A Single Shot

2013

A Single Shot

Critics Consensus

It has a bleak sense of atmosphere and a terrific performance by Sam Rockwell, but A Single Shot is undercut by its predictable story and slow pace.

51%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

31%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,593
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Movie Info

David M. Rosenthal's backwoods thriller starts with a bang: a single shot, aimed at a lone deer, that hits and kills a young woman. The hunter, John Moon (Sam Rockwell, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS), watches her die before discovering a box of money near her body. In a desperate panic, he takes the cash - hiring a low-rent lawyer (William H. Macy, FARGO) to fight his wife's (Kelly Reilly, FLIGHT) divorce suit - and attempts to cover up the killing. But when he discovers that the money belonged to a group of hardened criminals, the hunter becomes the hunted in this tense cat-and-mouse struggle in the backwoods of West Virginia. (c) Tribeca

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Critic Reviews for A Single Shot

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (23)

Audience Reviews for A Single Shot

  • Oct 12, 2014
    Sam Rockwell's performance is one of the best reasons to watch this film. He kind of reminded me of Josh Brolin in No Country For Old Men. The film reminded me a lot of No Country For Old Men and A Simple Plan. The only negative was the pacing. It was a little slow at times. Besides Rockwell, the film has a good cast. There is solid supporting performances from Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs, and Jeffrey Wright. I definitely recommend the film, especially cause of Rockwell's performance.
    Sol C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2014
    Inexplicable money, an accidental shooting, ruthless nefarious ne'er do wells looking to regain their ill-gotten gains and a love story to boot, A Single Shot is a sort of backwoods noir piece. Centered on a hunter, John Moon, fresh off a separation from his wife, the film explores the unfolding series of events following an accidental shooting, caused by him. As any good noir film, A Single Shot has an appropriately atmospheric tone, combined with methodic pacing, eerie characters, and an impending sense of dread. Overall, director David Rosenthal's direction was able to capture the right mood, and rendered generally effective world-building of a hillbilly town. This is the best part of the film, which combines this effective world building with excellent cinematography. The problems come down to the script. It's never quite as clever as it thinks it is, seeming to out-think itself in the last act. How Sam Rockwell's character is blackmailed never seems quite believable, something more apt for a horror film, and the machinations of those that oppose him are too thinly sketched. So, too, are the characters. The cast itself is quite capable, headlined by a strong showing form Sam Rockwell, yet we never fully understand the dynamics between them. Opportunities are had for some rich character studies and fully distinctive takes on the narrative, Cohen brothers style, yet these are never really developed in A Single Shot, which relies too much on the style of menace than the actual narrative building of it. This leaves otherwise promising performances, William H. Macy's to be left rather adrift. Overall, it's certainly an enjoyable film with a lot of impressive elements, yet never fully meets its potential with its delivery. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2014
    One Chance, One Secret, One Mistake. Good FIlm! I love Sam Rockwell. He picks great projects and this no exception. This is not a fast paced feature but I story I really enjoyed. Maintained a great tension and foreboding throughout which I really enjoy in a film. This is a simple story with some great twists and turns. Starts out slow like a slow burn and then ramps up quickly. This story is believable and has no real holes in it. It's a story you can relate to in that it seems very plausible and believable. You feel the characters fear and tension with the situation he finds himself in. This is a slow paced thriller that is well filmed and the performances are excellent. 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.
    Manu G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2014
    Despite its noir stylistic flourishes, A Single Shot is far too languidly paced and dreary to make too much of an impact. Rockwell, continuing to prove how much of an underrated commodity of an actor he is, raises the protagonists plight into something far more lofty than it deserves for this film. He brings gravitas to a role that is better than the film its in. Put it down to a wasted effort.
    Jason S Super Reviewer

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