Film Review: A Single Shot | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, May 24th, 2020  

A Single Shot

Studio: Tribeca Film
Directed by David M. Rosenthal

Sep 20, 2013 Web Exclusive
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Sam Rockwell is barely recognizable here in his role as John Moon, an unkempt poacher in backwoods West Virginia. Alone on a hunting trip, John accidentally shoots and kills a young woman while aiming for a deer. Searching her body for identification, he finds a small lockbox overstuffed with cash; he pockets it, hides the corpse, and flees the scene.

A Single Shot is a confusing, overcomplicated little thriller; its promising premise is ruined by muddling in too many moving elements without bothering to give any a proper amount of setup. Heaps of shoehorned backstory is dumped on viewers as the film slogs onward: John has separated from his wife; he can't hold down a job; he has a mounting number of arrests for poaching; his parents lost their farm, but he works there for the new owner, whose young daughter is inexplicably attracted to this grizzled weirdo; the farm down the street is haunted by the ghosts of a couple whose murder is still unsolved. (That's only a portion of the massive, unnecessary infodumps.) Whenever the film circles back to the murdered girl and the box of money, we're left trying to piece together how any of this is related. Unfortunately, the connections are so loose and befuddlingly slipshod, it's hard to care just who shot whom when; moments poised as shocking betrayals elicit no greater response than an unsatisfied "huh."


Author rating: 3.5/10

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