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Clay Pigeons
Clay Pigeons
Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Georgina Cates, Gregory Sporleder, Scott Wilson
Director: David Dobkin
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     1999     1hr 44min

Set in Montana's Big Sky country, shot in Utah, lensed by Eric Alan Edwards (cinematographer of My Own Private Idaho)--no wonder it's hard to tell where Clay Pigeons lives, or where it's going. A Ridley Scott protégé previ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Georgina Cates, Gregory Sporleder, Scott Wilson
Director: David Dobkin
Creators: Audrey Kelly, Carrie Morrow, Chris Dorr, Chris Zarpas, Guy East, Hilarie Roope, Matthew L. Healy
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Polygram USA Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 04/27/1999
Original Release Date: 09/25/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 09/25/1998
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Damian M. (ratchet)
Reviewed on 3/11/2009...
Starts out great. But peters out. Hell its starts with a BANG! What happened to the direction? I know, Jeanne Garfalo appeared on the set and the movie went to shit. She has a remarkable way of doing this! I wish the homoerotic relationship between Vince Vaughn's and Joaquin Phoenix would have been explored. Total tacked on Hollywood ending.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A haunting, dark comedy...
jmk444 | Staten Island, New York USA | 09/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Clay Birdwell (Joaquim Phoenix) is a small-town guy who hates his ho-hum small-town life. In one afternoon all that changes. His best friend Earl (Gregory Sporleder) confronts him, while out target shooting, that he knows Clay's been involved with his wife (Georgina Cates). Earl commits suicide in an attempt to frame Clay for his murder...and with Clay's cover-up of that act, a chain of other terrible killings is sparked, as a charming, cowboy, serial killer, Lester Long (Vince Vaughn) senses an opportunity.Dead bodies start turning up in "Big Sky Country" (Montana) and, unfortunately all of them, right under Clay's nose. Soon, the FBI turns up as well. Janeane Garofalo is great as the skeptical and sarcastic investigating agent.This is a very well done dark comedy with a great cast - Vaughn is excellent, so are Garofalo and Joaquim Phoenix. Some great side characters are played by Scott Wilson (Sheriff Mooney), Vince Vieluf (Deputy Barney) and Phil Morris as the silent and brooding agent Reynard. A real keeper."
The Tangled Webs We Weave
Reviewer | 08/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In a small town out west, a target practice outing with a friend kicks off a chain of bizarre events that lead a man to involvement with murder and an unsolicited alliance with a person of, shall we say, "questionable" character in "Clay Pigeons," directed by David Dobkin. Joaquin Phoenix is Clay Birdwell, a regular guy whose lack of judgment and discretion catches up with him unexpectedly in this dark, maddening tale of morality and fate that is sometimes morose and disturbing, at other times darkly humorous, as it deftly examines the trappings of the tangled webs we humans weave. Clay has become mired in a moral dilemma from which there seems to be no escape, when he meets and is befriended by Lester Long (Vince Vaughn), a trucker passing through town one night. At a local bar, Lester observes that Clay doesn't exactly have a way with women; it gets Lester's attention, which leads to a game of pool and, later on, a casual fishing trip that, like the target practice outing, proves to be a life-altering experience for Clay. Phoenix is perfectly cast as Clay, ably conveying the effects of the dark quagmire into which he is cast by circumstances he is unable to control. His performance enables you to feel him sinking ever deeper as the story moves along, and to empathize with him and experience what he is going through. You realize that he understands his situation, and it becomes a matter of waiting to see if he will make the right decisions, regardless of the inevitable consequences. It creates a tension that makes you want to yell at the screen to tell him what to do. Vaughn is excellent as well as the cowboy trucker with the winning smile, robust laugh and a closet full of dark secrets. There's a menace behind the good-natured facade he puts on that becomes more pronounced as the events unfold. Pretty early on you know what this guy is all about, but somehow it only enhances the anxiety of the whole situation as it becomes a cat-and mouse game (with some unexpected twists) between Clay and Lester. Another notable performance comes from the charismatic Janeane Garofalo, who is surprisingly effective and credible as F.B.I. agent Dale Shelby, who comes to town when things take a turn and begin to heat up. It's a credit to her talent and versatility that she can pull this character off so well. The supporting cast includes Georgina Cates (Amanda), Scott Wilson (Sheriff Mooney), Vince Vieluf (Deputy Barney), and Monica Moench (Kimberly). There are moments in this movie that absolutely make you want to tear your hair out, a credit to the way Dobkin put this project together and delivered it. "Clay Pigeons" is a nail-biter that will keep you going right up to the end (which is terrific); Clay and Lester are characters you're going to remember, and just to make sure there's a brief, inspired reminder at the end of the credits (so stay with it all the way). Relatively overlooked during it's original release, this film should gain new life on video, and deservedly so; this is one you'll be glad you took a look at."
Excellent and Dazzling
Lux | Las Vegas | 03/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Clay Pigeons is one of my all time, favorite movies. Its scenes are exceptionally shot (the landscapes alone are enough to watch it, in my opion) and the acting is top of the line. If you are attracted to the work of ANY of the members of this cast, you are sure to love their performances.

Now no, this movie isn't for the faint of heart, nor is it as light as a 'dark comedy.' It's relatively intense, though not all that gory. For sinister-veined, drama lovers, it's right up your alley."