First Independent picked up Holy Rollers following its debut at Sundance and has set a May 21 release date. The story centers on Sam, a 20-year-old Hasidic Jew played by Zombieland and Adventureland star Jesse Eisenberg and is set in late ’90s New York. Inspired by true stories it follows Sam as he is recruited into in an international drug ring opening him to the seedy worlds of Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife.
When I first heard of the film I expected it was a comedy merely based on Eisenberg’s involvement, but it looks to be a true drama and one that may not be that bad, though reviews out of Sundance were lukewarm with Justin Lowe at THR saying it “squanders a fascinating premise with predictable execution.” To my “true drama” point, Justin Chang at Variety says the title “would seem to promise a more dramatic ride than what it delivers.”
Neil Miller at Film School Rejects said it “fails to make any compelling statement about its core theme, which is that of opposing ideologies,” and Tim Grierson at Screen Daily reiterates this saying, “The conflict Sam feels between his religious heritage and his immoral endeavours should be eating away at the very soul of the character, but that inner turmoil is instead replaced by generic story beats, which inevitably build to a finale wherein Sam’s seemingly perfect new life collapses.”
It’s directed by first-time feature helmer Kevin Asch and co-stars Justin Bartha, Ari Graynor, Danny A. Abeckaser and Q-Tip.
Check out the trailer directly below and to browse the gallery of nine images, including the brand new poster, right here.