Starring: Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright, Jason Isaacs, Kelly Reilly, William H. Macy

Directed by: David M. Rosenthal

Synopsis: The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.

I was tipped off about A Single Shot courtesy of a review by Isaac here. He stated some points that, after watching the movie for myself, I can readily agree with.

First the story. Sam Rockwell plays John, a down on his luck, unemployed guy who likes to go and hunt deer. One day in the woods he mistakenly shoots a girl dead. He disposes of the body in some sort of storage container-cum-house. In there he finds a box of money, which he takes. This leads to a whole host of nasty criminals to his door, wanting their money back.

The first thing that I was struck with, following Isaac’s assessment is this. Unless you were born and raised in West Virginia, you will probably need subtitles. Great swathes of conversation passed me by because I simply couldn’t understand what anyone was mumbling. Seriously, there is authenticity and there is unintelligible talking. If it’s a movie, the authenticity probably needs to be toned down a bit so we can follow what’s going on!

Secondly, as Isaac pointed out, some of the scenes filmed inside are pretty hard to make out. They are lit pretty badly, which again points to authenticity but doesn’t help the viewer in the slightest.

The film itself was a fairly decent thriller, with some good (I think, although I can’t necessarily tell because of the aforementioned reasons) performances from everyone involved. I think the ending was the usual contrived and cliched Hollywood ending involving a hostage situation. The film should have been better than that. I think the fact that a film with a cast as good as this is little known points to it’s flaws.

My wife summed it up pretty well at the end when she said it was like a poor man’s No Country For Old Men. I can’t really argue against that.

2.5 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Meh.. Looks like I’ll skip this then!

  2. Hmmm, I really like Sam Rockwell but this doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he excels at to be honest.

    • I really like Rockwell as well, and the film had the potential to be good, but just ended up failing. I just couldn’t help but compare it to No Country For Old Men which didn’t do it any favours, as not much can compete with that!

  3. Thanks, Tom. This movie does not really strike me as worth viewing. This is also one that I never heard/read about…

  4. haha your wife’s comment is pretty funny

  5. theipc

    Hey thanks for the shout out!! This movie wasn’t terrible but, like we both saw, it was VERY difficult to see or hear what was going on most of the time… oh well, right?

  6. Oh no, I was actually planning to watch this one. It did look kind of dull though, but eh, Sam Rockwell. Rockwell can sell a film to me simply due to his appearance. Who knows if I will ever actually see it though! I have heard a ton of bad things…

    • Don’t get me wrong it’s not terrible. In fact, as the saying goes, “it’s not terrible, it’s worse than that, it’s average”!

  7. I hadn’t heard of this movie till now. After reading your review, I realised why.
    It doesn’t seem worth checking out.

    • As I replied to some one else, to use a quote from elsewhere “It’s not terrible. It’s worse than that, it’s average”. That’s the best way I can describe it I think!


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