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      Target Practice

      Released Nov 23, 2010 1h 37m Action Adventure List
      Reviews 40% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings Five blue-collar friends stumble into an undercover CIA operation involving a terrorist training camp in a desolate area. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (4) Critics Reviews
      Richard Propes An anxiety-inducing, soul-cringing flick. Rated: 3.5/4.0 Sep 25, 2020 Full Review Brent McKnight The Last Thing I See "Target Practice" looks a lot like a movie that some of your more enterprising buddies made-shooting on weekends, using the props and locations available to them, full of questionable acting, and that sort of thing--for good and for ill. Rated: C+ Jul 11, 2020 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Well-made and exciting indie thriller. Rated: B Jul 28, 2011 Full Review Jonathan W. Hickman Daily Film Fix Given its low budget origins, Target Practice is one of the best indie action films of the last decade. Rated: 8/10 May 22, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member It was pretty slow and it got boring at times. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review Audience Member I first reviewed Target Practice for Rogue Cinema ( Here is my original review: Before we talk about the indie film Target Practice, I first want to recall a big-budget action picture from this past summer called The Expendables. The Expendables had a great deal going for it: major studio backing; every big-name action star of the last 30 years; several A-list actors in major roles; a multi-million dollar budget; and a huge marketing campaign. So why was the movie so flat? Perhaps because the actors were sleepwalking through their roles. Or perhaps because the film used so many clichà (C)s it was predictable from the opening scene. Or maybe I was just tired of watching overpaid actors portraying cardboard cutout characters bumbling through a lame plot while huge explosions try to pull my attention away from all the flaws in the film. Enter director Rich Reidel and his debut feature film Target Practice. One camera, a handful of dedicated actors, strong writing, and almost no money. And yet Target Practice is easily the grittiest and most intense action film of the last decade, far superior than the dreck that Hollywood churns out year after year. The set-up is simple: five friends take off into some rugged mountains on a weekend fishing trip only to stumble into the middle of an Al Qaeda-backed terrorist training camp. While two of the friends are killed outright, the others scatter into the woods, desperately trying to figure out how to escape as the terrorists track them and use them as "target practice." Along the way, director Reidel manages to avoid the clichà (C)s and singlehandedly turns the action genre on its ear. The film starts off like many adventure stories begin, with a group of friends entering the wilderness. Reidel does a nice job of showing the forbidding wilderness in several beautiful, sweeping shots, much like in Wrong Turn and The Descent. I was reminded of these two films by the opening of Target Practice and was a bit worried Reidel's film might be a rip-off of these others. I was further concerned as I watched the opening scenes as these "friends" badmouthed each other and argued hatefully with one another. I feared I would be subjected to 90 minutes of negative, crude and rude dialogue by characters I couldn't connect with. But I was wrong. Reidel deftly manipulates the audience into making judgments about each character before the first brief but violent flash of action that sends the survivors into the woods as they attempt to escape their unknown assailants. Everything you know about action movies is turned upside down in the first 10 minutes or so of Target Practice. Instead of the typical good guy winning out, the most hateful characters survive the first attack. Reidel then places each character into a situation that forces them to either change and grow or remain the same and possibly die. For instance, the racist ends up with an African-American undercover CIA agent. This character must choose to either learn to trust someone he inherently hates or to strike out on his own. Two other characters obviously hate each other, but in a wonderful character arc, they not only learn to work together, but also to support each other and even respect each other. While the story is strong as are the character arcs, the action is gritty, violent, and intense. Using only one camera and literally dozens of takes for each scene, Reidel has constructed an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller that looks as if several cameras were used for filming. The acting is uniformly excellent and the score fits well with the film. The camera work is handheld and intentionally shaky, but not in the headache-inducing way that Blair Witch or Cloverfield is shaky. The camera is used almost like an extra, silent character who is watching the action unfold. Reidel is expert as he swings the camera wildly at small noises in the woods and zooms in almost uncontrollably when a character desperately peers through the branches at some undistinguishable shape. Is it friend or foe? Rescuer or killer? It is a wonderfully paranoid performance by the camera as well as by the characters. Through all of this, one can't help but wonder how many of these tiny terrorist cells funded by extremists are hiding out in the American wilderness. The strength of this story is that it isn't just credible, but absolutely true--we know there are militant factions training in the most rugged places in America, just waiting for their chance to prove their obedience and loyalty. Could someone accidentally run afoul of one of these groups while hiking, camping, fishing? The reality of the story makes the film even scarier. Reidel has made an absolutely terrific first feature, as evidenced by the numerous awards the film has been nominated for or won (over 20 at last count). The film has been released by Big Screen Entertainment Group and comes packed with special features such as cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes, and audio commentary. For more information please check out or You won't be sorry! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member I am a big fan of Survival Horror movies, in which a group of people find themselves battling a harsh environment as much as a human and/or supernatural terror. There have been some excellent examples of this genre recently, such as Rovdyr and High Lane. Target Practice isn't a horror movie but it follows some of the genre's conventions - just taking out the usual inbred mutant cannibals and inserting a much more believable and timely threat - while coming up with some very neat ideas of its own.After a short set-up in which we learn the group dynamics (Dave is the leader, Paul is a racist ass, Mark is the milque-toast), we're thrown right into the action. The scene where they stop to check out the jeep is great, full of tension - especially when they discover the bullet hole and hear voices from the top of the hill. Reidel not only is good at building tension, but also allowing that tension to pay off. There would be no greater crime if, after staring at the hill for so long, wondering what's going on, if nothing happened. The attack is excellently handled with some good make-up and realistic sound fx.The intelligent script manages to put a lot of meat on the bare bones of the film's premise. It would have been easy to just film half a dozen people running around the woods for 90 minutes. Instead the film explores how these blue-collar everymen endure their circumstances. Mark comes out of his shell, discovering resolve and courage. A flash-back illustrates the relationship he has with his mother - she depends on his companionship, while Mark both depends on and resents it. Paul, a guy who glibly drops offensively racist comments, finds himself having to rely on a black guy to survive.The script also wisely separates out protagonists, giving two storylines running parallel, each with their own twists and turns. This also gives Riedel a get-out clause, because realistically the three protagonists viewpoints are so out of sync at the beginning of the film, they would have ended up fighting each other!About 90% of the film was shot on location in a national park, I believe, making good use of the rugged terrain. The handheld cinematography is very effective, adding it's own rugged quality to the proceedings without resorting to the sort of shakycam which prevented The Expendables from becoming an instant classic. There are some great moments which evoked the spirit of Predator, in which the camera focuses on a clump of trees, while the protagonists and the viewer try to determine if a threat is hidden there. The sound mix adds to this, as various bird-song start to take on a sinister air - are they real birdcalls, or signals by the terrorists?Target Practice has a modest budget but that hasn't stopped Riedel putting time and effort into his action scenes. The action throughout is excellent, with gunfights, hand-to-hand combat and various stunt-work on show. The film builds to an intense ambush and wrings every ounce of tension it can. There's an old addage that waiting is half the battle, and that is certainly the case here.It's natural to be wary of any film which arrives garnered in as many accolades as this film has, having won awards at numerous film festivals. Do yourselves a favour and for once believe the hype. With Target Practice , Riedel has produced a taut, exciting action movie that deserves to be seen. Highly recommended!8 out of 10 (MikeOutWest) Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Five blue-collar friends stumble into an undercover CIA operation involving a terrorist training camp in a desolate area.
      Richmond Riedel
      Richmond Riedel
      Richmond Riedel
      Big Screen Entertainment Group
      Action, Adventure
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 23, 2010, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 23, 2017
      1h 37m