Blu-ray Review: SHOT CALLER

SHOT CALLER was written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh and stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal, Emory Cohen, Omari Hardwick, Jeffery Donovan, with Benjamin Bratt and Holt McCallany.

Shot Caller follows the harrowing, often heartrending journey of successful businessman Jacob Harlon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who is transformed into Money – a stoic, ruthless prison gangster – after a DUI sends him down the rabbit hole of the American prison system. As he navigates the brutality of his new home, adapting to its violent codes of ethics and rites of passage that will ensure his survival, he slowly loses his previous identity and his relationship to his former life, including his wife and son. The grip of his new family, the prison gang, extends beyond the prison walls. Upon his release, chased by law enforcement and threatened by his incarcerated “protectors,” Money must orchestrate one last dangerous crime. All is not what it seems. The ruthless process of fulfilling his obligations also becomes his path to sacrifice, retribution, and self-definition.

The movie follows this white collar family man who gets sent to prison after a fatal traffic accident. He’s convicted of manslaughter and ends up going to the same prison system where the killers and gangbangers are kept. While inside, he joins a gang for protection and becomes more deeply involved in criminal activity. Once he becomes part of his new family he realizes there’s no going back to his old family and with each move he makes he gets deeper into this deadly system. What happens is, his wife and son become potential targets with the head cheese who he answers to and it doesn’t sit well with him so he comes up with a plan to take this threat out of the picture for good and to keep his family. He knows that the only way he can keep them safe is to stay away from them.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Shot Caller was a gritty, emotional and intense roller coaster ride about a white collar family man who is incarcerated and becomes a major player in the prison system. His decent down this dark rabbit hole changes him into a hardened gang member who ultimately becomes the big dog Shot Caller. Ric Roman Waugh is a great storyteller and has delivered a really good crime-thriller that takes the viewer inside the dangerous world of gangbangers and the prison system and the entire cast delivered some powerful performances. Things are as violent and deadly inside as they are on the outside because the gangs are the ones in charge. The movie is an extremely well executed followup to Waugh’s 2008 crime-thriller Felon and comes highly recommended. Shot Caller arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD on October 17th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 121 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: There’s not much as far as the extras go but there is a behind-the-scenes featurette and some audio commentary.

  • “Inside Job” Featurette (18:45)
  • Filmmaker Commentary


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