American Gun (2006)



Critic Consensus: Despite its intriguing premise, this earnest anti-gun polemic is too melodramatic to resonate.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: R (for violent content and language)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Steven Bagatourian, Aric Avelino
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 29, 2006
IFC Films - Official Site


as Janet Huttenson

as Mary Ann Wilk

as David Huttenson

as Cicily

as Sandra Cohen

as Producer

as Security Guard

as Supervisor

as Ed Hogan

as Victim's Father
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News & Interviews for American Gun

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Critic Reviews for American Gun

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (13)

It's a bit like watching a weaker version of Crash, with fewer coincidences.

Full Review… | April 21, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The guns seem to have been shoved in various characters' pockets as afterthought, and Avelino's interlocking stories never click.

Full Review… | April 7, 2006
Denver Post
Top Critic

[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.

Full Review… | April 6, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 6, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It's so well done.

Full Review… | March 28, 2006
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

While this is not exactly a hopeful movie, it's a polished exercise in the kind of social commentary that can wake people up.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for American Gun


[font=Century Gothic]"American Gun" consists of three separate storylines:[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/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][/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][/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][/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]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Not too trite, but not very original or effective, either.

William Goss

Super Reviewer

would have done better to focus on one storyline (the one with Marcia Gay Harden) rather than 3, but interesting independent film

Michael R

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