Festival. Based on what I'd read, I was expecting some sort of Tarantino rip-off.
Instead I got run over by a very fast, very clever film. Directed by 27 year old Greg Marcks, the film is populated by up and coming young stars including Colin Hanks and Rachael Leigh Cook. It's actually 5 stories that all take place in a small town in middle America at around 11pm on a random night.
Characters keep running into each other and bad bad things happen, but the stories are all strung together in really clever, often darkly funny ways. The dialog is sharp and real, and Marcks has a real skill with his young cast. There are some really excellent performances, especially by Rachael Leigh Cook, who as the trashy Cherie is just the right combination of evil and desperate.
Although even in her trailer park costume she's breathtakingly beautiful! Also look for Ben Foster, who surprised me with a very realistic performance, after something REALLY bad happens to him. Hanks is also good, as is Shawn Hatosy. I was blown away! And the strangest part of the Premiere screening? It finished at exactly 11:14.
Half an hour or less of one night, two traffic accidents, one severed body part, several crimes or felonies, one silly dog, at least one spectacularly bad decision per character and two deaths make for 90 minutes of pure high-adrenalin fun. And smart fun at that! Of course, it's a bit like, say, Pulp Fiction on Vodka/Red Bull, but hey, I've been rarely entertained so well by other people's fiascoes.
The stories of about a dozen American small-towners intersect at 11:14 one night. Everybody has their own agenda, be it vandalism, fast money, sex, protecting the reputation of their daughter, or just to do their job, and most of them have had too much too drink - which leads to the aforementioned bad decisions. Some great acting (Shawn Hatosy and Patrick Swayze stand out), dynamic camera work and fast pacing keep 11:14 moving and viewers on their toes. And of course, there's always one more twist...
I saw 11:14 pre-release at the Fantasy Filmfest, and it was received very well. If film distributors are just a little smarter than the characters in this film, this should be a smash!
This is one of those movies that you really ought to see. We rented it based on the back cover, and we were glad we did. 11:14 has been compared to Crash and Memento. We haven't seen Crash, but it looks like we should, and while I thought that 11:14 was not quite as terrific as Memento, I felt it was definitely in the running with it.
I came to IMDb to see what else this guy, Greg Marcks, has done and was surprised to see that the only other entry is a 19 minute short film. How on earth did he get stars such as Patrick Swayze and Hillary Swank? If you do decide to see this movie, DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER FIRST. What a rotten trailer. The trailer gives away virtually the entire plot.
I saw this movie at the Florida State University's Seven Days of Opening Nights festival in Tallahassee, Florida. The director, Greg Marcks, is a Florida State film school graduate. I was fortunate to attend a question and answer session with him. His attention to detail is stunning. This is the type of movie where lots of gaffs could occur because the movie is about five stories that eventually come together. I did not notice any gaffs. The movie re-visits previous scenes from a different perspective. By 11:14 pm, all of the events come together. The attention to detail is important because the whole movie must tie together at the end. This movie perfectly ties together.
The acting, dialogue and action sequences are great. It's amazing how well this movie flows. As Mr. Marcks pointed out during the Q&A session, this movie should be seen as a black comedy. The movie is funny. This movie was influenced by "Cops" and other shows that show not-so-intelligent people. But the movie is intelligent. If it weren't, it wouldn't be good. Based on the reaction of the audience, this movie should be well received.
I've been following the press on this film from the moment I first read about it.
I've seen several glowing reviews, most recently in Variety, for this film,the actors and the cannot-be-more-than-fresh-out-of-high-school-himself looking Writer/Director, who shared with the audience that his age was somewhere "in the low two digits."
I've been patiently waiting to see "11:14", finally got to while I was in Toronto!! I was one of several hundred packed like sardines into the theater. Fortunately, I did not have to sit on the floor like the rush ticket holders.
It was unbelievable! A sick and twisted tale(5 tales actually) of coincidence, deceit,small town mentality and good(or bad)intentions gone miserably wrong. Hilary Swank is brilliant as a convenience store worker so afraid to lose her job, she opts to chance suffering tremendous injury over practicing a little common sense. Patrick Swayze utilizes his intensity and tendency towards the dramatic to comedically portray the world's most overprotective Father, while Rachael Leigh Cook's character, Cheri, wreaks havoc on Middelton, Anywhere, USA.
