 h 42 min2022X-RayHDRUHDPG-13
Thirteen year old Sam Cleary (Javon “Wanna” Walton) suspects that his mysteriously reclusive neighbor Mr. Smith (Sylvester Stallone) is actually the legendary vigilante Samaritan, who was reported dead 25 years ago. With crime on the rise and the city on the brink of chaos, Sam makes it his mission to coax his neighbor out of hiding to save the city from ruin.
Julius Avery
Sylvester StalloneJavon “Wanna” WaltonPilou Asbæk
Science FictionDramaActionFantasy
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Supporting actors
Dascha PolancoMoises AriasMartin StarrSophia TatumJared OdrickHenry G. SandersShameik Moore
Braden AftergoodDavid KernGuy RiedelAdam RosenbergBragi F. SchutSylvester Stallone
Amazon Studios
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Violencealcohol usefoul language
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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3.9 out of 5 stars

2973 global ratings

  1. 51% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 9% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 12% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Silver Screen VideosReviewed in the United States on August 29, 2022
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Super Senior Stallone
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Just when I thought I’d seen every possible variation on a superhero movie, Sylvester Stallone and director Julius Avery came up with a new one, the geriatric superhero. In the latest Prime Video original, “Samaritan,” Stallone, looking every bit of his 75 years, plays an aging garbageman named Joe Smith. But Joe isn’t an ordinary Joe. Instead, he’s got some strange powers that prove to a 13-year-old hero-worshipping boy he’s Granite City’s long-missing superhero, Samaritan. It’s an intriguing premise for a film, but the finished product sometimes feels as age-worn as its hero.

In a pre-credits prologue, young Sam (Javon Walton) explains that Samaritan and his brother both had superpowers since birth. But while Samaritan became the city’s champion, his brother became Nemesis, an equally powerful villain obsessed with destroying Samaritan. Nemesis arranged a trap for Samaritan, leading to a final combat between the two on top of a burning building. Neither has been seen since, but Sam worships Samaritan and has become obsessed with finding the missing hero, who the boy is convinced is still alive. When Joe rescues Sam from a beating at the hands of some neighborhood goons (and tosses some of them around), Sam becomes convinced he’s found his hero. And later, Joe seems to prove the point with other exhibitions of superstrength and invulnerability.

Besides the central concept of an elderly superhero, “Samaritan” is a mix of many familiar movie tropes. The most obvious and effective is that of the aging mentor and the hero-worshipping boy (Hint: “The Karate Kid”). Sam lives in a rundown apartment with his single mother, who is always just one paycheck away from being evicted. Joe likes the boy, takes him under his wing, and begins imparting the typical sort of valuable life lessons found in movies like this. It’s very familiar cinematic territory, but Stallone and young Walton have a good, easy-going camaraderie.

But just as Samaritan had his rival, Nemesis, Joe eventually finds himself pitted against a modern-day Nemesis, local gang leader Cyrus (Pilou Asbek). Cyrus worships Nemesis and dreams of bringing Nemesis’ master plot to fruition, causing destruction and chaos all over the city. To help carry out this plan, Cyrus steals Nemesis’ mask and giant hammer, the weapon the original supervillain tried to use against Samaritan. Cyrus sets his own death trap for Joe, a warehouse packed with dozens of his heavily armed accomplices. If all this sounds familiar, it should. Cyrus sounds and acts like Tom Hardy’s Bane, and the warehouse finale borrows from a similar sequence in “Robocop.” The most interesting things about Cyrus and his cohorts are the colorful assortment of tattoos they sport.

What will probably draw most people to “Samaritan” is the anticipation of seeing Sylvester Stallone wreak superpowered havoc on various thugs and goons. Unfortunately, they are likely to be disappointed. Joe beats the stuffings out of ever larger numbers of underlings, but each “fight” usually consists of Joe landing one punch, followed by the hapless crook flying through the air and thudding into the nearest solid object. Joe is also invulnerable, so knives and guns have little effect on him. These scenes are interesting at first but grow repetitive and somewhat lackluster. The movie’s PG-13 rating also makes the bloodless fight scenes more tepid. This film cries out for some R-rated dismemberments but instead resembles an amped-up version of the old “Batman” TV show fisticuffs.

