A Single Shot is based on Matthew F. Jones’ novel of the same name. The thriller is set in a small rural mountain area where just about everybody knows everybody. It opens with John Moon (Sam Rockwell) hunting a deer, firing off several reckless and drunken shots. One of his errant misfires finds its way into an unknown young woman’s chest, fatally wounding her. Through a quick series of events from there, a box full of cash is discovered and another mysterious stranger appear.
Unfortunately, the story gets kind of long, drawn out, and less interesting as new characters are introduced. William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright, and Jason Isaacs are all solid actors, but they weren’t really allowed to shine. Certain aspects of the acting were so pointed, the accents for instance, that it made the dialogue difficult to understand and I found myself wishing for subtitles. There’s also a scene where Simon (Jeffrey Wright) is talking while drunk and sobbing – I caught every fourth word. On the flip side, there’s a scene where you clearly see a corpse breathing (more like hyperventilating), for a split second I thought there was going to be a zombie twist!
Overall, A Single Shot was an average thriller, stalled due to slow pacing in the middle act, and lack of character development. The premise was interesting, however, the execution poor. I wouldn’t call it a terrible movie, but I also cannot recommend spending full retail to see it in theaters. A Single Shot is in theaters Friday, September 20th.