The film opens with a car crash, a botched arrest and a few nasty head injuries that set up the film beautifully. Ben Foster, Colin Hanks and Stark Sands turn an otherwise ordinary joyride through town into the most adolescent, gruesome and completely hysterical adventure. Not for the squeamish.
All five stories are meticulously and ingeniously constructed. I, like my fellow audience members, thoroughly enjoyed every bone-breaking, heart-stopping, could-things-get-any-worse-for-these-poor-middle(ton)-Americans moment. Can't wait to see it in the States.
A clever little thriller/black comedy, which holds interest. 11:14 tells the inter-connected stories of a group of people, all revolving around a tragic car-accident. We see the accident, which occurs at 11:14pm, from different perspectives, as the puzzle slowly comes together.
Sure, the story works a lot on coincidence, but it's still a great build up and interesting ending, despite it being somewhat of a let-down.
The very black humour includes two sections which might just be some of the most cringing moments for men in cinema history one of them in particular had me cowering fear.
Good performances from Patrick Swayze and Hilary Swank make this a good cinematic treat.
I knew nothing at all about 11:14 when I saw it in the guide of what movie was on next. To be honest I was just going to keep 11:14 on in the background as I was supposed to be doing something more important. But I began to watch it.... and am I glad I did !! The credits haven't even finished rolling as I am writing this review because I thought it was that good.
The plot is supposed to be basic; an incident happens at 11:14pm and it is told from five different perspectives. But oh how it all progresses, ties together, and ends in a very satisfying manner. It reminded me of a cross between 'Memento' and 'Pulp Fiction' and to be honest, I found 11:14 comparable to those above mentioned excellent movies.
The actors themselves were so natural and played the roles so well that there was not one actor that was the 'star'. I can't say enough about this movie. It was clever, witty, funny when necessary, intelligent and excellently casted.
My only gripe was occasionally too many events 'seemed' to happen in the supposed allotted time which made me aware of the time frame more than I probably should. But so saying that it detracts very little and I enjoyed 11:14 immensely. See it, I am sure you will love it too.
In Middletown, at 11:14 PM, two cars accidents happen at the same time, affecting the lives of five different groups of people. A drunken driver hits a man in a lonely road near a bridge; three young men hits a woman with a van, one of the passenger has a severed penis while another man on the road shoots them; a young man robs a convenience store, with the support of the clerk; a man finds a body in a cemetery and gets rid off it; and a young pregnant woman tries to raise money for an abortion. All of these characters and their fates are very connected.
"11:14" is a great entertainment, presenting thriller, drama, crime, action and lots of black humor. The story goes forward and backward in time, but differently from "Memento" or "Irreversible", indeed presenting five different perspectives for two car accidents, each one of them disclosing new and darker information to the viewer, slightly recalling "Rashomon". The film is very well directed, and all the cast has good performances. My vote is seven.
I saw this movie during the "Fantasy Film Festival" in Germany. It is really a perfect mixture: it has all from horror to humour and the story is told with lots of originality... The film is built up like a puzzle which is assembled piece by piece, and resolves the story... For the viewer there are plenty of surprises till the end!! I have a little the impression that the director has been inspired by some scenes from the movie "snatch" where you can see at some point the same event happening from a different point of view. In this movie everything is built up on what happens at 11:14 ...and every actor in the story acts on his own "egoistic" way and contributes to assembling the puzzle.... I loved especially the black humour scenes...which made laugh the whole theatre.... This movie is a must see for everyone. If you thought "scream" is a great movie than watch "11:14" and be surprised!
check your watch. If it isn't 11:14, be very afraid.
What's not to like? This is very creative & very well acted & highly engrossing. The only nit I could pick is that, without doing an exhaustive study, I'd say some of the lenghts of time different people were supposed to spend doing what they did seemed quite short, esp. Swayze. I'll assume they did their homework, & it is correct, but it seems off. Otherwise, if you want something far from ordinary Hollywood hogfarts, watch this.
