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critics consensus

Thanks to a talented cast and its uncommon depth, Nichols' debut manages to rise above its overly familiar plot. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Backed by siblings Kid (Barlow Jacobs) and Boy (Douglas Ligon), Son Hayes (Michael Shannon) tells the attendees at his father's funeral that he and his brothers hated the dead man, then spits on his grave. This triggers a battle with the siblings' half brothers, which soon leaves Kid dead and Son seriously hurt. As the half brothers stockpile weapons for what they assume will be a deadly encounter, Boy visits them and suggests an end to the fighting.

Cast & Crew

John Portnoy
Executive Producer
Lucero
Original Music
Pyramid
Original Music
Adam Stone
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Shotgun Stories

Critic Reviews for Shotgun Stories

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Shotgun Stories

  • Jan 15, 2017
    Jeff Nichols' feature debut is a beautifully shot film about the consequences and cycle of violence, with memorable performances, judicious editing and great use of music. Looking back now, one of the greatest pleasures is seeing the potential Nichols has promised here being fully realised in later works like Take Shelter and Midnight Special, as well as the influence the film has had on works such as Blue Ruin.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2014
    A slow, thoughtful, and brutally realistic look on a family torn apart by a father's infidelities, and after his death how violence erupts between the two families he started in his life. Michael Shannon, a method actor who is on the verge of typecasting himself as the "psycho" guy in movies, plays the part of a quiet man well. It is not a film for everyone because as said, it is paced almost to a crawl, but the character development and rising action are both well constructed by director Mike Nichols. If you like urban dramas that offer a different slice of life that are not seen in many movies, this is worth a view.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 10, 2013
    A fantastic debut for Jeff Nichols, Shotgun Stories is a deep atmospheric family thriller, approaching the cause/effect concept through very personal routes, aided by a brilliant lead performance by Michael Shannon. Try not to know anything from the story when first viewing it, it will just have a whole different impact, I can assure you. A very promising start to an already very good career for the director.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer

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