Shotgun Stories
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Two families linked by the same father explode into a violent rivalry in this independent Southern gothic drama, the first feature from director Jeff Nichols. Cleaman Hayes lived and died in Little Rock, AR, where he had seven sons by two different women. After wedding Nicole (Natalie Canerday), Cleaman sired three sons, and his lack of concern for their future was reflected in the fact he barely gave them names -- they were dubbed Son (Michael Shannon), Kid (Barlow Jacobs) and Boy (Douglas Ligon). One day, Cleaman abandoned his wife and sons, and left them to survive in deep poverty that has… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A precisely modulated yet cumulatively forceful story of a rural family feud turned deadly."
‑ Eddie Cockrell, Variety
"Few films are so observant about how we relate with one another. Few are as sympathetic."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
" once a small, regional tale and something mythic."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Good natural performances."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Set in rural Arkansas, Jeff Nichols' relaxed, distinctive debut revels in the milieu of its redneck characters, but injects their rural half-blood feud with an almost mythic quality."
‑ Steve Rose, Guardian
"Director Jeff Nichols lets the action unfold slowly following an impromptu insult, but the escalation of hatred and pain feels natural."
‑ Maureen M. Hart, Chicago Tribune
"Shotgun Stories is a cautionary tale about revenge, but more than that, it is a beautiful, authentic-feeling portrait of a family and a place."
‑ Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times
"There is indeed something mythical, even scriptural, about the struggle among the seven Hayes brothers in Jeff Nichols' remarkable Shotgun Stories."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"The credentials of many festival screenings might suggest to alert viewers that this isn't a shoot 'em up between two hill billy clans"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Brilliantly acted, superbly directed and beautifully shot, this is a gripping drama that really gets under your skin and marks writer-director Jeff Nichols out as a talent to watch."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"... here there's also an undercurrent of biblical revenge that lends the narrative a sense of violent menace and an almost continuous tension."
‑ Joshua Katzman, Chicago Reader
"An austere rural landscape, festering hatred, class tensions, terse dialogue -- these are common currency in indie movies these days. Shotgun Stories uses them all, but manages to stand out from the crowd."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"There is much to "Shotgun Stories" that elevates it above the fray of Green derivatives and unflattering categorizations, bolstered by a roster of naturalistic, fully assimilated performances, led by "Bug"'s now ubiquitous Michael Shannon."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, indieWIRE
"Like Malick, Nichols knows that the sight of a combine transforming an Arkansas cotton field into an apocalyptic dust storm is as eloquent as anything his characters might say."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Writer/director Jeff Nichols is one to watch. He has fashioned a simple but powerful cautionary tale, equal parts Southern Gothic and Greek tragedy, and has given a familiar kind of material a fresh spin."
‑ Bonnie Fazio,
More reviews for Shotgun Stories on Rotten Tomatoes

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