Every 21 Seconds (2018) Poster

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Intense true story that hits close to home.
ToddKatzzz26 November 2018
I'm not one to write reviews, in fact this is the first one I've ever done, but I felt I had to for this movie. I saw Every 21 Seconds in Chicago while it was in theaters. I honestly hadn't heard of it (I was planning on watching Black Panther but I was late) Anyway, I thought the poster was very intriguing and it was about to start so I figured 'what the heck, why not'

It wasn't until the film started that I found out it was based on a true story. That was only the first surprise. I then found out that it was about a TBI survivor. This hit close to home as my sister is also a TBI survivor after a bad car accident. As the story progressed I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. The pacing was perfect, the characters were developed well and the performances were nothing short of amazing. In particular the lead actor, Shannon Brown, who played the TBI survivor. Again, it hit close to home. I saw so much of my sister in his genuine, honest and powerful portrayal of a TBI survivor. His angst, his sudden mood changes, going from happy and smiling to being unhinged in a matter of seconds. His confusion and panic, having to relearn simple tasks that most of us take for granted. It was exactly how my sister went through this living hell. Just a brilliant performance by Brown, I'm now a fan and will be looking for more of his movies.

The female lead, Kelly Theibaud, was also fantastic. She plays Brown's wife and main supporter. I could easily sympathize with her struggle. I could feel her pain and frustration. The chemistry between the two leads was palpable, so strong. These two brilliant actors were perfectly cast to lead the audience on this intense journey. The entire cast was strong, in addition to the leads, the main Dr played by Jim O'Heir was great. He found a way to give some much needed levity without compromising the intensity of the story.

The director and producers hit a home run here. Great portrayal of a true story and the film was cast perfectly. Other than one of the friends, there were no bad performances. Even the kids were wonderful!

So, I ended up not seeing Black Panther that day. Instead, after watching this, I immediately called my sister. I picked her up and we went back that same day to a later showing and we watched it together. She cried more times than I could count. At the end, she had tears of joy. She said this movie perfectly portrays what it's like to have a TBI. It's a great movie purely as movies go, but it's a must see for anyone that has a TBI or has a loved one who does. Thank you for making this movie!
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7/10
A True Human Drama Simply Well Done
AudioFileZ21 April 2019
Every 21 Seconds is not as such meant to entertain. It's meant to be a palatable yet realistic look at the aftermath of senseless traumatic brain injuries. It should be said that there are many who never get to attempt to re-gain any new normalcy as this is serious stuff. Brian Sweeney was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he has paid a great price losing so much. His wife, kids, parents, siblings and friends were all affected with those closest suffering along in great measure. The beautiful part is Brian made a fantastic recovery becoming a new version of himself with enough left to build upon. I'd say for whatever meager budget this movie has it gets these core things right to personally engage the viewer. It is a well done piece that celebrates strength in the bonds we share with those we love and the respect we should afford all of our fellowmen. It does so without being preachy or concerned with minutia . It is a very human drama that speaks for love being the ultimate healer. When I was a kid I was moved by the movie Brian's Song and I must say I felt much the same watching Every 21 Seconds. Just park your need for big-budget flicks and production for a well made modest movie with a nicely nested important message.
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6/10
One of the better low budget movies out
wanderer1570125 April 2019
Held my interest..acting could be better but it was believeable.. I was happy to find the movie.. worth the watch
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10/10
SO TRUE TO LIFE
youngbooty24 April 2019
This movie was absolutely freaking awesome was so believable and heartfelt I really enjoyed this and it made me have empathy for the real Brian Sweeney and family and all the people out there dealing with TBI
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9/10
This film pulls no punches
ddawwg27 December 2018
I'm becoming more and more of an indie film fan because of films like this. Every 21 Seconds is based on the true story of brain injury survivor. No spoilers, but after watching this film, I was shocked at how devastating brain injuries can be for someone as well as their loved ones. No VFX, no CGI, nothing animated, just raw, honest compelling storytelling brought to life by a great cast.