“Samaritan” was clearly made on a relatively minimal budget with little money being spent on the sort of CGI effects viewers come to expect in superhero movies. The final showdown between Joe and Cyrus is a bit longer and more interesting. But it lacks the sort of spectacle viewers come to expect in superhero/supervillain battles like this. Further, Nemesis’ hammer, the highly hyped superweapon that’s supposedly the only thing capable of killing Samaritan, proves to be little more than a very bulky prop the characters lug around.

For all its shortcomings, “Samaritan” features the best performance by Sylvester Stallone in years. He resembles the original Rocky, who has somehow gone to sleep in a cryogenic chamber and awakened 50 years later. He’s well matched by Javon Walton, who also has effective scenes with the film’s other actors, including Pilou Asbek. I enjoyed the byplay among the characters and the film’s central premise enough to give it a three-star rating and a mild recommendation. Those who expect “Avengers” levels of superhero feats may be disappointed, but “Samaritan” is better than much of what’s currently playing on the big screen.
53 people found this helpful
J. KellyReviewed in the United States on August 31, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great displaying of super-powers
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I really enjoyed this movie. At first I thought it was going to be a series, so I was disappointed in the lead-up with the kids and stuff, but in viewing it as a one-off movie it is acceptable.
So the good:
- I really loved the effortless super-power use, be it super strength/healing/etc that showed off, as well as the side effects.
- Stallone seemed made for the role of a pained, beaten down, hopeless strong guy who loves one-liners to help be grow better. He's at his best when he plays the broken mentor role. While his character was written overly silent and a bit lacking, it fits in well with Stallone and his acting style - any other way seems unnatural.
- The villain playing up as the anti-hero, but really just being a villain, was done well. I'd have liked to see more of him.
- The action scenes were good, very good. They weren't over the top with lasers going and super speed kills, it was one guy. In fact, at one point, I was expecting an Old Boy style hallway scene with the mobs... and it would have fit in perfectly well. Really drew me in.

The meh/not so good:
- The kids and the kids mother. The writing for them would work better as a series. The exposition/attempts to appeal would have worked better spread over 6-8 hours of getting to actually know them. Seeing the mother isn't a great parent but trying super hard? That would have worked better if our first interaction wasn't her borrowing money from the kid and the other stuff that followed DIRECTLY after. Because the stuff she says and does isn't at all in-line with our first interaction with her. She's a VERY good mother who is trying hard to lead her son right, and we are missing all context on why she's failing. We know nothing about their family.
- There are several scenes that go nowhere, such as the boy trying to expose that Samaritan lives. That was just pointless character introduction that could have all been done by a simple newpaper headline at the start of the movie.
- The acting in general was a 'meh' most of the time. The lines were often read either flat or overly emotive. Lines that should have been just two buddies talking was suddenly and Uncle Ben's Great Power speech. Lines that should have been 'I've realized something brilliant!' was as general as saying what the weather was outside. This would have been forgiven more if this was a show and the characters could grow in confidence into the role, but in a movie? It's pretty disappointing. Something that can be overlooked, but still disappointing.

All in all, I did really enjoy the movie - but that's because the main focus of the movie hit all my comic book happiness triggers. It wasn't sexual, it wasn't overly gruesome, it wasn't gore for gore, etc. It was just a decently done retired/broken superhero movie.
20 people found this helpful
Gaming TodayReviewed in the United States on November 11, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome Grounded Super Hero Movie
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With so much Marvel and Depressing Super Hero Movies, it was refreshing to see something grounded with a moral.

Stallone and all other actors excel in this story about a super hero named Samaritan that has been gone for 25 years after facing his evil brother Nemesis in a battle to the death. With a new crime syndicate that has a cultish love for Nemesis on the rise, a young boy hopes to find his childhood hero who he thinks never died. A tale of down-to-earth people dealing with the struggles of life and straddling the tight rope of doing what is right or wrong. Stallone, even in his age, gives us that blue collar relatable character that battles his own demons while seeing and eventually saving the young boy who admires and sets out to prove he is this missing Samaritan!

