The Hunter's Prayer

The Hunter's Prayer is a 2017 action crime film directed by Jonathan Mostow, based on the 2004 novel For the Dogs by Kevin Wignall. The film tells about a conflicted hitman helping a young woman to avenge the death of her family. The film stars Sam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech, and Amy Landecker. Filming began on August 12, 2014 in Yorkshire, England.

The Hunter's Prayer
The Hunter's Prayer.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJonathan Mostow
Written byJohn Brancato
Michael Ferris
Based onFor the Dogs
by Kevin Wignall
Produced by
CinematographyJosé David Montero
Edited byKen Blackwell
Music byFederico Jusid
  • Apollo Media
  • FilmEngine
  • Full Clip Productions
  • Maple Leaf Films
  • Screen Yorkshire
  • Vandal Entertainment
Distributed bySaban Films
Release date
  • June 9, 2017 (2017-06-09) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • Germany
  • Spain[2]
Budget$17 million[3]
Box office$236,820 [4]

The film had its theatrical release on June 9, 2017 in the United States by Saban Films.


Lucas (Sam Worthington), a drug-addicted former soldier, is in a club looking for Ella Hatto (Odeya Rush). She is attending boarding school in Switzerland. Ella sees Lucas watching her and thinks he has been hired by her father to protect her. Unbeknownst to Ella, her father was preparing to tell the FBI about Richard Addison's (Allen Leech) illegal operations and also stole 25 million dollars from him. Her father and step-mother have been murdered by a hired killer. Addison's gunmen try to kill Ella at the nightclub, but Lucas kills one and helps her escape. He receives a text threatening to kill his family if he doesn't kill Ella. He takes her across the French border.

Lucas calls Addison and he threatens to kill his estranged wife and daughter. Lucas tells Ella that her father was killed. At a grocery store, they are attacked by Addison's gunmen and Lucas gets shot in the leg. The two get on a train, where they meet Dani (Verónica Echegui), another contract killer. After treating Lucas's wounds, Dani makes Ella leave Lucas. Ella gets off the train, but Metzger (Martin Compston), an assassin who had killed Ella's father, tries to kill her. Lucas protects Ella and they head to England.

While Lucas recovers from drug addiction, Ella takes his gun and goes to Addison's office building, but she gets arrested by the police. Banks (Amy Landecker), an FBI agent working for Addison, takes Ella to Addison's house. At that time, Lucas is attacked by Dani and her colleague killer. He kills them and goes to Addison's house. In a final shootout, Lucas kills Banks and Addison shoots Metzger. As Addison is about to shoot Lucas, he is shot dead by Ella.

Ella receives a phone call from Lucas. Ella tells Lucas that she is now living with her aunt and cousins. The two say farewell to each other. Lucas visits a house, where his wife and daughter are waiting to welcome him.



On January 30, 2013, it was announced that Sam Worthington would star lead as a hitman who helps a young girl to avenge the murder of her parents and brother, the film For the Dogs, based on Kevin Wignall's novel of same name, scripted by Paul Leyden and Oren Moverman was re-writing the script at that time.[5][clarification needed] Phillip Noyce was set to direct the film, which Anthony Rhulen and Navid McIlhargey would produce through FilmEngine Entertainment, along with Worthington, John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz through their Full Clip Productions, with Leyden.[5] On May 13, Hailee Steinfeld was added to the cast to play the young girl whose parents and brother are murdered.[6] On November 8, the ensemble cast was announced which includes Martin Compston, Amy Landecker and Verónica Echegui.[7] Sierra/Affinity announced that they had sold the film to twenty international buyers.[8]


Filming began in early November 2014 in Yorkshire, England (Leeds, Harrogate, Helmsley, Scarborough and Saltaire).[8] It would also be shot in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, U.S. (New York City) and Hungary.[7]


In September 2016, Saban Films acquired distribution rights to the film.[9] The film was released in the United States on June 9, 2017.[10]


The Hunter's Prayer received poor reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 33% based on 21 reviews, and an average rating of 4.9/10.[11] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score 35 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "unfavorable reviews".[12]

Derek Smith of Slant Magazine gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4, writing, "The Hunter's Prayer is steadfastly concise and efficient, foregrounding action above expositional groundwork."[13] Joe Leydon of Variety wrote, "Director Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3) provides enough hairbreadth escapes, extended shootouts, crash-and-dash auto chases, and hand-to-hand combat sequences to make the movie modestly diverting for undemanding audiences."[14] Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter said, "The action falters a bit when attention shifts to the rocky relationship between Lucas and Ella, but cinematographer Jose David Montero and editor Ken Blackwell succeed in getting things back on track with a consistent succession of energetic chase and fight scenes."[15]


  1. ^ "The Hunter's Prayer - Summary". The Numbers. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  2. ^ "The Hunter's Prayer (2017)". AllMovie. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  3. ^ "The Hunter's Prayer". IMDb. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  4. ^ "The Hunter's Prayer". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (30 January 2013). "Berlin 2013: Sam Worthington Set to Star in Phillip Noyce's 'For the Dogs'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (13 May 2013). "Cannes: Hailee Steinfeld To Star Opposite Sam Worthington In 'For The Dogs'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (8 November 2014). "'Hunter's Prayer' Answered: Sam Worthington Film Sells To 20 Territories". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  8. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (8 November 2014). "AFM: Buyers Hear Mostow's 'Prayer' With Sam Worthington". Variety. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (9 September 2016). "Toronto: Sam Worthington Thriller 'Hunter's Prayer' Bought by Saban". Variety. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  10. ^ Crust, Kevin (21 April 2017). "Every single movie coming out this summer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  11. ^ "The Hunter's Prayer". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  12. ^ "The Hunter's Prayer". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  13. ^ Smith, Derek (3 June 2017). "The Hunter's Prayer". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  14. ^ Leydon, Joe (9 June 2017). "Film Review: 'The Hunter's Prayer'". Variety. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  15. ^ Lowe, Justin (9 June 2017). "'The Hunter's Prayer': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 September 2017.

External linksEdit