Don't worry about the comments about sick, twisted, squeamish, etc. This is almost The Muppets compared to most Hollywood "blockbuster" wannabes. whatever violence there is, is not gratuitous, not flagrant, not long-lasting. I hate violent movies, & I readily recommend this.
11:14 is an independent thriller that follows the intricate connections of five different story lines that collide in a series of deadly and ironic twists. Ensemble cast includes Rachael Leigh Cook, Henry Thomas, Shawn Hatosy, Stark Sands, Colin Hanks, Ben Foster, Barbara Hershey, Clark Gregg, Patrick Swayze and Hilary Swank.It was directed by Greg Marcks.
The film involves a series of interconnected events that converge up to the same time at 11:14 p.m. The connections between the events are not apparent at first, but are gradually revealed by a series of progressively receding flashbacks:1) Jack, who has been drinking, is seen driving along a road at night talking on his cell phone. The clock on the dashboard reads 11:14 p.m. Suddenly, as he drives under an overpass, something smashes across the windshield, causing him to skid off the road. He stops by a deer crossing sign and gets out to inspect the damage, and finds a human body with a badly mutilated face lying close to his car. When he sees another car approaching, he panics and drags the body out of sight;2)Teenagers Tim, Mark and Eddie are driving around causing trouble by throwing things out of the windows of Mark's van, including a book they have set on fire;3)Frank is walking his dog late at night and discovers his daughter's car keys next to the dead body of Aaron in the cemetery. Thinking his daughter is responsible for the death, Frank packs the body in the trunk of Aaron's car, accidentally locking the keys in with the body;4)Buzzy is working at a convenience store late at night. Her friend and co-worker Duffy arrives and they begin discussing Cheri's pregnancy and money needed for an abortion; and 5)Cheri leaves her house to have sex with Aaron at the cemetery. Aaron is reclining against a tombstone that has a stone angel on top. The angel's neck is damaged and the heavy stone head falls onto Aaron's face, killing him instantly and mutilating his face.The camera pans to Cheri's cell phone, which reads 11:14 p.m.
This is an enjoyable and smartly directed comedy thriller with a clever script and engaging performances from its ensemble cast especially Hillary Swank and Patrick Swayze. The solid screenplay satisfyingly clicks everything together, unraveling little mysteries as it goes and leaving nothing hanging. The audience is made privy to connections between the characters that they themselves are unaware of and they will see how various lies and deceptions lead to murder.Ultimately,this is an enjoyable and entertaining film.
It is 11:14pm, an accident happens. Different people cross paths on the road, and all of them play their part in the accident. The movie tells us the partial stories of each of the parts involved, how the actions of each of them lead to what happens at the beginning and end of the film. The movie is a presented as a puzzle in which all the pieces are assembled when the film ends. A second frozen in time and dissected for the benefit of the viewer.
This is a dark thrilling movie, full of action, with a great mood and tempo, very engaging and never dull. The movie has no pity with its own characters, all of them depicted as mean, nasty, stupid and/or untruthful, deserving of the drama that unfolds during the night. Just some of the secondary characters are neutral or good.
All actors are OK in their respective roles. Two of them especially shine: Hillary Swank, who really nails her role as red-neck shop attendant, and Rachael Leigh Cook is terrific as the nasty Lolita around which all the story, directly or indirectly, revolves.
The movie is entertaining with a round story that will keep you glued to your chair. Its only problem is the mediocrity of the dialogs, and that the characters have no dramatic depth, but, well, you cannot expect depth from a thriller.
I came across this the other day at the rental store and it seemed like a 'Vantage Point' type movie and since I liked that one, I thought to give this a try. This is a black comedy drama movie which is extremely well directed by first-timer Greg Marcks. I was drawn into these different characters lives. I saw this in home and you know what the really weird part is? It ended at exactly 11:14 pm. I didn't time the movie before seeing it! That was simply coincidence and really weird. The opening credits music is simply so cool.
