Shotgun Stories
Shotgun Stories (2007)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: October 12, 2007
DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008
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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Thanks to a talented cast and its uncommon depth, Nichols' debut manages to rise above its overly familiar plot.

Leo Goldsmith

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.

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Joshua Katzman
Chicago Reader

... here there's also an undercurrent of biblical revenge that lends the narrative a sense of violent menace and an almost continuous tension.

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Annie Wagner
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Slowness drags the score into repetitive motifs that never seem to speed or slow and locks the dialogue into an occasionally artificial-sounding gravity.

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Eddie Cockrell

A precisely modulated yet cumulatively forceful story of a rural family feud turned deadly.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Few films are so observant about how we relate with one another. Few are as sympathetic.

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Sean Axmaker

Nichols' original take on classic themes of vengeance and retribution is dropped into a world of real people struggling with the real problems of making a living, taking responsibility for families and dealing with the betrayals of the past.

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Maureen M. Hart
Chicago Tribune

Director Jeff Nichols lets the action unfold slowly following an impromptu insult, but the escalation of hatred and pain feels natural.

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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly

Jeff Nichols modern Western is laconic and lazily captivating, its silence slowly building to rage.

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Alberto Abuín

A kind of modern and direct western where violence isn't seen but you can feel it. [Full review in Spanish]

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More reviews for Shotgun Stories

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
Dan Schultz
A slow, thoughtful, and brutally realistic look on a family torn apart by a father's infidelities, and after his death how violence erupts between the two… More
'Shotgun Stories'. As far as revenge tales go, this small scale, deeply personal affair is up there with the best of them. Jeff Nichols manages to… More
Directors Cat
Mark Walker
In 2011, relatively unknown writer/director Jeff Nichols took a lot of people by surprise when he delivered one of the best films of the year in "Take… More
Melvin White
Son Hayes: We don't own the square-root of shit. Shotgun Stories was the directorial debut of Jeff Nichols and it also was his first collaboration with… More
Matthew Slaven
A masterpiece of the rural southern U.S. and the nearly uncontrollable, circular nature of violence and prejudice.