A solidly made, extremely well acted movie that’s too slooow

by Ed Blackadder

A Single Shot has a superb cast who each and every one perform brilliantly. Sam Rockwell was expectedly good but the most convincing was without a doubt Jeffrey Wright. I know playing a drunk is absolutely nothing new (in fact, I’m good at it myself, I’m not acting though) but his was a very authentic portrayal which was highly effective. To stand out in a group of thespians of this calibre is quite something, and he did indeed stand out. William H. Macy is another good actor and his take on the lawyer was good. He wore a crazy, obvious wig and even though he only done a couple or three scenes, they were all very good, particularly his final one with John (Sam Rockwell). Joe Anderson as Obadiah was almost as good as Wright’s performance, as he played one of the low-life trying to recover the money.

A Single Shot
Directed by
David M. Rosenthal
Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Ted Levine
Release Date
20 September, 2013
Ed’s Grade: B-

I couldn’t help but compare some of this to No Country For Old Men for a couple of reasons. The Cohen’s movie was about a guy stumbling into a gang slaying out in a place not dissimilar to this (less trees of course), then he finds a load of cash, which gets him into some serious trouble with a bad stranger. His American wife is played by a Brit. In this it’s the very talented, sexy, delicate Kelly Reilly (Flight) and the Cohen’s had fellow Glaswegian Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting) playing a similar role. Our killer isn’t as single minded as Javier Bardem’s Anton but he was as ruthless, and not an air-tank to be found. The story itself wasn’t bad and had enough going on to keep me interested, but the pacing just wasn’t happening, and I felt it was just too long. It could have ran at 90-95 minutes quite easily (although, I’m certainly no editing expert) but it had enough suspense to get away with it. I would have scored this higher if not for that.

The acting more than anything else made this movie worth seeing but I’m not sure it will be enough for some. Regardless, It’s a very good film. Apparently they had considered some of these actors to take on a few of the roles, and out of interest I’m going to list them, just to see if you can decide who would have played who: Thomas Haden Church, Forest Whitaker, Alessandro Nivola, Juno Temple, Emily Mortimer, Juliette Lewis, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Terrence Howard and James Badge Dale.