There are so many movies that come straight to video or get limited release that sport a stellar cast that it makes you wonder why they didn’t get a bigger release? AS of late there are a ton of them that end up delivering some great films, but of course there are still some stinkers. The latest looks to have everything it needs including an awesome cast featuring Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Ted Levine, Jason Isaacs, and Jeffrey Wright, but does it have the story to back it up or will it miss it’s target?
A Single Shot follows the tragic death of a beautiful young girl that starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between a hunter and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood. This is one of those movies that will be hit and miss with viewers. The story is good and the performances are great, but the pacing is a bit slow for most of the film. This pacing issue isn’t necessarily wrong for the film, but unless you get a viewer that is willing to invest may lose interest. This isn’t a complicated story, but you have to pay attention to what is happening here to see this thriller unfold or you can get a bit confused. Sam Rockwell once again delivers a great performance and is the driving force for the entire film. The rest of the cast bring all the needed emotions and interesting nature to the characters to keep them intriguing, but its Jeffrey Wright’s character that steals the show despite having very little screen time. The gritty tone to the film really adds to the overall effectiveness to the direction of the film. There are a couple of moments in the story that could have used a bit more flushing out, but not enough to hurt the completed film. There is a bleak story that is at times lost when they attempt to bring in a bit of light, but is quickly turned out by the dark direction it ends with.
As mentioned before, this film will not work for everyone, but those that are able to see the dark beauty behind its visuals and soak in the performances will see the great film that is hidden behind it all. If you are a fan of anyone in this film or just love a good backwoods thriller, then give this film a shot.