There are 5 stories intertwined cleverly with each other and it doesn't lead up to the same ending. All the separate plots happen at 11:14 pm and it is very entertaining to watch these people go about their night. The opening story involves a roadkill (which is not his fault), second involves the decapitation of a penis and another roadkill (which is definitely the driver's fault), the third story involves getting rid of a body by the father of a hot girl, the fourth involves a robbery, the fifth revolves around a cheating hot girl.
This film has Colin Hanks, Rachael Leigh Cook, Hilary Swank, Patrick Swayze, Jason Segel ('How I Met Your Mother', he is totally unrecognizable here) and several other good actors. This is a very cool movie and the background score is really amazing. If not for the background score, this would have been a serious drama. Some scenes will really gross you out, but at the same time they are hilarious too. These characters keep running into each other and very bad things happen. The dialogues are witty and real and this young cast really keep it up. Hilary Swank is brilliant as a convenience store worker so afraid to lose her job, she opts to suffer injury over practicing a little common sense. Patrick Swayze utilizes his intensity and tendency towards the dramatic to comedically portray the world's most overprotective Father. The most excellent performance is by Rachael Leigh Cook, who as the trashy hot Cherie is just the right combination of evil and desperate. Even in her trailer park costume she's breathtakingly beautiful! Anyway, it is a very cool watch.
11:14 is a decent film you must watch all of to appreciate. Using multiple story lines, a series of lives all come together at 11:14 in a body hits car accident. Good casting and acting help keep your attention as the sometimes mundane lives of all the characters come together one piece at a time over a 24 hour period. While the disjointed stories are simple mini-movies of themselves, it isn't too hard to figure out how they all come together. I like the complexities of movies such as these, but they are not for people who want simple entertainment. You need to watch this uninterrupted and concentrate on the subplots to get the full value.
How is it possible that 11:14 went virtually unreleased in theaters? After modest film-festival exposure, it played briefly in San Francisco in August 2005 (over two years after it was completed), but that's a cruel twist of fate for such a cleverly twisted movie about cruel twists of fate. Destined for sleeper status on DVD (and given a slightly higher profile by Hilary Swank's subsequent Oscar-winning performance in Million Dollar Baby), the audacious debut of writer-director Greg Marcks boasts a fantastic cast in a smartly constructed comedy/thriller, partly inspired by Blood Simple, in which a fatal traffic accident is examined and re-examined from multiple perspectives. The flashback structure involves all of the characters and events that lead up to the accident's deadly occurrence at 11:14 on an otherwise pleasant evening in Middleton, a typical suburb of Anytown, USA (filmed in the vicinity of Los Angeles). Marcks's screenplay attracted an impressive ensemble cast (costar Swank also signed on as an executive producer), and they're all given equal time as the intertwined plots are revealed. They include Rachael Leigh Cook (whose bad-girl behavior sets the chain of events in motion); Patrick Swayze and Barbara Hershey as her worried parents; Swank and Shawn Hatosy as would-be criminals with a dimwit plan; Henry Thomas as a drunk driver whose involvement is deeper than we realize; and Colin Hanks as one of three teenage vandals on a fast track to trouble. With falling corpses, graveyard sex, reckless gun play, and a severed penis, it's all in good, grisly fun (apart from intricate plotting, Marcks has no lofty agenda up his sleeve), and there's ultimately not much point to its random misfortune, but 11:14 is clearly the work of a promising filmmaker, worthy of rediscovery on DVD. Bonus features include Marcks's intelligent commentary, a standard behind-the-scenes featurette, and a useful "character jump" feature allowing viewers to choose a plot trajectory whenever one character encounters another.
Roadkill (that isn't), a severed penis (that is), a convenience store, corpses (that's plural), a wicked girl with too many boyfriends (that's plural too): these are just some of the raw materials that go into "11:14's" "Rashomon"-like multiple retellings of what happened at a rural roadside near the little town of Middleton, 'A Very Happy Place' to Live (so the sign says) on one ridiculously eventful summer evening. There's enough material for three horror movies -- or, with wittier dialogue and more sparkling production values, a substantial sequence in a Quentin Tarantino movie. On hand are energetic young actors -- Shawn Hatosy, Rachel Leigh Cook, Henry Thomas, and Colin Hanks, to name a few; double-Oscar winner Hilary Swank; a brave veteran, Barbara Hersey; and Patrick Swayze (his presence in "Donnie Darko" not forgotten by fans of the young and the edgy) -- a little like roadkill here himself -- gamely playing the loser dad of the misbehaving Cheri (Ms. Cook).
