Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 26 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for Violence, Sexuality and Pervasive Language
Directed by: Greg Marcks
Written by: Greg Marcks
Starring: Henry Thomas, Barbara Hershey, Clark Gregg, Shawn Hatosy, Hilary Swank, Patrick Swayze, Rachael Leigh Cook, Stark Sands, Colin Hanks, Ben Foster & Jason Segel
11:14 is a work of pure creativity and genius storytelling! To describe the film as a mere anthology would be doing a disservice to just how well-constructed the whole thing is. Playing out sort of like a rural PULP FICTION, this is a cinematic puzzle about a group of shady individuals connected by a single moment. Featuring lots of big names and stylish flare as well as a wickedly sick sense of humor, I can imagine 11:14 pleasing fans of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. Yes, it’s that good!
11:14 pm on a rural road. An intoxicated man is driving to pick up a friend when he has the misfortune of slamming his car into a random somebody. Trying to cover up evidence of his crime (e.g. a corpse), the man comes face-to-face with a frustrated police officer. In the same town, a group of teenage jackasses are driving around in a van doing misdeeds when tragedy strikes in the form of a sliding window. A couple of blocks away, a father is trying to cover up the grisly consequences of the sins of his daughter. Just down the street from him, two convenience store clerks are botching a would-be robbery. These events interweave through each other and every plotline is connected in some way. The story of 11:14 is about a car accident and everything leading up to that. Everything just happens to be executed in brilliant form!
The script of 11:14 is littered with accidents, cover-ups, insane characters and random acts of violence. The film as a whole is a collage of different stories and people. With what little screen time each performer is given, they all manage to get across exactly what kind of scumbag their individual character is. A young Colin Hanks and Ben Foster are appropriate as idiot teenagers, one of which makes an unfortunate decision involving a foreboding sliding car window. Hilary Swank is totally off her usual role as a brace-faced clerk who doesn’t exactly have the highest IQ. Henry Thomas is convincing as the drunk driver caught up in the middle of the deadly hijinks surrounding him, but is probably the least used character. Rachael Leigh Cook shows up as a beautiful femme fatale living in this podunk town. It’s also worth noting that a young Jason Segal makes an appearance as an ambulance driver. With all these big names, Patrick Swayze really steals the show as a father doing bad deeds with good intentions.
The weaving plotlines and ridiculous (but believable) characters really sell 11:14. The style in which it’s told is also remarkably assured. This was director/writer Greg Marcks feature debut and to date, he only has one other movie to his name. That’s a pity because I would love to see many more stories told in this vein from him. Though the tone of 11:14 is pretty bleak and grim all the way through (seeing as death and violence are both present), there’s also a hilarious dark sense of humor layered over everything. This really did remind me of an early Tarantino flick and that’s probably the highest compliment you can receive on a film of this type. If there are any complaints to be had with this movie, I would say that two subplots didn’t necessarily have a conclusion (the drunk driver segment and the teenager one), while another lingered longer than was necessary (the botched robbery). However, those are totally satisfying in spite of their minor flaws. The film fits together as a nearly perfect creation.
11:14 might be one of the coolest movies that you’ve probably never heard of. This flick is all-around great, blending together multiple storylines in an entertaining way and throwing pitch-black comedy into the mix as well. The big name cast add even more fun to the proceedings, especially seeing these actors and actresses playing parts that are so out of their usual type-cast roles. 11:14 is awesome, plain and simple. This is a must-see!