Tiro Dominical

By Pablo Riesgo | Comedy
3 friends pick up a hitchhiker on their way to Vegas. Then things get messy...

It's 1974, and three friends have traveled from Spain to the U.S. for the first time. They decide to take a road trip through the mythic American West, renting a car and blasting some tunes as they barrel through the desert on their way to Las Vegas.

They soon pass a hitchhiker and bicker over whether or not they should pick him up. Roberto, the more conscientious friend, doesn't want the man to suffer in the relentless sun. But Paco -- who'd rather smoke a joint than sit next to a sweaty passerby -- says no. Roberto wins out, but his Good Samaritan impulses lead to a series of mishaps that derail their vacation.

Written and directed by Pablo Riesgo, this short comedy of errors is essentially a "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" gone wrong, told with terrific visual flair and a solid feel for how strongly defined characters can clash, to both comedic and dramatic effect. Like the trip itself, the film begins with a spirit of adventure. Shot in Borrego Springs, the sun-soaked cinematography and color palette highlight the striking beauty of the desert. But, as our trio learns, that wide-open horizon leaves plenty of room to get themselves into trouble.

The action isn't particularly outlandish or "big," but the crackling dialogue between such disparate characters provides the frissons of amusement and tension for the first part of the narrative. Like many friendships between three people, there are often two radically opposed poles in the mix of personalities, with one who functions as neutral ground between them. This set of friends is no different, and they bicker over the balance between responsibility and hedonism. Roberto is more worried about paying fines on a dirty, smelly rental car; Paco just wants to have a good time.

Actors Jesus Lloveras, Gonzalo Bouza and Ruben Navarro have a believable mix of indulgence, annoyance and rapport that characterizes a long-running group of buddies. Their banter has an easy-going rhythm that hits the one-liners and zingers just right, and their few moments of broad comedy offer a perfect flourish of fun. But the story generally stays in a realistic register, and when one bad decision leads to another, they have to find their way out of the situation. The events that unfold may not be entirely unexpected, but it highlights their differences and turns their formerly promising trip into a nightmare.

"Tiro Dominical" has plenty of opportunities in its narrative to go broad and outlandish, but it works because it keeps its attention focused on the dynamics of friendship, mining them for both humor and tension. Theirs is a road trip that goes nowhere, as well as a portrait of a dysfunctional friendship that nevertheless manages to go on, driving off towards the horizon. Where they're going, no one knows, but it's highly like that our three friends will continue to bicker and exasperate one another, getting themselves in and out of scrapes with aplomb. The trip is a fail, but friendship is forever -- for better or worse.

You Might Also Like:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.


By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...


By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.


By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.