Shot in the Heart

"Bad"

Shot in the Heart Review


Here's another made for HBO movie that clearly aspires for cinematic splendor, circling the actors in dizzying tracking shots. Shot in the Heart overcompensates for the small screen. Since it's largely told in scenes where death row inmate Gary Gilmore (Elias Koteas) and his younger brother Mikal (Giovanni Ribisi) discuss their family history and right-to-die ethics across the table from each other, such grandiose flourishes ring false. I much preferred the non-flashy functionality of HBO's recent Conspiracy (the nazi board room meeting to discuss the Final Solution to the "Jewish problem," starring Kenneth Branagh) because at least it was willing to follow the boxed-in rules of TV conventions. Shot in the Heart feels overcooked.

In the allegory-seeking hands of director Agnieszka Holland (Total Eclipse), no opportunity is resisted for family dinner flashbacks where sinister dad Sam Shepard knocks over the turkey and throws young Gary around the room. Religious fervor is represented through wide-eyed mania in Shepard's resident madman and Amy Madigan's Carrie-tinged Mormon mother. More interesting are the prison scenes (shades of Oz), where Ribisi and Koteas are boxed in by walls of glass, steel, and wire frames. Unfortunately, the two ferociously talented lead performers are encouraged to conform to Actor's Studio emoting--Koteas can't keep still, Ribisi's hands are constantly kneading handy props (and, barring that, are continually rubbing away thinly veiled tears).

The central question of whether Mikal will be able to convince Gary to sign a stay of execution feels moot; it feels as though the characters have made up their minds long before the camera rolls. Shot in the Heart therefore feels more like an excuse to present dramatic circumstance. Pump up the volume, and let the screaming begin.



Shot in the Heart

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 13th October 2001

Distributed by: HBO Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Mikal Gilmore, as Gary Gilmore, as Frank Gilmore, Sr., as Bessie Gilmore

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.