Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The suspense comes and goes, but A Single Shot always maintains a firm grip on its sad, deteriorating environment.
Village Voice
David M. Rosenthal's sturdy, nasty rural noir, based on Matthew F. Jones's novel, is so sharp and rusted through that, after taking it in, you'll likely need a tetanus shot.
The film charts no new territory but is terrifically cast and, like its source novel, long on atmosphere.
Slant Magazine
Content to faithfully hew to convention, A Single Shot rarely surprises, but its portrait of foolishness and fallibility, and its atmosphere of inevitable doom, remain sturdy and captivating.
The Dissolve
Its ongoing reveal of interconnected, rough-edged characters, as well as a tone that’s a twangy, noirish brew of the Coen brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, and Winter’s Bone, are ultimately what make the movie unsettling and absorbing.
A Single Shot never rises to the level of a great film like “Winter’s Bone,” which digs much deeper in its depiction of life in the hills among the desperate poor. But thanks largely to Rockwell, it’s not bad, either.
Time Out
Rockwell’s performance is impressively flinty, as is the rest of the cast (including William H. Macy delivering some twitchy character work), and the dialogue sparkles with brilliantly colorful mountain-man slang. Despite its byzantine narrative, the film remains never less than absorbing, as the walls slowly close in on this good-hearted but ultimately flawed protagonist.
It’s largely just an opportunity for the actors to try on Ozark-y mannerisms, swig moonshine, and hock loogies. And like most exercises in authenticity, it couldn’t be more inauthentic if it tried.
Who would have guessed that sex, drugs and double-crossing could be so unrelentingly boring?
What passes for a plot has been done a thousand times before — in much better films than A Single Shot.

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