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Reviews & Ratings for
Curfew More at IMDbPro »

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32 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Any other year, this film would be a STRONG contender for the Oscar.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
3 February 2013

I just got back from seeing the five Oscar-nominated live action shorts and was pleasantly surprised. After seeing a mediocre batch of animated shorts yesterday, I was so happy to see that the live action films are among the very best I've ever seen nominated.

I really enjoyed "Curfew" and it sure had a lot to like. Nevertheless, I think it's definitely a long-shot to get the Oscar simply because two other films ("Henry" and "Death of a Shadow") are perfect--among the two best short films I have ever seen. They just blow away the competition--but I would hate to see "Curfew" lost in the process. The quirky story was terrific but I really, really liked the acting--particularly Fatima Ptacek--who had one of the best child performances I've seen in years! The film starts on a VERY dark note. Richie is in the midst of committing suicide when he gets a phone call from his estranged sister--she is in a bind and no one can watch her child, Sophia, and she begs Richie to watch her. But, since Richie is a drug-using loser, she sets some VERY specific rules for the evening. Where it all goes from there, you'll just have to see for yourself. The film is ALMOST funny--but also darkly tragic and touching--a difficult sort of path, but the film succeeded in doing this. But THE reason to watch it is Ptacek--who gave a performance that reminds me, a bit, of McCauley Culkin in "Uncle Buck". I can't wait to see more from this kid--I just hope she keeps her head on straight when all the offers start pouring in--and they are sure to. Well worth seeing.

UPDATE: In keeping with my usual track record with predicting Oscar winners from this category, I was wrong about "Curfew" as it DID win! I am glad I am not a betting man!

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

90s Compilation with a touch of Drive

Author: Vince Leuenberger from Zürich, Switzerland
28 February 2013

Really like that short. Kind of feels like an amalgamation of movies I grew up with in the 90ties in a good way. There's a touch of Léon (1994) with that strange colliding of worlds between an adult and a sweet kid (even though she's does not want to become a junkie ;)), there's the bowling alley with musical intermission of The Big Lebowski (1998)and that composed song by Shawn Christensen himself somehow recalling the soundtrack of Drive. Add good acting and a good camera and that mix adds up to movie that has a good length but I still wanted to see more of.

I even tried to get hold of that "bowling alley song". I'm guessing it must be that "sophie so far" song composed and performed by Christensen. Please add this to iTunes. People would buy this for sure.

And congrats to winning the Oscar!

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It is really worth to sacrifice the few minutes to watch the video by Shawn Christensen. I would recommend it to anyone.

Author: pavolkrol from Poland
23 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film addresses the difficult relationship between adult siblings: brother and sister. Short production is the perfect choice for Christmas. At the time in which our lives a little stops. Then we have time to reflect on your life. We can make an examination of conscience. Consider whether to make everything we do well. Do we act in accordance with our internal beliefs. Finally, is it possible our reconciliation with those close to our heart, soul. Very good role of a girl named Sophia (played by Fatima Ptacek). The rest of it was okay. There were plenty of tension in the film, melancholic atmosphere, and even a pinch of humor.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: anabelengm from Costa Rica
5 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You can't say no to this. It's less than 20 minutes long and it's absolutely beautiful.

Richie has problems of his own, it's really obvious given that beginning. His sister calls him asking to take care of her daughter, whom he never sees. We learn that it's not because he doesn't want to, but because of something that happened years ago.

It's an incredible story about family. How Richie bonded with the little girl and, later on, re-bonded with his sister.

Lovely story and amazing acting from everyone. More often, we see kids overacting or trying too hard. So, it always amaze me when I see a child giving this kind of performance. Fatima Ptacek acts and she does it brilliantly.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Shawn Christensen's CURFEW one of the BEST SHORT FILMS I'VE EVER SEEN! (Some SPOILERS)

Author: cinematicheroes from Staten Island, N.Y.
11 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of my acquaintances had a short film in Tribeca in 2012 and I went to the "Menhattan" Block of shorts to see it. While I enjoyed it, it was there that I first discovered CURFEW - what an amazingly brilliant short! I also had the chance to meet and chat with Writer-Director/Lead Actor Shawn Christensen - such a talented individual. A Rennaissance man, if you will. He also wrote the music for the film.

The film opens up at a dark point with our lead character Richie, who has obvious suicidal tendencies and bouts with both drug-use and depression. At his lowest moment, he receives a phone-call from his sister, who is desperate - with nowhere else to turn - asking him to watch his niece Sophia.

Where the movie goes from there, I will let the viewer discover for themselves. However, Christensen, not only does a very good job portraying Richie, he manages to tell a full story in only 19 minutes - no easy feat! As the director, he also manages a nice mix between this heavy-handed drama with the perfect amount of humor blended in. It's a tightrope, but Christensen navigates it well.

Much kudos to the young Fatima Ptacek, who despite her young age, turns in a brilliant performance as Sophia, Riche's niece.