This is a whole flurry of those situations where somebody forgets that two wrongs don't make a right. It starts when a drunken young driver on a cell phone (Henry Thomas) hits something and thinks he's committed a felony. Somebody else finds a corpse and hides it to protect whoever he thinks is the killer. Another guy's ready to commit robbery to pay for an abortion because he thinks he's the dad. A coworker is ready to help him even though it could cost her her job. One character is guilty of multiple deceptions.
Unlike "Rashomon," this isn't so much a single event seen from various viewpoints as a snake's nest of malfeasance's that all turn out to be intertwined, and it doesn't repeat those moments leading up to "11:14" to get at the truth, or run them in chronologically backwards segments like "Memento" or "Irréversible" or "5x2". Eventually it connects something said during the first sequence with a character whose secrets come out at the end to reveal one of the oldest plots of all -- a doomed double-cross for profit and escape -- just like something in one of Geoffrey Chaucer's grimmest, most moralistic Canterbury Tales. There's no divine retribution here, though the local cop takes enough of the players away to run out of handcuffs and get tired of reciting Miranda rights.
Almost everybody's bad in "11:14," and gets worse, because he or she does something naughty to escape consequences and fails in the attempt. First-time director Greg Marcks's dark comedy of multiple self-sabotage and misadventure has horror movie raw materials and B-picture cheap visuals and jumpy camera-work but a conceptualist's intricate and finely tuned plot: the sequences don't leave any dangling threads. The question is, though: what's the conception? What's all this add up to, other than a freakishly busy night for Officer Hannagan (Clark Gregg)? It's a game, a puzzle, without a point. Compared to "Amores Perros", to "Memento," even to François Ozon's chilly "5x2," "11:14" has nothing general to say. The puzzle is well constructed, but it leaves you hungry for something more solid.
Marcks's scenes of wrongdoing tend to the excruciatingly slow and messy, as in the Coens' "Blood Simple" -- which Marcks has cited as a major influence. But instead of "Blood Simple's" hurts-so-good suspense, there's a breathless speed in "11:14" that keeps you watching -- but also bars you from caring about the characters The ingenuity of construction feels wasted for another reason: as in many another film with a plot line wound up tight as a drum, the ending itself lacks punch. At the finale, the hunger for relief and revelation the multiple plot lines have aroused is only partly satisfied.
No doubt Marcks's attention is elsewhere, even if it's not yet clear where. Despite its B style visuals and its debts to the Coens and horror flicks and noirs, "11:14" is attempting a fresh outlook. There is clear talent here. Though the slippery mix of genres may disappoint horror fans, hipsters, and folks just out for a nasty good old time, this isn't mere roadkill. Life remains when all the corpses and wrongdoers have been dragged away, and the hybrid comedic style is very 21st century. Some of the scenes stick in your mind, and if you won't know where to file them, that may be Marcks's point. If he can bring his visual and production values up to the level of his writing and directing skills, he may get the distribution this first film has been robbed of for several years. Let's hope he also finds a little more to say.
Seen during a brief theatrical showing in the SF Bay Area, August 2005.
It has often been said that all of our lives are interconnected. Nine people's lives are linked together at the same moment in time, all with life changing results.
This film actually has no plot, but rather details the actions of all of the nine people leading up to that fated moment and shortly after. Interestingly, it is all about the freak timing and some very stupid or cruel choices that people make. Sometimes those ill-thought out actions can have devastating results.
