First Snow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

First Snow Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2015
"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
October 5, 2014
A slow burner but a well acted drama from Guy Pearce and Piper Perabo.
½ August 12, 2014
An interesting meditation on the nature of fate. Pearce does an excellent job in the lead role, as well.
May 15, 2014
Intriguing slice of neo-noir; Pearce is captivatingly good--Getting the most out of a simple plot!!
½ March 30, 2014
not good, being mild.
February 23, 2014
Good psychological thriller
August 11, 2013
Pearce did a good job
July 19, 2013
A good and well acted film however the end, although it is is good it is how it is, could have been done with a little more tension. Left me feeling flat.
½ June 7, 2013
Well i kept missing a few seconds here and there cause i was falling asleep, not a bad movie, just not enough going on to keep you interested and awake.
February 15, 2013
Guy Pierce doesn't know how to pick them.
February 6, 2013
A interesting film that explores the question, can we avoid and possibly change our destiny? One man's attempt to avoid a foretold death leads to paranoia, ghosts from the past and the contemplation of acceptance of fate. Guy Pearce is wonderful in this cocky role, supporting cast are solid but nothing fantastic. I felt this screenplay was fresh and exciting and built on a solid premise that kept its momentum throughout the film and ended with a unsatisfying though completely appropriate ending.
½ November 3, 2012
Promised enough but it didn't deliver as well..
October 29, 2012
Liked the pacing and good story.
½ August 5, 2012
Promised enough but it didn't deliver as well..
½ June 17, 2012
Saw the screener before release was a pretty good movie overall
½ June 14, 2012
A confident salesman ask a psychic to read his future: he is only going to live until the first snow. Very often, movies that are centered around a person that is going to die soon show how the person is trying to enjoy the remaining time with family and friends. With lots of crying and nostalgia. This film shows that dark side of the certainty you're going to die. The overall cold mood is perfectly underlined by the surrounding desert. Guy Pearce is the perfect lead role for this one. He perfectly shows the emotional conflict within Jimmy Sparks: is it all true or bogus? Instead of concentrating on the beautiful things in life, Jimmy can't accept the prediction and tries to fight against it. Yet, he ends up just walking further towards his death. The path is quite frightening. Accompanied by questions of fate and destiny, vulnerability and doubts, the consequences of one's actions. I really loved it. It hit unexpectedly and hard.
May 8, 2012
A far better movie than it has a right to be; wholly due to superb actors making the material watchable. Fitchner and Pearce play roles they are more than comfortable with and completely sell their off key relationship. Fans of either wont be disappointed.
March 28, 2012
A tale of a man and a fortune teller who tells him he doesn't have long to live. A cliche set up that doesn't deliver in expected ways. While the film gets distrcacted in a myriad of subplots and dead space, it doesn't beat us over the head with the central question. Not like bucket list or something. Is knowing your death a curse or blessing? Guy Pearce seizes the role with intensity and paranoia, as well as nialingthe sleazebag salesman bit as well. The ending will polarize viewers, but it works for the most part.
January 20, 2012
the last half hour or so is what makes the movie
½ January 1, 2012
Interesting movie. You got to wonder though...would his fate have been the same if he never talked to the fortune-teller to begin with? I don't want to ruin it, so you'll just have to see it to ponder that question. Well made and Guy Pearce does a good job. Catch it on cable.
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