First Snow (2007)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: In First Snow, an interesting premise gives way to a slow and tedious noir that adds little to the genre.


Movie Info

Wound tight and cocky, Jimmy Starks is a smooth-talking salesman certain he's on the verge of a big break. Even when his car stalls in the middle of nowhere, a roadside soothsayer assures him a windfall is on its way. Although Jimmy should be happy when his boss suddenly agrees to financially back his business venture, he starts to become paranoid instead. As his girlfriend Deirdre and his best friend/business partner Ed watch him slowly come unwound, Jimmy wonders if a past betrayal of his … More

Rating: R (for language, some violence and sexuality)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 27, 2007
Box Office: $0.1M
Runtime:
Yari Film Group - Official Site

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Cast


as Vincent

as Andy Lopez

as Tom Moreland

as Waitress

as Market Clerk

as Roy Harrison
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Critic Reviews for First Snow

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (25)

The movie has a lovely paranoia about it that Pearce, as Memento and L.A. Confidential told us, is a master at conveying.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A fresh, intelligent and thoroughly involving psychological thriller.

December 4, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

I was beguiled by both the eerie moods and the striking compositions, which incorporate large stretches of empty space.

Full Review… | November 27, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A smart, tense modern film noir.

Full Review… | June 30, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The film has some of the bleak inevitability of Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, but without the compelling characters and oddball twists.

Full Review… | April 26, 2007
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

A haunting neo-noir about a man told by a palmist that his karma is about to run over his dogma.

Full Review… | April 20, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for First Snow

½

"Your fate lies on whatever road you take. Even if you choose to run from it"

Guy Pearce is a very talented actor that hasn't quite achieved the leading man credentials he so thoroughly deserves. However, he still has a knack for choosing great roles. The real gems among his work tends to be lower budget indie fair. Some can hit the quality heights of Memento or L.A. Confidential and reach a mass audience while others become respectful career choices that tend to slip under the radar. Personally, I think Pearce's choices are always very interesting and First Snow is a prime example of his astute eye for a good role and project.

Jimmy Starks (Pearce) is a cocky salesman who's car breaks down outside a desolate New Mexico town. To pass the time he pays a visit to a roadside fortune teller (J.K. Simmons). Although skeptical, Jimmy soon realises that the psychic is no con man and he's told that his future is very bleak. In fact, he's told that his life will come to an end when the first snow arrives, leaving Jimmy to explore how his fate will be sealed.

Making his directorial debut, screenwriter Mark Fergus (Children of Men, Iron Man) sets his stall up with a metaphysical tale that wouldn't be out of place in a Twilight Zone episode. The premise is simple (but all the more effective for it) and there are elements that also bring reminders of Pearce's Leonard Shelby from Memento. With a similar claustrophobic edge, his character is holed up in his apartment - or the occasional motel room - having anxious discussions on the telephone that may or may not seal his fate. It's this psychological angle that really benefits this impressive and intriguingly abstract neo-noir.

It's very well shot and the always reliable Pearce adds another solid character to his resume. He shows great range and holds the whole film together with his ability to switch from cocksure arrogance to paranoid wreck and has you delighted when it comes to watching him squirm. Pearce's effortless range really brings his character to the fore but what also works is it's haunting atmosphere and ability to maintain it's eeriness and mystery on such a low-key scale.

It's a slow burner that explores the theoretical themes of predestination and self-determination and has you constantly wondering how events will pan out for our conscience-stricken protagonist. Unfortunately, the destination of his repentant road doesn't end as well as it should. After a such a gripping build up, the pay-off feels rushed and unsatisfactory but up until this point it's a very involving thriller.

An impressive feature debut from Mark Fergus and on this evidence it's a shame that he hasn't stepped behind the camera since. The ending may let it down but this is still a taut, psychological mystery that deserves to receive a wider audience.

Mark Walker

MrMarakai
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

½

this was an intense film. everytime i see piper perablo on screen i like her more, and guy pearce is going to be a great actor for a considerable period of time. this film was creative and different, but ultimately the story wasnt intriguing enough to make it worth while. i enjoyed it, but it was fairly bland and didnt offer much more than a little entertainment value.

sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

It's engaging enough, but it never hits any real payoff.

MovieGeek13
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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