While this film does not fall under the heading of "enjoyable evening of entertainment" for me, it is a MUST see film for teenagers and their parents. It is not preachy, but very matter-of-fact blunt. Actions do have reactions, as well as consequences. There is also a difference between "harmless fun" and "stupidly dangerous".
i never heard about this movie or even knew it existed till a caught it on hbo. and man what a treat! this movie is so brilliant, you'll be watching it thinking, what is going on?! then it explains it from another persons point of view. with hilary swank and patrick swazey, the best known actors in the movie, leading the way, this is a great movie. just like pulp fiction, it intertwines people together through a car crash that happened at 11:14. this has some of the best acting i have ever seen in a low budget independent film and great directing and m night shyamalan type writing. i highly recommend this film to anyone who has ever thought about watching it, you will be surprised. 10/10
In the vein of LOVE ACTUALLY, 11:14 gives us a set of intersecting story lines but in a very black comedy way. And while I enjoyed LOVE ACTUALLY very much, 11:14 I enjoyed only marginally. Don't get me wrong, it is entertaining. But a few times during the viewing I said, "No way would it happen like that." 11:14 focuses on several lives that are forever changed at exactly the same moment, and how each overlaps the other in strange and often chuckling ways. The film starts out with Jack (Henry Thomas, E.T.) driving down the road, half-drunk, when he runs over someone in his car. Terrified that he'll go to jail, he quickly tucks the body into the back of his car's trunk. Norma (Barbara Hershey) approaches the accident in her own car, sees Jack, and quickly surmises that he's hit a deer ("Happens all the time right around here"). She helpfully calls the police to notify them of the accident and drives away. Officer Hannagan (Clark Gregg) shows up on the scene and uncovers the truth. Or is it the truth? Did Jack really hit and kill this guy? We back-pedal to another group of lives, a trio of young boys out for a good time. They're driving around, drinking, and letting ...um ...everything hang-out. In fact, one of them decides to pee out the window and it is during this time that the driver accidentally runs into a young woman in the middle of the road, instantly killing her. How terrible. Or is it? In the process of slamming on the brakes, the young man who was peeing out the window loses his manhood, too. Ouch! Another set involves Buzzy (Hilary Swank) and Duffy (Shawn Hatosy) who are workmates at a local convenience store. Duffy needs cash and decides to rob the store (with Buzzy's approval). Trouble is, Buzzy wants him to wound her so that it looks like she was trying to protect the store and won't get fired. A gunshot overheard. A bowling ball. A missing set of keys. All of these things lead to some rather outlandish yet darkly funny hijinks.
The final set of lives (mostly) are the family of the aforementioned Norma (Hershey). She's married to Frank (Patrick Swayze) and they have a daughter named Cheri (Rachael Leigh Cook) whom starts all of this pandemonium. It is her who is on the phone with Jack (Thomas) at the beginning of the film and it is this that causes Jack to get into the "accident". It is also Cheri who is responsible for the death of a young man by having sex with him in a cemetery and causing a headstone to fall on his head, thus crushing his brains out. She's not a very nice lady, out for "the money", and she's using everyone, including her father, in order to get what she wants. She is the one who's responsible for the dead guy that Jack hits; he didn't run-over and kill anyone. It was Cheri's father throwing the body of the bashed-in-brains guy off an overpass and landing on Jack's car. She's also the young woman who gets hit and killed by the trio of boys out having a good time. And she's been pretending to be pregnant and needing money from her boyfriends in order to get an abortion. One of these boyfriends, as it turns out, is Duffy, who would use the money from his robbery in order to pay for Cheri's procedure. But her death puts a quick end to that and closes pandora's box.
Twisting the viewer's perceptions is the game here, and it's pulled off pretty well. The story was entertaining and I kept watching, only to be amazed at how these lives intersected.
The only downside is the impossibility of certain aspects. Most notably is the cop, Officer Hannagan, who is the only law enforcement official we ever see. Considering all of the death, shooting, accidents, and other bizarre occurrences, the police would've been swarming over these scenes. But no. All we see is one lone officer with no crime scenes. Not likely.
Still, the story moves along a great clip and the audience is entertained by the unfolding stories.
At 11:14 PM on one fatal evening, previously unconnected lives connect for the first time, with fatal consequences for some. The film slowly unveils five separate tales as the characters unwittingly careen towards each other... 11.14 is composed by interrelated sets of situations and characters like Crash (2004) or Babel (2006) and I have to say that the film was incredibly well executed. Technically speaking, it's almost flawless. But unlike Crash and Babel, 11:14 is more of a dark comedy/ thriller-noir then a drama per se.