One thing that is a testament to Christensen is that this film NEVER runs into melodrama, but is the best kind of drama - the kind that forms a lump in your throat and brings a tear to your eye. Without seeming as if it's trying to, it does tug at your heartstrings.

I saw this film almost a year before it won the Academy Award, but I said it then and will say it again now: It was one of the BEST SHORT FILMS I'VE EVER SEEN! I told Shawn Christensen he was going to win the Academy Award and it was no surprise to me when it did.

And, I am anxiously awaiting his next masterpiece.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Curfew - Short and Sweet

Author: jai-s-kumar from India
9 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are movies with a little story and they pull this with meaningless ideas and make it a movie of 1 hrs or more. But Curfew is not like that it is clear and concise to the point and well done from start to finish.

For people who love drama this movie is not to be missed. The story revolves around a family of 3 and life choices that have separated them from each other and what bring them togother.

All of them act pretty good and convincing. The direction is also awesome.

At the end of the movie you don't want the movie to finish so soon because you love the characters.


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Finally! I Get To Rate A Movie A 10!

Author: redrobin62-321-207311 from Seattle, WA
14 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You know, mankind was beginning to disappoint me. Hundreds of thousands of films have been made and released since around 1900 and there're only, like, eight or nine 10's? The usual suspects (Casablanca, The Godfather, Amadeus, Finding Nemo, Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring, Citizen Kane, etc) are already well ingrained in the movie-going psyche. Why do I rave so much about Curfew? No, it's not perfect. The background music came threateningly close to obscuring the actors' speech, but I think that may have been an artistic device: the little girl had a hard time connecting to her uncle because of the incessant noise around them. In that case, the director's vision fits.

There was not one wasted, superfluous scene in this short. Everything was right on point - the lighting, acting, script, brevity, etc. The unexpected dance scene in the bowling alley was cute as hell. (I hope I didn't ruin that scene for you; I did mark that this review has spoilers).

Without haste I'm now going out to look for other works Christensen has done. This short made my day.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nothing special

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
2 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Curfew" is a 20-minute film from 2012 that won an Oscar in the live action short category. The writer and director is Shawn Christensen and he is mostly known for writing Taylor Lautner's "Abduction". In this short film here, Christensen also plays the lead character. So what is it about. A man decides to commit suicide, but before he finishes the act, his estranged sister calls him and asks if he could take care of her daughter for a day. So he does and he bonds not only with the girl, but also with her mother/his sister again. In the end, he still decides to kill himself, but another call gets in the way. I have to say that I am not too impressed with this short movie. It's not bad by any means, but I just did not find anything about it really interesting, be it the direction, the characters or the writing. It felt baity to me with the beginning and ending in the bathtub and also with her discovering his wound and the dancing scene at the bowling alley was strange and not really great filmmaking in my opinion. They turned this into a feature film last year and I have not seen it, but I personally do not find this short film interesting enough to check out 90 minutes of the same. Pretty surprised it won an Oscar. Then again, I have not seen the other entries, but I certainly would not have awarded it with anything unlike so many awards bodies all over the planet did. The child actress wasn't that great either. Not recommended.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Richie learns life lessons from 9 year old niece.

Author: walton22-989-954120 from United States
3 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Curfew is a short film written by and starring Shawn Christensen. Shawn plays a young man name Richie who deals with a drug addiction and depression by a way of attempting suicide. Richie's suicide attempt is interrupted by his estranged sister Maggie (Kim Allen) who hasn't spoke to him in years. Maggie calls Richie and asks him to look after his nine year old niece; Sophia (Fatima Ptacek) for a few hours while she deals with a situation. Richie is not the ideal babysitter, but, Maggie has no one else to turn to so he agrees to take on the responsibility.

When Sophia first meets her uncle Richie she gives him a hard time by stating the rules of how to look after her. They spend several hours getting to know each other; eating fries, going bowling, and looking at a memoir of Richie's childhood memories. By surprise the two of them begin to bond. Richie learns some valuable lessons about the unexpected joys of life through bonding with his niece. Sophia and Richie build a connection and she helps him see that life is worth living for. The two of them are out to eat and she is asking him lots of questions trying to figure out what his life is all about. She talks to him as if she is the adult and he is the child. Richie becomes frustrated; he wants her to shut up and eat. Sophia helps Richie realize how much he is missing in life by pointing out the things he don't have. The acting was amazing. Fatima played the character of Sophia really well as if she's been acting all her life.

This film reminds me of Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning. The themes are similar in nature. Man on Fire is about a former US Intelligence Agent Creasy, who is withdrawn from all the violence and corruption in the world. He is hired to guard ten year old Pita, played by Dakota Fanning. Pita teaches Creasy how to soften up, live a little and to look on the bright side of things. Sophia and Pita are two young, innocent individuals at the beginning stage of their lives. These two angels' helps two men turn their situation around and see the joy in living.

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