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11:14, 2003
Movie Reviews!

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11:14,   MOVIE POSTER11:14, 2003
Movie Reviews

Directed by Greg Marcks
Starring: Henry Thomas, Blake Heron, Rachel Leigh Cook, Hilary Swank, Ben Foster and Patrick Swayze
Review by Jarred Thomas


SYNOPSIS:

A car crash at 11:14 is told from the perspective of five different quirky people in a small town.

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REVIEW:

Films such as Go, Pulp Fiction and Babel that tell the same story from different perspectives can either be a miss or a hit, and in the case of 11:14, the director (Marcks) hits every mark. 11:14 is an over looked gem that received critical acclaim not only for originality but the stunning performances of the ensemble cast. Each characterís role is essential in building up to the climatic event of 11:14 which connects all storylines in one point in time.

The story revolves around a hit and run accident and the events leading up to that moment. Thereís a staged robbery, dead bodies, a severed penis and money troubles all taking place in a small town where not much happens. The characters are bored, restless, and hopeless. Some dream of getting out of town by any means necessary such as Cheri (Cook) while others accept the position they are in and act accordingly.

The characters are well fleshed out with the actors providing outstanding performances that only enrich this clever and well written script. The dialogue is sharp, the acting enjoyable and the story itself is both engaging and compelling. Marcks creates a black comedy where he successfully connects every story without leaving anything hanging. The mysteries set up by the previous story is later resolved in the following while adding another question that will later be answered.

While the script is smart, the characters are dumb, and thatís not to be insulting, but the characters are placed in situations that are clearly above their heads. Their reaction to their circumstances is absolutely fun to watch. After accidently firing her friendís gun in the store she works in, Buzzy (Swank) orders her friend, Duffy (Shawn Hatosy) to take the cash out of the register and shoot her in the arm. The idea is to make it look like a robbery despite Buzzy and Duffy clearly being in on it. Itís a village filled with idiots with everyone thinking they are one up on the other person, but in the end they get whatís coming to them, call it karma or just bad luck.

One small mistake leads to something bigger that has a ripple effect throughout the town, usually in a negative way. The bare bones of the film is a story about cause and effect, yet on closer inspection the film is a dark complex narrative that requires attention to fully capture what exactly in going on. Every story is essential in understanding how the event at 11:14 comes to take place. None of the characters have any clue whatís about to happen next and itís interesting to watch the events unfold knowing how this will all end.

The ensemble cast is outstanding and a joy to watch. Hilary Swank and the late Patrick Swayze give solid performances, as veteran actors will do. They let the script do its work and never over act or steal any scenes from any of the other, lesser known, actors. The script is well done and the actors and director, who wrote the script as well, allow for the screenplay to come to life. While the script is complex, the story is not hard to follow so at no point are you confused, unless you are simply not paying attention.

Greg Marcks is a true talent both as a writer and director. Not only was he capable of writing an original script with quirky off beat characters and sharp dialogue, but he was also capable of directing a standout ensemble cast. 11:14 is an exciting narrative in the tradition Pulp Fiction and Go; however there is enough material to make it stand out from the rest and more importantly, provide an entertaining and fun experience.



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