Great action, great fight scenes and honestly, never was bored. Definitely some violence to be prepared for but this is to be expected in the setup. There was some exposition that sets up the story and then a few flash backs but it was nice to see a super hero movie where you didn't need to have every little thing explained. It plops you right in the middle of the struggle and then you have to follow along to see how this city in crisis deals with it. As Stallone says in the film, there is good and evil in every heart, but you have to make the choice to do good. Great and simple moral.

Fun movie, and hope it gets a full physical 4K release one day so I can put it into my library.
2 people found this helpful
Danny SchulzReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Super Sly
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This movie is just a ton of fun. In a time where there is an overabundance of superhero movies, it is so nice to get an original not made by either Marvel or DC. Sure, this does not reinvent the wheel of the genre, but it is a fun, fresh take on it. I was curious how they were going to make Sylvester Stallone the lead in a superhero movie, but they executed the idea of him being a retired hero very well. The connection between him and Sam in this movie is heartwarming, and the story is told in a way that makes you care for the characters in this world, making the emotional payoff at the end rewarding. There was never a moment when I thought, "wow, it has only been 40 minutes?" or wondered how long the movie was. It was paced very well and was an enjoyable watch the entire runtime, something I cannot say about some other recent superhero movies and shows. It is nice to see Sly in a film, and nice to see that he himself seems to be doing good. Overall the film is well done, which makes for a fun experience. Four out of five stars, I recommend this film to anyone looking for a fun and enjoyable experience with a superhero movie, or to anyone who wants to see Sly in a great film.
3 people found this helpful
John D.Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A story of childhood heroes...
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As far as I am concerned, the movie was fantastic. Is this essentially retired super Rambo seeks to live a life as a Garbage man and battle his anger issues? Yes. Does it remind me heavily of Bruce Willis's Unbreakable (Pretty much one of M. Night Shyamalan's last really great movies before he ruined my childhood and bastardized everything I loved with the Last Airbender movie and relegated himself to a subject of distain in my eyes forever from that point)? Also yes. But these are good things. Stallone shows us that he can still do the action hero thing AND show character growth with a compelling story with some amazing plot twists with certain characters that I am hoping surprised anyone who doesn't obsessively analyze every minute detail and hint because of my obsessive compulsive ADHD brain makes movies like this not fun if I blurt out my hypothesis. lol Overall, I think that the action hero trope still fits Stallone and that, even though he DOES have a bit of a typecast, he has it for a reason and plays into it well with some wonderful surprises of deep character play that can only be seen in actors whom have been in the game for years and know how to grow as an actor and put that knowledge to good use. This Stallone isn't just a bunch of one-liners and muscle flexes. I mean he DOES do that a bit, but his character has a sense of softness to him when he interacts with the young boy lead. Not sure how much longer Stallone will be in the game for, but I am pleasantly surprised that he is still rocking the roles he is given.
4 people found this helpful
DanielReviewed in the United States on September 11, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not the hero we wanted, the hero we deserved.
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Ok, so a little backstory; I recently cancelled my Hulu and Disney subscription (tired) and have stayed with Amazon Prime as well as considered a Netflix addition. Then I find out this is #1 on Prime and put it on my list. Finally watched it today and I have to say, anyone who rated it less than 4 didn't deserve to see such a movie in 2022. I'm dead serious. I don't review many films, but I watch a TON of movies. When you're let down because Obi-Wan was woke nonsense with 5% HC, when Thor: Love and Thunder gives you zero "love" and zero "Thunder", when you're greatest aspirations for a good movie fall flat, deflated, and rehashed so many times you've spun into the critic that only loves to hate on the art, along comes "Samaritan" and you suddenly feel like a glimmer of hope still remains in cinema! Is this an Oscar winning all-star film? By No Means. Is this a solid action movie you can root for, even if the dialogue is a bit lacking, the supporting cast is a bit one-note, and the main plot is a little over-cooked? YES!!! Just watch this movie! There is absolutely NOTHING else better in the action