Leading that great cast is Shannon Brown playing the main character, the brain injury survivor. This is one of the most inspiring performances you'll see in cinema period. His ability to draw you in is exceptional especially when you take into account that he's essentially playing two very different characters in one, before and after the brain injury. There were multiple times when you could literally hear the audience gasp. I've seen Brown in a few other films in the past like Halloweed, Finding Hope and some gangster movie that I cant remember the title of, but anyway, this guy is a true artist, I'm a fan for sure. Comedy, drama or whatever, Brown can carry a film at a high level. Also of note, Kelly Thiebaud, who plays the wife of Brown's character, the female lead. You can't help but feel drawn to her and her struggles to take care of the man she loves. You laugh with her, you cry with her and you really just wanna give her a hug. A very powerful performance and her chemistry with Brown is very strong. It's easy to forget that you're actually watching actors when these two are on screen together which is a strong compliment to them both.

The supporting cast keeps you engaged as well. I was particularly impressed with Jimmie Tolliver who plays our hero's best friend. Robyn Coffin has a nice turn as a quirky yet caring therapist. This is an intense ride, not for the faint of heart. It's clear that the filmmakers responsible for this gem was not trying to appeal to the masses, rather they were focused on making a honest, gritty depiction of a real brain injury survivor. I feel for anyone that has a brain injury and their loved ones. Check this film out, you'll be glad you did.
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Indie storytelling at its finest
borisK9929 March 2019
I enjoy watching indies because there is an organic and purity to telling a story with a limited budget. We seem saturated with 100 million dollar superhero movies which can be entertaining in its own right, but its basically become just using a blank checkbook to get the latest technology in special fx. It's getting to the point where the entire film can be shot in front of a green screen, no thanks.

Every 21 Seconds is a perfect example of telling a great story with none of the smoke and mirrors. It centers around a brain injury survivor who defies all odds to not only survive, but thrive after his near death experience. I was initially drawn to this movie because I thought it was based on the true story of a man suffering from PTSD, but that is not at all what this was. Have you heard of a tbi? Yeah, me neither until I saw this film. tbi stands for traumatic brain injury and apparently its something that many people suffer from in our society. If you suffer one and you are lucky enough to survive you are often times stuck in a hell where you might look the same as you did before but you are not the same person at all. This film motivated me to research it some more and I was shocked to find out how common these types of injuries are from boxers, football players and armed forces veterans to regular day people like the guy this particular story is based on. It often times leads to depression, wild mood swings, memory loss and a buffet of other terrible side effects.

On to this film in particular. I was hooked immediately. The pace of the film keeps you invested, the performances keep you engaged and the fact that its based on a true story makes it all the more powerful. Shannon Brown is amazing as the main character. You cant help but laugh with him, cry with him and definitely pull for him as this intense story unfolds. A remarkable performance! His co star Kelly Thiebaud is also very powerful. She plays the main character's wife and she is anything but weak or a victim. Her portrayal of the devoted wife who will stop at nothing to help her husband is inspiring. Brown and Thiebaud are simply magnetic in this. A prime example of why I love indie filmmaking. These two stars took a great story and brought to life in a raw, unfiltered manner without the help of exotic locations or over the top special fx.

The film itself has a great pace to it. The cinematography is beautiful, the director navigated the ship perfectly, the score is brilliant. Again, no frills, just genuine story telling. I noticed one review where these filmmakers were actually mocked for having to work with a modest budget. I guess to someone shallow and un-artistic, it's a bad thing to be able to tell a great story without a big Hollywood budget. That same type of shallow critic is the reason there are 137 Avenger movies out there. I will applaud great storytelling and powerful performances achieved without the benefit of 100s of millions of dollars to dress it up and that is precisely what Every 21 Seconds is.
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9/10
Unbelievable, moving, film.
filmguy-820799 December 2018
I had know idea what TBI (traumatic brain injury) was. After seeing this moving story my eyes were opened to the truth.

This is based on the true story of a TBI survivor Brian Sweeney.

This film will take you through the depths of hell this man went through to try to regain back any semblance of his former life.

Shannon Brown's performance is amazing as he wraps himself into his portrayal of a TBI survivor. He is like Jekyll and Hyde in the modern day. To see the effects that a TBI has on his character is eye opening to say the least. You literally watch a passive, loving man, husband, and father transform before your eyes after as fights to recover from his injury.

If you are not crying by the end of this movie, you have ice water in your veins.

The cinematography is excellent. The rest of the supporting cast is amazing.

Kelly Theibaud, who plays the wife of Browns's character is so emotionally touching. You can see the despair on her face, and in her performance, as she watches her husband deal with the issues his injury as caused him.

The directing was top notch. Kuba Luczkiewicz did an amazing job. He definitely cultured the performances that made this movie grasp at your emotions.

