Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Conjures up a very interesting "what would you do?" situation in which a person must decide whether to risk his own relative security to help someone who's in more danger. Movie doesn't make the decision easy, presents the issues in fascinating shades of gray that should make good discussion.
Positive Role Models
Main character is a burglar who gives in to a moment of cowardice, but otherwise, afterward, he's shown energetically trying to do the right thing and trying to repair his mistakes. He's shown to be kind to women (unlike the movie's villain). Some diversity in supporting cast.
Violence & Scariness
Young woman imprisoned, locked to a chair, gagged; she's covered in bruises, cuts, welts. Another woman brutally mugged and thrown down stairs. A woman is fitted with an electrical zapping neck band. Guns and shooting. Characters shot and killed, with bloody wounds and pools of blood shown. Beatings with baseball bat, shovel, axe handle. Lots of dead bodies in a mass grave. Sounds of horse-whipping, screaming. Brief fighting/punching. Character nearly hit by moving car; dodges it.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young woman briefly shows her breast. Kissing. Sex talk. A naked woman is covered by a towel and then drops the towel; side of her breast is shown briefly. Some sensual apparel/lingerie.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Very strong language throughout, including many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "pr--k," "t-tties," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "goddamn," "piss," "boobs," "arsehole," "ho," and "Jesus" and "Christ" (as exclamations).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Victoria's Secret and Maserati mentioned. Huge Red Bull poster.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two young men smoke pot in one scene. Adults drink beer at home.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bad Samaritan is a violent thriller about a burglar (Robert Sheehan) who tries to rescue a woman who's been kidnapped by a psychopath (David Tennant). There's a brief scene of a man beating up a woman, as well as scenes that show a woman held prisoner, with bruises, cuts, and welts. Viewers will see plenty of blood: Characters use guns, and some are shot and killed. Dead bodies fill up a mass grave, and characters are beaten with baseball bats, axe handles, and shovels. An unsettling flashback uses sounds to indicate a boy killing a horse. In addition to the violence, a woman's naked breast is shown, and there's kissing and some sex talk. And language is strong throughout, with frequent use of both "f--k" and "s--t." Young men smoke pot, and adults drink beer. It's not exactly original, but it's well-made and gets by on fine characters and performances. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The idea behind this thriller isn't terribly fresh or original, but it works well enough thanks to Sheehan's relatable, believable, flawed hero and Tennant's terrifying psychopath. Director Dean Devlin, previously a screenwriter on Independence Day and the director of Geostorm, scales back from gargantuan, cosmic destruction in Bad Samaritan in favor of creating a realistic situation with its own history and nuances. The places and relationships in Bad Samaritan feel genuine. Despite Sean's career as a burglar and his panicked hesitation to help a person in jeopardy, he earns our trust back with his feverish attempts to right his wrong, as well as his background as a talented photographer who's wary of "selling out."
Tennant's performance is reminiscent of his work as the nasty Kilgrave on Jessica Jones; he brings a disconcerting level of class, education, and breeding to the vicious Erendreich -- he just makes your skin crawl. Written by Brandon Boyce (Apt Pupil, Wicker Park) in the vein of many 1990s thrillers, Bad Samaritan does occasionally make an aggravating mistake: Erendreich is too all-knowing, as if he's able to read minds or see everything at once. A great villain needs to have flaws, too, and most of the time, this one is just too perfect. Perhaps that could have been tightened up if Bad Samaritan hadn't been allowed to go on for 110 minutes -- but these quibbles ultimately don't dampen the movie's overall tense effect.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.