Saint John of Las Vegas (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

Saint John of Las Vegas (2010)



Critic Consensus: Writer-director Hue Rhodes' debut is a poorly-paced, forgettable comedy that wastes the quirky talents of stars Steve Buscemi and Sarah Silverman.

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Movie Info

After a run of bad luck, John, a compulsive gambler, runs away from Las Vegas and toward a normal job and life. Taking a position in an auto insurance company in Albuquerque, he tries to get ahead in the straight world, amid the ever-present temptations of scratch-off lotto tickets. When his boss asks John to accompany his top fraud debunker, Virgil on an investigation of a dubious car "accident" near Vegas, John sees an opportunity to get a promotion. Soon John is on the road with Virgil. Through the journey, John's confidence builds, and he realizes that he can't escape his gambling addiction by running away from. It's only when he returns to Vegas that his experiences there finally send him on the path to breaking free.

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Peter Dinklage
as Mr. Townsend
Emmanuelle Chriqui
as Tasty D Lite
John Cho
as Smitty
Tim Blake Nelson
as Militant Ned
Jesse Garcia (III)
as Park Ranger
Isabel Archuleta
as Vegas Counter Girl
as Albuquerque Counter Girl
Ben Zeller
as Truck Stop Owner
Shawn Prince
as Ticket Taker
Danny Trejo
as Bismarck
Josh Berry
as Manager
Ernest Labreck
as Ed McMahon Type
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Critic Reviews for Saint John of Las Vegas

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (26)

Far from a masterpiece, but Rhodes gives Buscemi a role ripe with emotion and a fascinating complexity. Buscemi returns the favor by powering the film with an engaging oddity.

August 13, 2010 | Rating: 3/5

Comic casting and comic timing pay off in most scenes, with Dinklage landing the big laughs, Malco doing his wise-guy-talking-down-to-the-doofus patter and Buscemi just bugging out and reacting to the craziness.

March 17, 2010 | Rating: 3/4

It's a kind of cinematic purgatory, halfway between eternal reward and eternal damnation. The question is: What did I do to deserve such mediocrity?

February 19, 2010 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Theoretically, Saint John of Vegas may look good from a distance, but when seen up close it's only a house of cards.

February 12, 2010 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Saint John of Las Vegas was a bad script that somehow got made into a bad movie with good people in it.

February 12, 2010 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

By the time it was over a part of me couldn't help but wonder why I stuck around until the very end.

February 12, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Saint John of Las Vegas


Very, very loosely based on the work of Dante Alighieri, this is a quirky and offbeat indie road movie that would have been right at home circa 1994. The story concerns a compulsive gambler named John who tries to rid himself of his addiction by moving from Las Vegas to Albuquerque. He finds work at an auto insurance company, and finds potential romance with a smiley faced obsessed co-worker named Jill, but his old temptations make a comeback when he gets sent out to investigate a dubious car accident on the outskirts of Sin City. Along the way, John and his co-worker Virgil, and experienced fraud investigator, meet a series of colorful characters who, in their own way, help John try to fight off his demons for good. I should love this movie. It's Buscemi headlining a quirky indie that's populated by odd characters played by a host of fun character actors. I mean, we get Tim Blake Nelson as a nude militant, John Cho as a 'human torch' performer at a carnival, Emanuelle Chriqui as a paraplegic stripper, Romany Malco as Virgil, and Sarah Silverman as Jill, so how could this fail? Oh yeah, there's also Peter Dinklage as John's boss, and Danny Trejo and Aviva (Nikola from Superbad) making cameos as well. Here's how it falls short: there's no real story here. It's aimless, half-baked, and lazy. The situations make for a good set up, but the direction is lackluster, inept, and severely lacking. It doesn't do enough with the concept to really make it worth it. Plus, the shots and composition are pretty half-assed, ruining the potential for more humor and cleverness. I'd rate it lower, but Buscemi does elevate it some. It's pointless, but somehow not boring. I can't explain that. Maybe I'd like it more if it really did come out back in the 90s. At least then I'd be able to excuse it for cashing in on the zeitgeist. Since it's from 2009, I unfortunately can't be as forgiving.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


After a long string of bad luck gambling in his hometown of Las Vegas, John(Steve Buscemi) decides to try to live a normal life. He's moved to Albuquerque and works for an auto insurance company. One day he gets offered a chance to move up by helping with the investigation of an accident and trying to prove it's fraudulent. The accident took place outside of Vegas, and his old gambling addiction comes back and he's once again at the mercy of temptation. Buscemi does a fantastic job with such a subpar movie. He's usually great, and here he is his usual awesome self. The whole cast is terrific. Peter Dinklage, Sarah Silverman, and Romney Malco all do great with the little their given. The story is interesting, but it feels like it's missing quite a bit. The movie runs at 85 minutes, which is good as it short and paced good. But, it feels like this movie needed more, and given more it could have been a great movie. Instead, it's like lost potential. Watch for the great cast, but don't expect a great movie to match. If you want a low budget independent movie dealing with Vegas, check out "The Cooler" instead.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

"Getting Lucky is a Roll of the Dice" I was intrigues by this movie because it had Steve Buscemi in the leading role and Romany Malco, who I really liked in Weeds. The movie could never really pull itself together though. I really have no idea what this movie was trying to accomplish or what it was trying to be. Saint John of Las Vegas had some pretty bizarre scenes that were okay like the discussion with a carnival performer who kept bursting into flames. After a couple of scenes though, everything else are just throw away scenes that don't work. Buscemi and Malco weren't bad, they just had nothing to work with. Silverman was her usual annoying self. I dont see how anyone can like her. She isn't funny at all.  It seems to me like the writer and director was trying to be too original. The premise could have been cool had it actually turned into a real movie, but it never does.  I was really hoping to like this. I always like to enjoy an Independent film that nobody else likes or has seen. This one just can't be enjoyed though; too bad.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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