Sam Rockwell stars in this chicken-fried film noir as an unemployed farmer who gets mixed up with bad company after he accidentally shoots a strange woman traveling with a large sum of cash. The story gets increasingly pulpy as it unfolds, yet director David M. Rosenthal maintains a somber tone throughout, emphasizing the subtext of economic desperation in Matthew F. Jones’s script (adapted from his 1996 novel). Like many classic noirs, the movie doubles as a showcase for character actors, featuring fun, mannered turns from William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright, former Chicago stage actor W. Earl Brown, Ophelia Lovibond, and Joe Anderson (The Grey, Across the Universe). This often feels familiar, but it’s refreshing to see such time-worn material revived without ironic detachment.
A Single Shot
R • 1 hour 56 min • 2013