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Review: "A Single Shot"

September 20, 2013 5:49 a.m.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "A Single Shot."

Related Story: Review: 'A Single Shot'


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

HOST INTRO: If crime thrillers teach you anything it’s this: If you find stolen money don’t take it. It only leads to bad things. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando reviews “A Single Shot,” opening this weekend at Reading Gaslamp.

A single shot…

CLIP SFX gun shot

Changes John Moon’s life forever. His bullet, intended for a deer, brings down a young woman. As John tries to hide the body, he discovers a large stash of money and takes it. He thinks it’ll provide the means of winning his estranged wife and son back. But his second-rate lawyer warns, one mistake could ruin not just John’s life but that of his son.

CLIP What’s you say?... There’s the boy to think about, Nolan… He ain’t in this… Course he’s in this, he’s your son. Most problems John aren’t as bad as they seem. The thing is you have to deal with it before people get backed into corners… You got something to say, spit it out… There’s so many overlapping interests in a small town John.

“A Single Shot” doesn’t cover new terrain. It takes the found stolen money of “A Simple Plan,” and adds in the claustrophobic atmosphere and harsh violence of “Winter’s Bone.” But “A Single Shot” tackles the familiar with a solid sense of craftsmanship, and with fine acting from Sam Rockwell and William H. Macy. In “A Simple Plan” someone says, “You work for the American Dream--you don't steal it." “A Single Shot” serves up a fatalistic tale about the grim consequences of taking shortcuts.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.