Shot in the Heart (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shot in the Heart2001

Shot in the Heart (2001)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Shot in the Heart Photos

Movie Info

This gripping drama is based on the real-life story of Mikal Gilmore, a respected journalist whose brother Gary Gilmore was a felon convicted of murder. In 1977, after he was sentenced to death, Gary Gilmore generated international controversy when he demanded that his lawyers call off all attempts to appeal his sentence and requested that his execution be carried out as quickly as possible. As activists for and against the issue of capital punishment debated Gilmore's demand, his brothers Frank and Mikal stepped forward to request a stay of execution, in hopes of forestalling their brother's death despite his public requests. Based on the book of the same name by Mikal Gilmore, Shot in the Heart examines the close, if uneasy, bond between the Gilmore brothers, and the family history of abuse and violence that Mikal believed helped shape his brother into a killer. Shot in the Heart stars Giovanni Ribisi, Eric Bogosian, Lee Tergesen, Amy Madigan, and Sam Shepard; produced for the premium-cable service HBO, Shot in the Heart first aired on October 13, 2001.


Giovanni Ribisi
as Mikal Gilmore
Elias Koteas
as Gary Gilmore
Lee Tergesen
as Frank Gilmore Jr.
Amy Madigan
as Bessie Gilmore
Eric Bogosian
as Lawrence Schiller
Sam Shepard
as Frank Gilmore Sr.
Terry Beaver
as Richard Giaque
Tom Quinn
as Uncle Vern
Vivienne Shub
as Fay Gilmore
Naomi Kline
as Bessie (age 29)
Evyn Clark
as Bessie (age 16)
Danielle Chuchran
as Bessie (age 6)
Paul Wesley (II)
as Gary (age 15-22)
Robby Ost
as Gary (age 5)
Trevor Gosden
as Mikal (age 5-12)
Matthew Armstrong
as Frank Jr. (age 17-24)
Evan Knapp
as Frank Jr. (age 7)
Brett Fleisher
as Gaylen Gilmore
Kim Abunuwara
as Melissa Brown
Rick Macy
as Will Brown
Ashley Edwards
as Alta Brown
Anne Kathryn Parma
as Wanda Brown
Jesse Lamonaca
as Robert Gilmore
Mets Suber
as Man with food
View All

Critic Reviews for Shot in the Heart

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (7)

The piece is ultimately admirable for its lack of easy answers, for its continued sense of emotional confusion.

October 23, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa) directs this stunning cast in what is essentially one long therapeutic interrogation with evidentiary flashbacks -- a claustrophobic seizure, a water torture of family secrets.

February 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Explores an oft-exploited case with exquisite understanding and care.

March 27, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

Puts Gary Gilmore's tragic life into perspective, helping explain why it went so far amiss.

March 27, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

A bleak, haunting movie.

March 27, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Only a writer as talented as Mikal Gilmore could tell a story that punches you in the gut about every five seconds and yet leaves you hoping for more.

March 27, 2002 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shot in the Heart


maybe somewhat interesting for some as its about a prisoner on death row who?s family wants to try to get him to change his mind about his death sentence. (not electric chair some other way) Giovanni Rimbisi (sp?) plays the youngest son & the jail bird I think was the eldest of 3-4 brothers. The movie takes place (if I remember right) in the 70s. The mother loves Johnny Cash as well as at least one of the sons. To my surprise Paul Wesley (aka Stephan Salvatore of Vampire Diaries) plays the eldest bro when he was in his teens/20s. There?s a pic at the end of it where he looks like one of the NJ Devils players the way he?s smiling.) anyway I didn?t fall asleep but to me it was kind of boring BUT it was interesting. D

Kym (c my community profile) Ragarsson
Kym (c my community profile) Ragarsson

Super Reviewer

If you're a Ribisi fan you must see this neglected little movie. He plays the brother of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore (The Executioner's Song) .Based on the book by Gilmore's brother.Ribisi is amazing in the range and depth of his performance.

Audrey Lush
Audrey Lush

Super Reviewer

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