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Shotgun Stories (2007)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  26 March 2008 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,464 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 29 user | 80 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Shotgun Stories tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these ... See full summary »

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Title: Shotgun Stories (2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Douglas Ligon ...
...
...
Cleaman Hayes
...
Mark Hayes
Lynnsee Provence ...
Stephen Hayes
David Rhodes ...
John Hayes
...
Annie Hayes
G. Alan Wilkins ...
Shampoo
Natalie Canerday ...
Nicole
Cole Hendrixson ...
Carter
Vivian Morrison Norman ...
Melissa
Tucker Prentiss ...
Paul
Wyatt Ashton Prentiss ...
Kevin
Cammie McKee ...
Dess
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Storyline

Shotgun Stories tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these brothers discover the lengths to which each will go to protect their family. Written by Jeff Nichols

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 March 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fegyverek és emberek  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,553 (USA) (14 December 2007)

Gross:

$45,661 (USA) (11 July 2008)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The majority of the principal photography took place in 2004. See more »

Quotes

Son Hayes: We don't own the square-root of shit.
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Connections

References The Game of Death (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

For A Little Ride
Written by Mark Mangold and Benny Mardones
Performed by Benny Mardones
Copyright © Spirit Two Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Copyright © But For Music, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Used by Permission of Curb Records
All Rights Reserved
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User Reviews

 
"Shotgun Stories" is a moody melodrama of Southern rural life smartly observed.
16 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Shotgun Stories" is a moody melodrama of Southern rural life smartly observed. Jeff Nichols shoots his first feature film, trusting the scenery, the faces of his actors creating the atmosphere while he relies on small town, everyday life circumstances for character building. "Shotgun Stories" is a tragedy that unfolds beautifully as an intimate family drama. It serves as a passionate cry to end senseless violence, as well as a stark reminder that we possess the power to determine our own destinies.

Set against the backdrop of rural Arkansas, "Shotgun Stories" follows an escalating feud between two sets of half-brothers who differ in every way, except for one side of their parental heritage. We are first introduced to Son (Michael Shannon), Boy (Dougls Ligon), and Kid Hayes (Barlow Jacobs), born to a drunken father who didn't have the decency to give his offspring names, and rejected by a mother who was too bitter to care for them. The father decides to abandon his first family to find sobriety, God, and to begin a new life with another family. He fathers four more sons who were given the real names and the upbringing they deserved. The second Hayes family owns a cotton and soybean farm and is comfortably middle class. Son, in contrast, works at a fish hatchery and loses all his money trying to perfect a "system" he thinks can beat the local casino. Kid sleeps in a tent in Son's yard, and Boy lives in a van by the river. When their father dies the sets of brothers are brought together at his funeral, and their previously harbored hostilities erupt and further escalate.

Nichols makes a point not to show us the actual violence on screen. He often cuts away at the critical moments of a confrontation, and it is Nichols' approach to film making that strips away any glamour associated with the violence while being consistent with his message.

It should be noted that the pacing here is pretty slow – albeit realistically so. Thankfully the performances alone are sufficient to keep this counter-revenge tragedy on track. The performances are uniformly excellent with veteran character actor Michael Shannon as the film's emotional anchor. There is plenty to enjoy in "Shotgun Stories," just don't anticipate all the fireworks.


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