Clay Pigeons
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David Dobkin made his feature directorial debut with this comedy thriller about an ordinary guy mistakenly viewed as a serial killer by the FBI. In small-town Mercer, Montana (population 1,536), easy-going gas station attendant Clay Bidwell (Joaquin Phoenix) endures a comical nightmare that gets underway when Clay's best buddy Earl (Gregory Sporleder) learns Clay slept with Earl's wife Amanda (Georgina Cates). Earl commits suicide as a horrified Clay watches. Amanda would rather see Clay in prison than have the local gossipers chatting about their affair, so to cover-up, Clay puts… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Slanted as a black comedy, but fails to secure the sufficiently outre tone (let alone any real suspense) needed to make it more than a middling retread."
‑ Dennis Harvey, Variety
"Within Clay Pigeons is a smaller story that might have involved us more, but it's buried by overkill."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Call this one Fargo Lite, and you won't be far off the mark."
‑ Joe Leydon, The Moving Picture Show
"The boyishly braying laugh Vaughn punctuates his conversations with is a true actor's finesse on his character."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"It's hard to put a finger on what exactly this film is, and, for a while, it seems as if the filmmakers aren't sure what they're after, either."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"This quirky comedy thriller, produced by Ridley Scott, is both blackly funny and, at times, tensely disturbing and quite macabre."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"This is one of those motion pictures where the director (David Dobkin, in his feature debut) and the writer (Matt Healy) are so concerned about developing a clever, serpentine plot that they forget that there has to be a credible ending."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Vince Vaughn may play the two best movie serial killers this year if his Norman Bates rendition can match his performance in Clay Pigeons."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Twisted and quietly addicting crime flick."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"Brilliant direction."
‑ Nell Minow, Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
""You've got a sense of humor, I like that," Lester Long proclaims at one point. Well, we all like that, but would it be asking too much to have a little coherence to go along with it?"
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A film that delights by confounding expectations."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"An okay little High Plains Noir, but it unravels at the end."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Great performance by Vaughn"
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"This is not your classic whodunit. It's blacker, funnier, and edgier."
‑ Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly
More reviews for Clay Pigeons on Rotten Tomatoes