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Canada · 2019
1h 22m
Director Christian Sparkes
Starring Will Patton, Mark O'Brien, Dayle McLeod, Lara Jean Chorostecki
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller

A man’s estranged ex-con son tries to double-cross a drug dealer, but it doesn’t go as planned. He flees the scene of the crime, panicked, and is forced to ask his father for help. This tense thriller follows the two on a violent odyssey that tests the bond between father and son.

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The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

With lesser performers, too, maybe Hammer would have felt more like a gag. Yet O’Brien, fresh off a tremendous and under-seen performance in last year’s "Goalie," radiates nervy energy like it was the most natural thing in the world, while longtime character actor Patton gives his wary patriarch an urgent, unshakable sense of disappointment and unease. It’s almost worth eating your own tail over.

75 by Brian Tallerico

Hammer is a tense little thriller, a tight movie about someone who made a very bad decision and is now trying to fight his way out of it.


Variety by Dennis Harvey

The pileup of disasters is such that this tale might easily have been spun as some kind of grotesque comedy. But writer-director Christian Sparkes’ second feature plays it straight, narrowly evading viewer disbelief via strong principal performances and sufficiently urgent execution.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

Delivering plenty of suspense in its taut 81 minutes, this is the sort of pretension-free film that in earlier days would have been directed by the likes of Edgar J. Ulmer or Joseph H. Lewis. Like those B-movies, Hammer lacks a big-name star. But it more than makes up for it by providing a rare leading-man opportunity for veteran character actor Will Patton, who delivers a superb, riveting turn.


Original-Cin by Liam Lacey

While there are a few credibility hurdles here (including a lot of butter-fingered gunplay) Patton’s authoritative performance keeps things honest.


Film Threat by Nick Rocco Scalia

Hammer has the mechanics of a hard-edged noir thriller, which work startlingly well, but it’s clear that Sparkes’s heart, and therefore the film’s, is centered on the distressed familial relationships.

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