American Gun (2006)
Critic Consensus: Despite its intriguing premise, this earnest anti-gun polemic is too melodramatic to resonate.
Three stories of how America's obsession with firearms impacts its citizens are explored in this independent drama. Carl Wilk (Donald Sutherland) runs a gun shop in Virginia that has been owned and operated by his family for generations. Carl sees the shop as his family's legacy without paying much mind to what happens with the weapons he sells. When his granddaughter Mary Ann (Linda Cardellini) needs money for college, Carl gives her a job in the store, and while she's hesitant at first, she becomes fascinated with the merchandise as time passes. On the West Side of Chicago, Carl Carter (Forest Whitaker) is the principal of a high school where violence has become a sad fact of life. As Carl and his wife, Sara (Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon), fear for their young son as they worry he could either fall prey to the violence of their community or embrace it himself, Carl receives a severe emotional blow when Jay (Arlen Escarpeta), one of his most promising students, is discovered carrying a pistol. And in Oregon, Janet (Marcia Gay Harden) is a single mother still troubled by the death of her teenaged son three years before, who took his own life after killing a handful of his classmates in a violent incident at a high school. As Janet deals with sharp words from the community, many of whom believe she should be held responsible for her late son's actions, she is unsure how to handle her surviving son, David (Christopher Marquette), who is now of high-school age. American Gun was the first feature film for writer and director Aric Avelino. … More
Watch it now
as Carl Wilk
as Janet Huttenson
as Mary Ann Wilk
as David Huttenson
as Sandra Cohen
as Security Guard
as Ed Hogan
as Victim's Father
News & Interviews for American Gun
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for American Gun
It's a bit like watching a weaker version of Crash, with fewer coincidences.
The guns seem to have been shoved in various characters' pockets as afterthought, and Avelino's interlocking stories never click.
[Avelino] shows an almost tender restraint in his story-telling, not pounding us with a message but simply looking steadily at how guns have made these lives difficult.
While not a perfect movie by any means -- a few scenes feel forced -- there is plenty to recommend it, even beyond the truly great performances.
Audience Reviews for American Gun
[font=Century Gothic]"American Gun" consists of three separate storylines:[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]1) In Ellisburgh, Oregon, the third anniversary of a high school massacre is fast approaching. The mother of one of the shooters, Janet Huttenson(Marcia Gay Harden), is stuggling to get by. Her younger son, David(Chris Marquette), is now the age of his older brother when he died.(But I don't understand why she never moved away to give her younger son a fresh start. Frankly, nobody can handle that much pain and torment.) [/font]
[font=Century Gothic]2) On the south side of Chicago, a high school principal(Forest Whitaker, again proving that he is one of the best actors around) works everyday to make his school a safe place to learn.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]3) In Charlottesville, Va, Mary Ann(Linda Cardellini) is attending the University of Virginia . She is uneasy about working in the gun store that her grandfather(Donald Sutherland) owns.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"American Gun" has an interesting set-up that promises a thorough examination of gun violence in America but the movie goes nowhere quickly and shamefully ducks out of the way of any politcs. Instead, it takes an ineffectual approach to the material that reeks of touchy-feely sentimentalism. Yes, families need to communicate better and we can all use a group hug from time to time but none of that does anything to address the urgent problem of the ready availability of guns in this country.[/font]
Not too trite, but not very original or effective, either.
would have done better to focus on one storyline (the one with Marcia Gay Harden) rather than 3, but interesting independent film
Discuss American Gun on our Movie forum!