If you have nothing better to do on a Saturday or Sunday night, watch this movie. You will not be sorry. You will also learn about TBI and how they can pull a man, and his family down to the brink of destruction. You will also learn that with unwavering love and commitment, you can perceiver and overcome.
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10/10
Powerfully authentic
LanaH254 December 2018
I ordered this on DVD and was a bit nervous to watch it. My father suffered from a tbi. I'd seen a couple movies about tbi in the past and I was left feeling more annoyed than anything else. They seemed to gloss over this affliction, even sugar coating it at times. This film certainly did not do that. You could tell that they were very familiar with the terrible effect that tbis can have, not only on the victims, but their loved ones as well. The main character, played by Shannon Brown, seemed eerily familiar to me. His portrayal of a tbi survivor was uncomfortably real. There were many times that I saw my father on the screen. This was one of the best performances I've ever seen in any movie period. The actress who plays his wife, Kelly Thuebaud, says the line "he goes from zero to nuclear with no warning" and that's a honest way to describe someone suffering from a tbi and you see and feel that in Mr. Brown's performance. Ms. Thiebaud was also very good in this. I felt her pain and despair which is exactly what me and mother experienced with my father. I am grateful that this movie exists. It's hard to put into words how devastating a tbi can be on someone and their loved ones, this film illustrates just that in a powerfully authentic way.
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4/10
Questionable acting
scarlettimogen24 April 2019
Not the best acting by the supporting actors but heartfelt story well done
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10/10
From a TBI Survivor...
johnmaranzana17 July 2020
When my wife told me in the hospital that I had a Traumatic Brain Injury, I didn't know a thing about it. When I saw this movie, it was a reminder of my own recovery. Shannon Brown's portrayal is superb. The story is a true inspiration that improvement can happen after TBI. The supporting cast helped make this a truly excellent film!
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7/10
Great portrayal of a real life drama
eowens-5333312 March 2020
As the Wife of a TBI survivor, I found this movie very believable. Brian Sweeney went through all the emotions my husband went through. The anger the depression and the mood swings are something we have dealt with for 38 years, but I would not trade if for the world because this journey has made us who we are today. Great low budget film they are right on point
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3/10
In the so bad it's funny category
pete1-221 April 2019
Take a really poor script and add a slew of really amateur actors, throw in a lot of hokey drama and you get the picture here. Clearly one of those made for TV Family Hallmark films. This lame mess is a real showcase on how to Not make a movie, based on a true story.
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1/10
Poor
nezbitkn229 May 2019
Don't bother. Terrible acting throughout. If there was more of a budget then this film could definitely be a hit but the way it is is really disappointing. Shame really.
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1/10
Horrible.
heatherikeel23 April 2019
Thought I accidentally started watching a poorly produced porno. Maybe it addresses a real life issue. But this is a hard pass unless you want to MST3K this. Which would be Hilarious. I hope the BoDeans got a good royalty check. I swear My friend the "film major" produced this film circa 1998. Without the advantage of a camera phone. Which had better production value then this.

If you want to have that nostalgic feeling of being at a high school "Red Ribbon" week SAD (Students against Drugs) dramatic interpretation of " Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Nikki French. Then this movie is for you. Otherwise Skip.....
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1/10
Too freaking long! Too bored! Constantly blackout every single scene! Avoid at all freaking cost!
kwenchow20 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This film start with a man "Brian" jogging, back home with his wife, daughter and son! As turnout, this film is about Brian got beat up at a bar and suffering traumatic brain injury! He need to recover and try to remember what actually happen at the bar that night! Entire film full of blackout scene! Is this necessary for the maker of this film to edit like this? This will only make audience fall asleep! Only intense scene is Brian choke his wife when they arguing about taking the rehab! And barely laughable scene is the conversation of Brian fighting with the friend he make at the rehab center "John"! At the end, Brian eventually figure out what happen that night at the bar after John throw a thing at him and he rush to the court with John to testify! Big spoiler ahead! Brian actually beat by the ring weapon wear on the hand of the mastermind "Ricky"! Ricky charge guilty after Brian testimony! That's it! Another wasting time to watch film! Very disappointed!
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3/10
Not accurate
anyaharjung9 May 2020
I have a severe brain injury and I don't like this movie because it isn't accurate and perpetuates stigma and ignorance about what we go through. I'm not happy with this movie at all. It doesn't show the pain and struggle we go through, but it makes the families out to be victims of the injured person. They glaze over too much that matters and leave out important details
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