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Holy Rollers

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A crime thriller inspired by true events about a drug ring trafficking ecstasy pills to the New York Club scene. Sam Gold, studying to become a Rabbi, reluctantly follows the path his family has chosen for him. A charming neighbor, Yosef , senses Sam's discontent and propositions him to transport medicine for an Israeli dealer, and his girlfriend, Rachel.
Sam quickly demonstrates his business skill to his bosses, who instantly take Sam under their wing. Exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife, Sam spirals deeper into their lifestyle. Sam s double life begins to rip his family apart. Slowly he comes to realize the façade behind the easy money and parties. Caught between life as a smuggler and the righteous path, he goes on the run, forced to make a fatal decision that could bring the entire operation crashing down.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Ari Granor
  • Directors: Kevin Asch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Q7B7CO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,604 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Holy Rollers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
Sat down and watched this last night. The whole subject is really fascinating, and the guys in it are incredibly sincere. I love how it addressed the 'grey' area. So, gambling is BAD, but what about using math to take money from casinos. Using math and probability, getting paid hourly to make a return on someone else's investment? Is it still 'gambling' if you statistically have the odds in your favor? A 35% return on investment seems like a pretty solid deal. It created some great discussion in our household and I highly recommend it!
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Format: Amazon Video
A bunch of Evangelical 20-something dudes form a blackjack team and make money. It frees them up to spend more time with their churches. The money's in their freezers or under their mattresses. These guys are mired in making money for money's sake. What's wrong with that? Well, what did you contribute? Did you make some art? Did you learn a skill that benefits others? Did you lay down your life for your brother? Did you give all your possessions to the poor? For anyone, this lifestyle is pathetic, for self professed christians, its abhorrent. These guys are judging the casinos as hypocritical and greedy. They style themselves as righteous crusaders, then whine about it when they get kicked out of the casino. It doesn't even cross their mind that they're suckling at the same teat---fast, easy, money. Nor does it occur to them that there could more meaningful ways to make said money, ways that might make them better people. Anyway, as a documentary its great, but don't be fooled by the surface message.
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Format: Blu-ray
Note: The product page has combined two DIFFERENT movies with the same title. This is for the Jesse Eisenberg drama, not the card counting documentary. I informed the big A, but it doesn't look like they're inclined to separate the reviews.

In truth, I had never heard of the picture "Holy Rollers" but the idea of Jesse Eisenberg as a Hasidic Jew who becomes entrenched in a drug mule operation held an undeniable appeal. And this film is one of those undiscovered little gems--it may not rock your world, but it's a solidly constructed character study based on a real world case. Funny, moving, and suspenseful--I quite enjoyed this film. The depiction of Eisenberg's orthodox upbringing is well served, but his decision to color outside the lines is also believably demonstrated. As he is seduced to the dark side, the transition is well wrought. In fact, I think this is one of Eisenberg's most well rounded performances--one that uses his offbeat mannerisms to good affect.

The story, in and of itself, is undeniably fascinating--it documents a ring of Ecstasy smugglers in the late nineties who transported their wares internationally using the least likely suspects. Justin Bartha colorfully portrays the neighborhood bad boy who eschews the conventional expectations of the Hasidic community. Eisenberg is his neighbor and friend who becomes a bit disillusioned as his life does not seem to be going precisely as planned. When Bartha proposes an opportunity for Eisenberg to score some cash for traveling to Amsterdam, he is reluctant. But after an initial foray into this new venture, he begins to embrace it more and more. The corruption of innocence and the seduction of power are primary themes in this tale of lawlessness. But how far is he willing to go? And is there any way out?
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Apparently there are many ways of having income of which I am not aware. Awareness has increased. The video was spot-on for hazards and rewards. Well done.
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Format: DVD
Set in 1998, our story (inspired by true events) follows a twenty year old Hasidic Jew (Sammy) who is every bit as quirky as the actor playing the role (Jesse Eisenberg; Roger Dodger, Zombieland, The Social Network)--but, then, Eisenberg is always twitchy, isn't he? Feeling the normal Hasidic coming-of-age pressures as he is about to be married, he is morally taunted by his rebellious, fast-talking, unorthodox neighbor Yosef (Justin Bartha; National Treasure 1 & 2, The Hangover, The Hangover 2) who watches reality shows, talks about fake titties, and smokes. Just FYI, these do not follow the typical Hasidic canon.

Living in a financially struggling household and helping with the family business, Sammy worries about providing for his future arranged wife. So, he naively accepts an offer from Yosef to import "medicine" from Amsterdam. Upon their return, Sammy discovers that they had been moving drugs (ecstasy) and feels conflicted about it. From this point, we see Sammy slowly transform, shedding his morals one by one, into a drug dealer's right hand man.

Sammy and his humble father wrestle about the importance of money versus happiness as he lies to him about his whereabouts. The father's character, while little more than ancillary, brings a strong sincerity to the film; a moral compass that keeps the audience from becoming slowly corrupted without noticing the change--much as Sammy is, scene by scene, throughout the story. Sammy slips smoothly into the clothes of another personality completely unaware until he turns and sees his former self in his wake, like a hollow cast chrysalis.

As Yosef, Bartha, whom we're accustomed to seeing in more charming roles innocently sporting an "aw shucks" smile, performs brilliantly as Sammy's loose cannon field trainer.
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