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Holy Rollers

Year: 2010
Production Co: Deerjen Films
Director: Kevin Asch
Writer: Antonio Macia
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Ari Graynor

Jesse Eisenberg looks like an essentially funny guy until you remember that some of his all-out comedies (30 Minutes Or Less) haven't been a laugh riot, and that he's well established in dramatic work too. He was funny in Adventureland but it was a bittersweet drama more than a comedy, and he was great in the serious role of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network.

His role in this film falls somewhere in between, and not always comfortably because the movie doesn't know if it's a comedy drama or the other way round. It's the true story of a small Orthodox Jewish drug running ring, and Eisenberg is Sam, the kid who becomes a ringleader.

Growing up modestly in the suburbs of Brooklyn, Sam is promised to a pretty local girl in marriage, but when her family rejects him for a richer kid, it's all he needs to accept an offer from ne'er-do-well neighbour Yosef (Bartha), helping him transport 'special medicine' in from Europe for very good money.

Soon Sam is living the high life of trips to Amsterdam, clubbing with hotties and partying with big boss Jackie and his beautiful girlfriend Rachel (Graynor). But when he learns Yosef is doing his own deals on the side and growing too big for his boots with Jackie he starts to understand just what a dangerous life he's leading.

Like all drug stories from Scarface to Blow, it can't last, but it's an interesting if slightly dour look at what happens until the wheels come off.

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