out of Five
Running time: 86
Enjoyable, smartly directed comedy thriller with a clever script and engaging performances from its ensemble cast.
What's it all about?
Rachael Leigh Cook stars as Cheri, one of several characters whose lives all intersect at 11:14pm. The various criss-crossing stories involve three joy-riders hitting a girl in the road; a father (Patrick Swayze) stumbling across a corpse in a graveyard; a loser (Shawn Hatosy) who fakes a hold-up at his friend's (Hilary Swank) workplace in order to pay for Cheri's abortion; and a drunk driver (Henry Thomas) who thinks he has killed someone when a corpse falls from a bridge onto his car.
11:14 probably deserves a place in film trivia history because the entire movie takes place over just half an hour, with the action continually flashing back to follow another character's point of view. As such, it's a tightly constructed, sharply written film with several enjoyable pay-offs as the script deftly balances shocks and surprises with moments that are laugh-out-loud funny.
The superb ensemble cast have a lot of fun with their quirky characters. Swank is hilarious as dim-witted store clerk Buzzy (the part was originally written for a man but was rewritten specially for her). Swank and Cook are the obvious stand-outs but there's strong work from Shawn Hatosy and Patrick Swayze (adding another performance to his recent spate of indie-cred roles). There's also a catchy score by Clint Mansell and writer-director Marcks ensures that the action moves along at a cracking pace.
The main problem with 11:14 is that it never really leads to anything of any consequence, despite the number of corpses piled up by the film's end. Also, two plot strands in particular are left frustratingly unresolved.
In short, 11:14 is a cleverly constructed comedy thriller that's enjoyable to watch, even if it doesn't add up to all that much. That said, it definitely marks Greg Marcks out as a talent to watch. Worth seeing.