Shotgun Stories

(2008) *** Unrated
92 min. International Film Circuit. Cast: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs, Michael Abbott Jr, Lynnsee Provence.
Don't do a double take if Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories puts you in mind of David Gordon Green. Green is a producer on the project, and DP Adam Stone helped to shoot three of Green's films. Writer-director Nichols is a serious talent in his own right, and though his slow-burning film isn't going to be to all tastes, it's a mature and authentic-feeling story of three brothers living hand-to-mouth in Southeast Arkansas. The crux of the story is a family feud between three brothers and their four half-brothers following the death of their mutual father. Nichols is to be credited for upending traditional revenge movie theatrics, instead applying understatement and, at times, dry humor to his sad story. Though the acting is all fine, audiences may take special notice of Michael Shannon, known for Bug and World Trade Center.
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