Holy Rollers is inspired by actual events in the late nineties when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the United States. Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community reluctantly follows the path his family has chosen for him, awaiting a pending arranged marriage and studying to become a Rabbi. A charming neighbor, Yosef Zimmerman (Justin Bartha), senses Sam’s resistance and propositions him to transport ‘medicine’ for Jackie (Danny A. Abeckaser), an Israeli dealer, and his girlfriend, Rachel (Ari Graynor). Sam quickly demonstrates his business skill to his bosses, who instantly take Sam under their wing. Now exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of Manhattan andAmsterdam nightlife, Sam begins to spiral deeper into their detrimental lifestyle, experimenting with ecstasy and then falling for Rachel. As the business grows, Sam’s double life begins to rip his family apart and the community becomes suspicious of his illegal activities. Sam slowly comes to realize the façade behind the easy money and parties. Caught between life as a smuggler and the path back to God, Sam goes on the run, forced to make a fatal decision that could bring the entire operation crashing down.
- Kevin Asch
- Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Ari Graynor, Danny A. Abeckaser, Q-Tip, Elizabeth Marvel, Jason Fuchs
Mr. Eisenberg and particularly Mr. Bartha give appropriately twitchy, live-wire performances, and the film tells its basically bleak story lucidly and with touches of dark humor.Mike Hale, New York Times, 07.07.2010
Holy Rollers feels staged and exoticized in the way stories about insular communities often do when told by outsiders.Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, 07.07.2010
Holy Rollers offers an intriguing portrait of an insular community, but its recounting of the seduction of a bright young man by the surrounding culture is heavy-handed.Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle, 07.07.2010
It's sadder and scarier than its predecessors, but it also may be the most important chapter in the tale.Rafer Guzman, Newsday, 07.07.2010