Down Time (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  18 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 2.1/10 from 351 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 6 critic

A street hustler who makes all the wrong moves finds himself doing hard time in the penitentiary in this hard-edged drama. Slim is a small time drug dealer who tries to make that one big ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Slim (as William Van Nolan)
Sam McBride ...
Joy Garner ...
Kevon Kane ...
Eddie the Pimp
David Berkson ...
Mario Montes ...
Big Mario
David Dyno Rocha ...
Mexican Gang Leader
Johnny Boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Bolko ...
SWAT Officer 7
Jeff Guerrero ...
SWT Officer 4


A street hustler who makes all the wrong moves finds himself doing hard time in the penitentiary in this hard-edged drama. Slim is a small time drug dealer who tries to make that one big deal that is going to put him on easy street. With his partner in crime Paulie they think they have a major dope deal set up but unfortunately for them the deal goes terribly wrong and they are lucky to come away with their lives. They get busted and Slim later finds out that Paulie testified against him to save his own skin. Slim's best efforts at plea-bargaining still leave him with a eight year sentence in San Quentin one of California's most notorious prisons. Slim quickly discovers that life in prison is divided along strict racial lines. Slim does his best to stay away out of all the racially inspired violence and stay to himself. But one of his fellow convicts KC pulls a dope fiend move that puts Slim on the enemies list of Sammytown, who is the brutal leader of the prison's white supremacist ... Written by Mike Miller

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Forget what you know.


Drama | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language, some violence and nudity


Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 March 2003 (USA)  »

Box Office


$20,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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User Reviews

It's hell in there . . .
2 April 2003 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Get ready to have your comfortable, cozy little spot in front of your television turned into a sweaty prison cell, because Sean Wilson's semi-autobiographical movie, Down Time, will do just that and more! This docudrama about one man's journey into the hell that is our prison system will twist your gut more than just a little as you watch the hero's descent into the depths of prison grime and despair. This film is so real you can almost smell it!

Director Sean Wilson manages to accomplish this gritty sense of realism through the uncompromising use of realistic elements - starting with an unadulterated story and followed up with real locations of the casting of many ex-cons and gang members throughout the film. Let's face it - there simply aren't a lot of directors out there who have Wilson's combination of film sense and life experience . . . maybe Polanski could have come close if he'd stuck around and done his time! While the film does not have the polished look and feel of some of it's high-budget Hollywood produced counterparts, it makes up for this lack with it's refusal to shrink-wrap the story and scenes into some easily digested product targeted for mass consumption. We all get a birds eye view of the horror, despair, and ennui that make up the daily life of the incarcerated. An added element of empathy is woven in to the story by skillful interlacing of our protagonists memories, comments, and dreams while he `plays the survival game' each day in prison. The glimpse into the daily lives and routines of the incarcerated that Down Time delivers cannot be found elsewhere . . . unless of course you are prison-bound, in which case you might still want to rent or buy this film . . . just to study up a bit. I highly recommend this film not only to those looking for entertainment, but also for those who lack an understanding of the daily lives of those society has chosen to condemn. Check it out!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Indie magic but unabashedly misogynistic motherofgod71
Down Time is what indie film making is all about! bigdan802003
Sammytown is the singer of the punk band Fang! arcadia13x
Raw and scrappy little indie film filmjunkie59
Clerks goes to Prison marcusthemac80
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