Unfortunately, the plot isn't that interesting and in the end the film comes trough as a bit pointless. It all seems like a simple series of events that had consequences and not a straight narrative line. I just don't think it's a story worth telling, besides I felt that the story was in service of the narrative gimmick and not the other way around. On a more positive note, the film has a great pace and is somewhat engaging. The cast did a good job as well. All in all, it's a decent watch but I would skip it.
This movie is excellent. The beautiful Ben Foster, gives the usual performance of a lifetime. He is the one who makes all the difference here. I give this movie 10 out of 10 stars. Two Thumbs Way Up!
This movie is one that I also found to be very interesting, due to the fact that at 11:14 p.m. everyone's life was altered by fate. Everyone's was tragic in it's own way, one got his penis shot off, some were killed, one was in an accident, and other things happened. Everyone's life then changed drastically. It goes to show you that your life can change at any time.
Kudos to the cast, crew, filmmakers, and all others. Excellent Movie! Very interesting.
Whenever a film is touted as the "next Pulp Fiction" it always makes my heart sink a little bit. It never does a film justice, particularly those that, not only are not in the same league as Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, but don't even match up to the previous movies spawned in its wake. For every Go there is a Two Days In The Valley, so in the end, all you should ever really do is try to view a film its own right, rather than condemn its failure to match its inspirations. Perhaps then, it is fitting that newcomer-director Greg Marcks, who's only previous work was a short film about a man who reads to cigar-rollers, via radio, has created a tremendously entertaining if, at times, rather gruesome tale about five intertwining stories revolving around a couple of car crashes at 11:14pm.
Story one involves a young man who, obviously after intoxicating himself, attempts to drive himself home when, low and behold he hits what appeared to be a dear. After closer inspection it turns out that he has actually hit a fellow human, who is now dead as a possum. This incident, along with the other four stories, are not actually tales, but rather perspectives which, as the movie goes on, begin unravelling a narrative hidden from each of the other stories' characters, displaying how they are oblivious to the repercussions to which their misgivings seemingly affect others. Along the way there are some pretty nasty, although hilarious, gags involving such modern day taboos as fatal graveyard sex and a certain missing penis. You will squirm as you chuckle at the ensuing madness invoked upon our protagonists.
Where as hokey, silly riffraff like Snatch involved increasingly contrived story lines intertwining over a rather dubious narrative showed cheeky-chappy cockney gangsters smirk and dance their way through a music video of a movie, 11:14 manages to recapture the style and essence that made something like a Quentin Tarantino movie so effortlessly entertaining. What nobody cared to inform the duplicators of said director was that it was NOT swooshy camera moves, ridiculously quirky gangsters or even a decent soundtrack that made Reservoir Dogs the movie it was. It was a script. A script that was so funny, so original and so clever that you fell in love with it. 11:14 might not necessarily be a "lovable" movie, but it is constructed in a very clever sense, fooling its audience in a sense of doom, only to reveal itself later on to choruses of laughs. Marcks obviously understands how to strike a balance between humour and dread, as parts of this film had me clutching for breath, yet laughing all the same.
The cast do their up-most to fill in the gaps that may not make this as brilliant as some people have made it out to be. Most characters only serve the movie with around 15 minutes worth of screen time, so it is impressive that most of their scenes are packed with enough humour to keep you interested. Patrick Swayze's god-fearing father who is frantically trying to rid the body of his young daughter's lover is fairly impressive, but the daughter herself, played with wonderful faux-ditz and scheming nastiness by Rachel Leigh Cook, steals the show. You probably won't feel much for the clumsy nature of the characters, but they will certainly keep you on your toes.
Interconnecting stories are a tricky business, so kudos to young rookie filmmaker Greg Marcks for pulling off "11:14" to the extent that he does, managing to keep the film suspenseful and (mostly) unpredictable, entertainment never lacks. But when you light five different fires within close proximity, the expectation is for quite a spectacle in the end. The pure lack of poignancy or consequence deadens what was a script possessing sharp albeit twisted wit.
