CATEGORIES Reviews
A loose take on Dante's 'Inferno,' 'Saint John of Las Vegas' stars Steve Buscemi as John Aligheiri, a down-on-his-luck Albuquerque insurance company drone and compulsive gambler who gets sent to Sin City to investigate a dubious claim.

John is accompanied on this journey by his mysterious coworker Virgil (Romany Malco), and the duo encounter an assortment of oddballs, eccentric characters and the requisite self-discovery along the way.

Written and directed by first-time helmer Hue Rhodes, 'Saint John' boasts its fair share of bold-faced names both in front of the camera (the movies also stars Sarah Silverman, Tim Blake Nelson and Peter Dinklage) and behind (Spike Lee and Stanley Tucci are producers). Despite this all-star cast and crew and its quirky premise, however, reviewers are finding 'Saint John of Las Vegas' is one road trip movie that may be best not taken. Here's what the critics had to say: A loose take on Dante's 'Inferno,' 'Saint John of Las Vegas' stars Steve Buscemi as John Aligheiri, a down-on-his-luck Albuquerque insurance company drone and compulsive gambler who gets sent to Sin City to investigate a dubious claim.

John is accompanied on this journey by his mysterious coworker Virgil (Romany Malco), and the duo encounter an assortment of oddballs, eccentric characters and the requisite self-discovery along the way.

Written and directed by first-time helmer Hue Rhodes, 'Saint John' boasts its fair share of bold-faced names both in front of the camera (the movies also stars Sarah Silverman, Tim Blake Nelson and Peter Dinklage) and behind (Spike Lee and Stanley Tucci are producers). Despite this all-star cast and crew and its quirky premise, however, reviewers are finding 'Saint John of Las Vegas' is one road trip movie that may be best not taken. Here's what the critics had to say:

Entertainment Weekly: "An uncharacteristically bland Buscemi plays a gambling addict/insurance-fraud investigator who stumbles across a series of 'quirky' characters (a stripper in a wheelchair, a gun-crazy nudist, and a human-fireball carny) while trying to debunk a claim. Sound painful? You didn't have to sit through it, pal."

AP: "As a portrait of one man's journey toward dignity, 'Saint John' isn't bad enough to create its own special circle of hell. As a comedy, though, it's anything but divine."

Las Vegas Weekly: "Within the first two minutes ... the writer-director demonstrates a poor understanding of the town that's ostensibly the focus of his film. Steve Buscemi's John, an insurance claims investigator and recovering gambling addict, walks into a Vegas convenience store and ... buys a bunch of lottery tickets. Even some cursory research into Vegas would reveal that we don't have a state lottery here, but that lack of info is indicative of the relative lethargy of Rhodes' debut feature."

'Saint John of Vegas' trailer


New York Magazine
: "Steve Buscemi cuts so droll and heart-wrenching a figure in Hue Rhodes's deadpan road movie 'Saint John of Las Vegas' that the plot -- shaggy and inconsequential as it is -- gets in the way."

The Village Voice
: "Mostly, 'Saint John' traps good comic performers -- including Malco and Peter Dinklage as John's boss -- in airless editing and an unproductive, unresolved, sludgy tone."

Time Out New York: "Rhodes refuses to explore the Heaven-and-Hell allegory, opting instead for a pointlessly nonlinear narrative overflowing with superficial walk-on characters. Though the credits include an impressive roster of names, this low-stakes poker hand feels like an undiscovered relic from the early '90s, and that's not a good thing."

Slant Magazine: "Squandering its leads, stumbling in its attempts to evoke seedy Vegas-fringe eccentricity, and deluged by indie-quirky affectations, 'Saint John' approximates hell with a fidelity it surely didn't intend."