A Single Shot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A Single Shot
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid M. Rosenthal
Produced by
Screenplay byMatthew F. Jones
Based onA Single Shot
by Matthew F. Jones
Music byAtli Örvarsson
CinematographyEduard Grau
Edited byDan Robinson
  • A Single Shot Productions
  • Bron Studios
  • Demarest Films
  • Media House Capital
  • Unanimous Pictures
  • Unified Pictures
Release date
  • February 13, 2013 (2013-02-13) (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$18,642[1]

A Single Shot is a 2013 American crime thriller film directed by David M. Rosenthal and written by Matthew F. Jones, based on his own novel of the same name. It stars Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Ted Levine, Kelly Reilly and Jason Isaacs.


John Moon's wife recently took their son and left. Before John's father died, he was unable to pay the mortgage on the farm, and it was sold. John is depressed and an emotional wreck. He lives in poverty in rural West Virginia, feeding himself by hunting deer. While illegally stalking a deer with a shotgun on Nature Conservancy land, he accidentally shoots and kills a young woman. He then finds a box containing $100,000 in the abandoned van where she was hiding. He hides the woman's body in a shipping container.

During the following days, he attempts to reconcile with his wife. He contacts a local attorney to try to negotiate for his wife and son's return home and leaves the attorney several hundred dollars, drawing the attorneys' attention. John visits his son at his wife's apartment and interrupts the babysitter having sex with a recently released convict who has returned home. As he leaves he is threatened by a stranger who resents his glance.

Later, while he is in his trailer, someone shoots and kills his dog. In another incident a rock wrapped in a note threatening his family is thrown through the trailer window. John suspects the ex-con is responsible for these events. He enters the ex-con's motel room and is interrupted by the ex-con's return. He hides in the louvered closet. The stranger from outside the diner arrives at the hotel room and asks the ex-con if he's "gotten the money back". The ex-con tells him that the woman who had the money has died and the stranger is furious. John sees him slit the ex-con's throat. The ex-con falls into the closet. He sees John but is unable to talk before he dies. John avoids detection and goes home. He finds someone has trashed his trailer, apparently looking for the money. The dead girl's body is on his bed with a note. His wife shows up and wants to come inside and get her clothing, but John refuses. John visits the attorney and threatens him with a pistol, trying to force him to reveal what he knows. All he learns is that his wife was concerned about where John got the money and wants to talk to him.

John returns to his trailer. A friendly local girl brings him something to eat, and while they are eating outside, the radio in the trailer starts playing loudly. John goes inside to investigate, carrying a pistol. He hears the girl scream outside, and returns to find her held captive by the stranger. John is forced to discard his pistol and knife. The stranger asks John where the money is. John says he buried it nearby. The stranger tells him to go get it, but first cuts off John's right index finger and thumb, to be sure he can't use a weapon. John goes to his truck and gets a scoped rifle. Despite his wounds, he successfully kills the stranger. He takes the girl to town and returns to the trailer and a shed outside, which contains a freezer in which he has hidden the dead woman's body. He drags her body up the hill and digs a hole to bury her. Weakened by loss of blood, he's unable to get out of the hole. He pulls the girl′s body into the hole with him and looks up to see a deer looking down at him from the edge of the hole.



Filming began in February 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia.[3] The film was released on September 20, 2013, and distributed in the United States by Tribeca Film.[4]


A Single Shot received mixed reviews and has a rating of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7 out of 10. The consensus states "It has a bleak sense of atmosphere and a terrific performance by Sam Rockwell, but A Single Shot is undercut by its predictable story and slow pace."[5] The film also has a score of 53 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 16 reviews.[6]


The music for A Single Shot was written by Icelandic-born composer Atli Örvarsson whose music is strongly rooted in 20th century modernism. The score was recorded with the London Metropolitan Orchestra. The soundtrack has been released digitally and on CD by MovieScore Media / Kronos Records. One of the special things about the soundtrack is that the shorter cues have been organized into movements, thus creating a program that sounds very much like a concert piece.

All music is composed by Atli Örvarsson.

A Single Shot: Original Soundtrack
1."A Single Shot"1:06
4."The John Moon Variations: Movement 1 – The Shot"7:00
5."The John Moon Variations: Movement 2 – Late Night Call"8:30
6."The John Moon Variations: Movement 3 – Showdown"9:45
Total length:42:27


  1. ^ "A Single Shot". boxofficemojo.com. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "A Single Shot Official Site". Archived from the original on 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  3. ^ "A Single Shot – first look review". guardian.co.uk. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Sam Rockwell's 'A Single Shot' Gets U.S. Distribution". variety.com. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  5. ^ "A Single Shot". 20 September 2013.
  6. ^ "A Single Shot". Metacritic.

External links[edit]