A strong, empathetic turn by Noah Wyle as a chance shooting victim anchors the absorbing and authentic "Shot," helmed by veteran film and TV director Jeremy Kagan from a script by Will Lamborn and Anneke Campbell (story by Kagan).
This vital tale involves sound mixer Mark (Wyle), who's hit in the chest by a stray bullet while standing on a Los Angeles street with his wife, Phoebe (Sharon Leal). A propulsive, you-are-there journey from ambulance to hospital emergency room follows as paramedics, nurses and physicians furiously work, at times in graphic detail, to keep Mark alive.
Then there's 17-year-old Miguel (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), a good kid whose first gun, lent him by a cousin for protection from bullies, accidentally fired and struck Mark from afar. The horrified boy can't inform the police, frozen by the potential legal — and familial — consequences.
The third act skips ahead five months where the effects of the shooting's toll on Mark, his unsettled relationship with Phoebe, and the guilt-ridden Miguel converge in poignant and profound ways.
Kagan employs a purposeful, if at times distracting, use of split screen, along with subjective camera and mind's-eye visuals to capture the story's visceral and emotional tension. But it's the fine acting and the film's plea for sensible gun control that carry the day.
Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica