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3.2
108 Ratings

Ned Rifle

Directed by Hal Hartley
United States, 2014
Drama

Synopsis

Henry and Fay’s son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family.

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Ned Rifle Directed by Hal Hartley

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

2015 | Winner: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Panorama)

The film’s leanness, though not unwelcome, does give Ned something of the air of a project created to satisfy a need for symmetry, to create aesthetic closure, rather than make a wholly standalone statement. Thankfully, Hartley and his troupe (regulars like Robert John Burke, Bill Sage, and Martin Donovan show up in key supporting turns) deliver the material with brio. And Hartley’s idiosyncrasies as a screenwriter remain intact.
April 07, 2015
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The prevailing mood in Ned Rifle is one of blockage, of avoidance. Ned and Susan are two characters whose chief impulse is denial and rejection. There’s a reason for that, as the film reveals to us. But the Hartley of yesteryear loved to play with such elements, to interrogate these characters’ attitudes: Plot was secondary to bouncing different worldviews off one another. Here, he mostly lets them be.
April 04, 2015
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In an interview with Filmmaker magazine last week, Hartley said that “Among other things, I think my films are about responsibility. How are we responsible to and for one another? And how does that determine the choices we make?” That quote hovers over NED RIFLE for all of its 85-minute duration as Hartley’s characters make sense of themselves, finding beauty and purpose even in their most comical or tragic dysfunctions.
April 03, 2015
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