Atlanta Film Festival 2022: Miles from Nowhere

Directed by: Jono Mitchell
Distributed by: TBA

Written by Anna Harrison


Sometimes, a film comes along that, while not being offensively bad, is irksome enough to make watching a chore. “Miles From Nowhere” is one such film.

Ragging on low-budget films for having a low budget is rude, so let’s gloss over how uninspiring the movie looks despite many other low-budget films being able to stretch their budget to look much nicer. That’s not the problem with “Miles From Nowhere,” though it might have helped had the movie looked a touch less pedestrian and had been lit a little better. No, the real problem is the mind-numbingly unpleasant characters.

Don’t misunderstand—some of my favorite characters are people I would never want to be around, but the trio of “Miles From Nowhere” are unpleasant and boring, a very potent combination that makes it hard to want to pay attention. Miles (Seth Dunlap), Victor (Christian Gonzalez), and Sammy (Shane Howell) are supposedly friends, though they haven’t seen each other in a while as Miles seems to have driven the other two away. Now diagnosed with stage four cancer, Miles decides that there’s no time like the present to make amends, and so he invites Sammy and Victor up to his family’s cabin for the weekend.

So far, so good, even if the script—from Alexander Baxter, Madison Hatfield, and director Jonos Mitchell—has already begun to reveal its flaws as the actors struggle to make the clunky lines convincing. But throwing people together in tight quarters can result in some very juicy stuff, so let’s ignore that and move on for now.

When the trio reach the cabin, things begin to go awry, both for the characters and the film. Miles has planned to tell Victor and Sammy about his diagnosis, but this gets derailed when Victor and Sammy reveal that they are dating. This second revelation is treated like a very big deal because it makes Miles go out and chop wood angrily, but we are given no understanding as to why he reacts in such a way—is he jealous? Did they steal his moment? Is he just a big old homophobe? No clue, and for some reason the movie treats Victor and Sammy’s revelation with the same weight as Miles’ cancer diagnosis, which… hm. Sure.

When Victor begins to leave, Miles acts very rationally and guilts him via cancer diagnosis into staying another night, though he makes Victor promise not to tell Sammy for no reason at all, despite the fact that the entire trip exists only because Miles wanted to tell the two about his diagnosis. Character motivation who? The secret-keeping that drives the plot of the movie reads like something out of a bad CW show. 

The only respite comes when two Airbnb guests wander into the house—they booked this house, they explain, but Miles yells at them to go away and so they do. The guests threaten action against Miles, Sammy, and Victor, but not once do they try to contact the host before they storm out in a cloud of bad acting. Perhaps the most astounding thing about this whole interaction is that it is never brought up again. Does it do anything for Miles, Sammy, and Victor’s character arcs? No. Does it do anything for the plot? Also no. Is it fun to watch? Again, no, unless you think bad acting is fun (so, maybe). Truly, a remarkable moment.

“Miles From Nowhere” is not horrendously bad, it just has a bad script that renders its okay actors worse, unremarkable camerawork, and characters you wish would all hurry up and die sooner. So, I don’t know. Maybe it is horrendously bad. I’m going to forget about it in a week or so anyway.

“Miles from Nowhere” Trailer

“Miles from Nowhere” played as part of the 2022 Atlanta Film Festival.

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