A Single Shot
Directed by David M. Rosenthal
Starring Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright, Kelly Reilly, William H. Macy
Playing at AMC Empire 25 and on VOD
“A Single Shot” offers definitive proof of two truisms: Sam Rockwell is one of our best and most underrated actors, and there’s plenty of dramatic potential left in movies set in redneck Appalachian hell.
Director David M. Rosenthal and cinematographer Eduard Grau imbue the rural setting with impressionistic grace, melding gray skies and rising mists, low-rent diners and crumbling homes, with a pervasive sadness. Rockwell paints an affecting picture of all-consuming regret.
Sadly, the story, which follows the consequences after Rockwell’s John Moon accidentally kills a woman while hunting deer and discovers a satchel of money with her things, leaves a lot to be desired. This is everyday noir territory, plain and simple.
There are long, slow stretches where the only real spectacle is mumbled exposition and the movie’s general weariness — nothing happy happens here — transitions from tasteful to overbearing.