genre out there you could waste your time on right now! **SPOILERS** Ok, so I know what you're thinking; some cheese here, some over-used action there, some unremarkable dialogue and stale suspense for the third act...but let me ask you this, when's the last time you've seen right where the 5 ton bomb is headed and actually got excited because your expectations were NOT subverted?! Yes, you can tell where the story is going. Yes, you can wonder why the goons just stay there and keep trying to "wear him down" with endless bullets (BTW, they actually DO notice he's being worn down, so there is a thought that it Might be yours that puts an end to him). And, Yes, the final battle is a little less than stellar. BUT, there's a weight internally there. He's fighting with himself more than Cyrus, and it's only just a little on the nose so it's not quite unbearable. And the icing on the cake was in the end Nemesis didn't WANT redemption. He knew what he did was wrong. He knew his brother was the REAL hero. Claiming Samaritan was the hero in the end allowed the city to have HOPE again and optimistically rebuild a society they've long since given up on! The "pay off" doesn't come as the cookie cutter anti-hero redemption arc, if that were the case, Cyrus wouldn't have been cast into the flames at the end. And we also don't get the Logan send off because that would've been a copycat reproduction nobody needed to see again in 2022! We got the hero we deserved, not just the hero we wanted! Ask yourself, were you cheated? No, you were not. Good day to you, my fellow film aficionado! Excelsior!
38 people found this helpful
M. D. JordanReviewed in the United States on August 28, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Stallone Plays an Underdog Hero Well
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A still strong Rocky Balboa sort of underdog hero but with a grey beard and hair appears in this entertaining blend of the movie JOKER (minus Phoenix) and THE BATMAN and quite a few other films featuring a crumbling world and a deranged but charismatic bad guy who longs to overthrow the established order. (Wait, the Bond films also had deranged bad guys -- no matter, many films do.). This film puts a lot of focus on a troubled good kid who dreams of a hero who helped people 20 years earlier -- a hero named Samaritan. In his school notebook the kid makes comic-strip-style drawings of the superhero -- Samaritan -- who everyone says is dead. The kid is sure Samaritan is alive. He's sure he can find him. The kid's father died so the kid needs a father, a hero... this may explain why he believes Samaritan is alive. An old guy lives nearby, hiding from life. The kid believes he's Samaritan. Meanwhile, a charming but mentally disturbed dude is obsessed with becoming Nemesis and starting a revolution. Nemesis was the bad guy (and brother of Samaritan) who battled Samaritan 20 years earlier. Stallone's powerful geezer who is hiding is given to acts of kindness. He's also haunted by his past. Could he be Samaritan? Soon a huge confrontation is brewing. The kid and his mom are caught in the middle. This film is a classic old-school adventure thriller. It lacks the depth of JOKER but it moves fast and, if you don't mind some pretty wild (but not gory) violence and a pounding soundtrack it's pretty entertaining. Stallone delivers once again. He doesn't trot up stairs in a jogging suit in Philly, but there is a rooftop homage to boxing action. Will Nemisis win? Will Stallone be back in a sequel? He and his production company --- Balboa Productions -- are cranking out films like this one... entertaining, but not particularly revolutionary --- just good old cinematic cheesy popcorn or tasty chips -- you can't eat just one.
23 people found this helpful
Natalie FonvilleReviewed in the United States on October 4, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
What a surprise, actually good.
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My expectations were low but I was wrong. I would say it was all done before but the combination of cliches worked here.
Stallone may not be up to the physical demands of an action film anymore but he did not need to be for this one. The action sequences were very toned down, but to match that they went more of a slow burn feel rather then balls-to-the-wall action movie. This was a good creative choice. The movie sold the over-the-hill past-his-prime protagonist/anti-hero therefore an insane action sequence would have been out of character here. Even the final sequence, where the action is most intense, it was muted as compare to what Stallone did when he was younger.
Also props to the writers for not forcing a love interest on us. Not every movie needs one and here it would have ruined the movie. The fact that it was not in play here is refreshing and meant that they had more time to build the other characters.
In all it was a good movie, much better than anticipated. It had its flaws but they can easily be overlooked.
3 people found this helpful
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