Shotgun Stories - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shotgun Stories Reviews

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Top Critic
Michael Ordoņa
Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2008
Shotgun Stories is a cautionary tale about revenge, but more than that, it is a beautiful, authentic-feeling portrait of a family and a place.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ross Bennett
Empire Magazine
April 11, 2008
An interesting first effort from Nichols -- making him a director to look out for in the future.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
April 9, 2008
No question, it's a humorless downer, but also an impressive character study, with depth proportionate to the tragic nature of its theme.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
April 4, 2008
An austere rural landscape, festering hatred, class tensions, terse dialogue -- these are common currency in indie movies these days. Shotgun Stories uses them all, but manages to stand out from the crowd.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
April 3, 2008
This promising debut feature is remarkable for its use of inaction, the threats, standoffs, aborted shoving matches, but very little actual violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
April 3, 2008
Well-plotted, with a strong lead performance by Michael Shannon, and a fair amount of authentic regional flavor. It isn't really meant to be a treatise on Southern life. At heart, it's a country-fried genre film, minus the peppery white gravy.
Read More | Original Score: B+
Cynthia Fuchs
March 31, 2008
Though none of the boys, now young men, talks about it, they all bear burdens of rejection and rage.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 28, 2008
Yes, it's a mite pretentious and on the slow side. But debuting director Jeff Nichols has an eye for small-town America and a sensibility that he shares with fellow North Carolina School of the Arts alumnus David Gordon Greene.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
March 28, 2008
Never manages to be fully convincing.
Matt Pais
March 27, 2008
Simple lives can have complicated histories, and Shotgun Stories has a hard, lived-in understanding of how the past is a monkey that's firmly attached to your back.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Glenn Kenny
Premiere Magazine
March 27, 2008
It's rare that a picture that deals with as much tragedy as this one also manages to convey as much warmth to its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
March 27, 2008
Like his fellow Mason-Dixon minimalist David Gordon Green (the film's producer), [director] Nichols favors mood and ellipses over momentum and explanations, which gives this contemporary Hatfields-versus-McCoys narrative a beguiling, drifting atmosphere.
Read More | Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
Matt Zoller Seitz
New York Times
March 26, 2008
Shotgun Stories defines the classic western phrase 'doing what a man's got to do' as both a moral imperative and a biological compulsion.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
Emanuel Levy
March 26, 2008
Tyro writer-director Jeff Nichols shows promise in his striking feature debut, a haunting saga about rage, revenge, and violence in one peculiar family, that does regional independent cinema proud.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
March 26, 2008
There's no escaping the fact that the film, well-crafted though it may be, is ultimately just as slow as the proverbial molasses.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 24, 2008
Shotgun Stories has a flawless cast, but it's the peculiarity of Michael Shannon that keeps it from becoming too obvious.
Jeremiah Kipp
Slant Magazine
March 23, 2008
Alternately terse and elegiac, Shotgun Stories works best when it observes the lives of its main characters, three lower-class brothers from southeast Arkansas.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
Boxoffice Magazine
February 29, 2008
Breathtaking and stands out from the herd.
James Rocchi
February 23, 2008
Shotgun Stories is, at heart, a film about people who discover what they have to let go of, and who confront the terrifying possibility of hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 14, 2007
... a simple human story with the archetypal power of Greek myth. It feels like an American classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 92/100
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