Shimmer Lake is a drama filled with a cast of comedians so…it’s funny?


Sometimes you just see a cast list and ask yourself “what is this movie” and that’s how I felt watching Shimmer Lake. Too bad it isn’t funny.

If you’re into a bunch of white men who are typically comedians trying to star in a murder drama, then Shimmer Lake is the movie for you. Or if you’re me and you like Benjamin Walker, sign up! Otherwise don’t waste your time.

The movie that has been on the back burner of fans’ minds for quite some time was finally released on Netflix. So of course my friends and I got food, hunkered down and watched it. Here’s the confusing part: it’s literally all comedians in a drama.

Now if that’s the intention, fine. But then it makes the movie a lot funnier than I think it’s intended to be. Or maybe that’s the point. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s also not great. Focusing on a bank robbery, the story tries to be the new Memento. Starting from the last day of the investigation (Friday) and going to that Tuesday, the movie shows you the story backwards.

Fine, whatever, we get it. You’re a cool film maker. But that’s not enough. It doesn’t do a flash back through everything to show us how it planned out. In fact, it just leaves us a little confused.

What actually happens

So on Friday we learn that Rainn Wilson dies. Spoiler alert for this movie that no one is going to watch. He’s shot by someone with a tattoo on their arm that says “State champs back to back”. It’s a tattoo that no one in their right mind would get, yet apparently an entire football team did it.

There is a fun bit where Adam Pally is always told to sit in the back of the cop car and he’s sweet enough to do it every time. From Friday, we learn that Rainn Wilson shoots Brad Dawkins (John Michael Higgins) who asked them to rob the bank.

The whole thing is the set up and how all these people died and why. Basically Ed Burton (Wyatt Russell) tag teams with Andy Sikes (Rainn Wilson’s character) to do this robbery. What we learn is that Ed had a meth lab that exploded killing what we thought was his son and Andy got him out of it.

We learn that it was not, in fact, his son but rather Zeke, the police sheriff’s son. So Zeke and Steph Burton (the mother of the boy played by Stephanie Sigman) end up killing Ed and making the entire thing seem like it was someone else’s doing.

The take away?

It’s fine. If you have two hours to kill and you have nothing else to watch, great. Watch it. Enjoy it. But it’s not the best thing that’s ever happened. And, as I point out in my official tweeted review of the movie:

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Shimmer Lake is available on Netflix now. And, one more spoiler, they never actually go into any lake, so keep that in mind.