Dead Shot

Quiver Distribution
Dead Shot (2023) — the title that sounds like a straight-to-video action film from the late 1990s subverts expectations. The film is a gritty crime drama fused with a revenge tale and has an intriguing and tragic historical setting as the backdrop. The tagline lives up to itself: Revenge digs two graves.

The film gives us a grim look at life in the 1970s during the high tensions between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Dead Shot opens with a retired Irish paramilitary man named Michael O'Hara (Colin Morgan) trying to get his wife across the border as she is going into labor. Encountering a SAS officer (Aml Ameen), O'Hara tells his wife to flee, and something tragic occurs that sets off a solid ninety-minute revenge film.

The supporting cast shines big time; Felicity Jones and Mark Strong perform better than ever. The entire cast feels like real people in this world and at this time. The production design of Dead Shot is also something to note. Dead Shot looks like gloomy London. The film is almost colorless, with the occasional street lights of bars in some scenes. And it all feels organic and natural.

Dead Shot contains a brilliant climax in the film's third act, loaded with action — reminiscent of crime films of the 1970s (à la The French Connection). The pacing and direction are a testament that a three-act structure can still work with its short run time and not feel rushed; a credit to the filmmakers behind it, Christopher and Thomas Guard — the directing pair wanted to build up to the film's big showdown.

Dead Shot is a brilliant drama that hooks you in its opening minutes and crushes you in its final moments.

Watch Dead Shot