Perhaps its my fault for being tricked into believing "11:14" would be something more than mystery-revealing aha moments strung together along with some unsuspecting comedic horror. Marcks had me so taken by trying to figure out what answer lay beneath the intersecting stories of these desperate small-town idiots that part of the entertainment intended through shock value and perverse turns of events never sunk in.
The film begins with the character played by Henry Thomas (the kid from "E.T.") driving drunk and out of nowhere hitting someone at exactly 11:14 and then panicking because the police are coming and he has a drunk driving record. The story then takes us to a van of teenagers who at the same time plow into a girl and drive off, even though the accident has -- ready for it? -- severed the manhood of one of the boys. We're shown a few other perspectives throughout the night to see how it all connects.
And our findings, as I mentioned, don't satisfy. Marcks intends to fuse the thriller genre with almost B-movie-like comedy, but the two simply aren't cooperating forces. I would find it hard to believe anyone could truly enjoy "11:14" as both and not one or the other. The sheer ridiculousness of the behavior of some of these senseless small-town characters offers an entertainment all its own, but the film is so convincingly serious that what's coming next commands more of our attention than letting it actually soak in that Ben Foster's character's penis is lying on the street somewhere.
However, credit to Marcks for making a film that rounded up a killer cast of vets and up- and-comers from Hilary Swank, Patrick Swayze and Barbara Hershey to Ben Foster, Colin Hanks, Rachael Leigh Cook and Jason Segel. The actors all seem to understand the tone he's going for, which should be taken as a compliment, but I'm not sure if there's a way that the performances could have better cued us in to the "this film's not so serious" moments.
The one nugget the film leaves us with is the theme of desperation. It's clear that none of what happened in the film would've happened without all the characters in some way being desperate for something whether money or simply not to end up in prison. However a thematic noun hardly provides the flourish a film with interconnecting stories needs to win over its audience.
I hate to be the one who says he didn't like something because the ending was unsatisfying, but premises such as this one are built on, around and for the payoff. It's not tough to praise Marcks for a quirky and genre-bending script, but in the process of providing some refreshment, he sacrificed the one no-no of satisfying audience expectation. You simply cannot make a film with a cryptic "all this will make sense" title like "11:14" and deliver perfectly on the suspense without that golden nugget. It makes for a fun ride, but a hit- and-run ending.
I agree with most other comments, kind of a wild roller-coaster of bad things happening.
A bit disappointing ending however, the movie basically tells the story of 30 minutes around 11:14 in 90 minutes. However, after a little over an hour in the movie the story is clear already...
Instead of preparing you for an interesting ending, the director decided to keep telling the by-now-very-obvious story for the kind of people that usually miss half the film by getting beer popcorn, talking or other reasons..
This movie is worth the money nonetheless: Good fun to watch.
11:14 sets up a good, if not contrived moral dilemma. A young man who has had a little to drink has a body dropped on his car from a bridge he passes under. Soon the authorities show up, and he's arrested for a murder he didn't commit. Ridiculous, but interesting.
That's basically how I can sum up "11:14": ridiculous, but somewhat interesting. The film is concerned with 10 or so characters and what happens to them at the stroke of "11:14", one fateful night in which a million ludicrous coincidences occur in the town of Middletown. It cross-cuts between various story lines which involve characters all doing very selfish and stupid things, just so we can see how their actions all affect one another and connect.
That's it. The film is concerned with plot mechanics and how the dots all connect, but not with developing any really compelling characters. The film also has little to say other than "your fate can change in an instant", which is something almost every movie says. But the characters are all so despicable, you don't really want to know what happens to them.
I love movies like "Crash" and "Magnolia", because while they do have lots of story lines that are crosscut across each other, they connect on a thematic level. "Crash" was all about racism and how it alters peoples' perceptions of each other. It had a message of encouraging empathy and understanding. "Magnolia" was about how children are affected by their parents' decisions. In these movies, characters face huge moral dilemmas and come to grips with their own flaws.
"11:14" is NOT that kind of movie. It's a lot like "Run Lola Run": it's all about the gimmicky structure, and little more.
The music was goofy and awful. The acting was alright, though none of it really mattered. the cinematography was decent, and the editing fine. But the contrived plot and vapid, empty story proved to me one thing: character matters.