Shot Caller

August 10, 2017 by admin_name

Shot Caller
released 2017

“Shot Caller” is an American, crime, prison, thriller directed and written by Ric Roman Waugh. It was produced by Michel Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, Jonanthan King and Ric Roman Waugh.It stars a huge caste of talent who include Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (from the hugely successful “Game Of Thrones” TV series), Jon Bernthal, Lake Bell, Omari Hardwick, Michael Landes, Jeffrey Donovan, Benjamin Bratt, Emory Cohen, Jessy Schram, Holt McCallany, Juan Pablo Raba, Matt Gerald, Chris Browning, Evan Jones, Sarah Minnich, Keith Jardine, Monique Candelaria, Dylan Kenin, John Trejo, Brandon K. Hampton, Esodie Geiger, David House, Brendan Kelly, Marika Day, Eric Martinez, Johnathan Paul Pena and Howard Ferguson Jr,. This was a well put together movie, with a good story supported by good themes.

Shot Caller IMDb webpage

“Shot Caller” is basically a prison film. The name `shot caller´ is prison slang for a prisoner who runs a gang in prison. He/she that calls the shots. These are the highest ranking prisoners in prison society usually known for their ruthlessness and cunning. In Russia they may be known as a `Prince of thieves´.  “Shot Caller” is the story is of a family man named Jacob Harlon also called Money, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is sent to prison for an accident (manslaughter) he caused and is forced to adopt to prison culture in order to survive and not be a victim. In the begining of his incarceration he meets Bottles, played by Jeffrey Donova, and joins a white supremacist gang. I have to say that the character of Bottles is creepy and terrifying at the same time. The cold bloodedness that Jeffrey Donovan gives his character is both brilliant and deeply unnerving. This isn´t only the story of a man trying to survive the horrors of prison but a man trying to keep himself from going back since the gang that he belongs to wants him to commit a serious crime for them. He does all this while trying to protect his wife and son.

I liked this film because it was not just a story of violence. There was more driving the story than violence for shock value. This is the story of a person sent to prison and being forced to become something they do not want to be, a monster. It´s also criticism of a hungry, parasitic prison system that dehumanizes people and creates more serious problems for society like the ultra-violent organized gangs whose influence reaches past prison walls and into society. As I watched the film I kept thinking of how none of the situations and crimes committed needed to happen. It´s no surprise that many ex prisoners interviewed in documentaries call prison `college´. A film like this one subtly shows us why.

I liked some of the twists and turns of the film too. Like in the begining when Jacob was writing the letter to his son telling him goodbye. I thought at first that he was an addict who abandoned his son but that was not the case. It´s also interesting and disturbing how quickly Jacob lost everything and found himself in the worst of situations. Basically, an ambitious judge and some unfair laws dealt out a punishment to Jacob that was too harsh to be fair and put his family in danger. I liked the social engineering that movies like this one hopes to do. It would be nice if the U.S. prison system no longer was used  against our nation´s poor and we were no longer the nation with the highest number of incarcerated people in the world.

“Shot Caller” is a film worth seeing. So go out there and invest your time on a couple hours well spent.

Written by John Appius Quill

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