11:14 (2003)

Director: Greg Marcks

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

11:14The blackest of black comedies, 11:14 (2003) verges into crime thriller.

It documents over & over from different perspectives the same half-hour or so of time, in a few blocks radius where there will be a folly-ridden corner store robbery & two serious auto accidents & a startling amputation & ill-fated sex in a graveyard under a stone angel, with a whole series of misguided decisions made by sundry people who witness fragments of a larger picture going on around them.

How all the characters intersect on their way to 11:14 at night is amusing even if it involves grisly death by face-mashing, abuse of a corpse, or a greatly loved but very bad young woman squashed like a bug.

The cast that acts out this extended sick jest ranges from pretty good to extremely great. High points are the blindly devoted dad (Patrick Swayze) who tries to cover up what he misreads as a murder committed by his daughter (Rachel Leigh Cook); Barbara Hershey as the "helpful" mom who is eventually screaming with hatred at the wrong person for the wrong reason; Hilary Swank as the night clerk with the mouth full of braces giving instructions to her store-robbing buddy on how to safely shoot her in the arm; & a host of circling performances well done.

11:14The best actor, however, may well be newcomer Ben Foster as one of the van load of teenagers out for trouble & finding more than they hoped.

Foster looks like he could be Sean Penn's nephew & acts out his awful, awful, awful experience with a perfectly real combination of terror, sadness, & an inescapable sense of humor. If this kid isn't a big star within a couple years I'll be very peevish about that.

It's no mere spoof & almost works as an alarming crime thriller as well as a sick comedy. But after a half hour or so one begins to suspect it's never going to be a particularly convincing story & the heaps & piles of coincidences probably couldn't happen anywhere ever under any circumstance.

Nevertheless, it's damned fun to watch & it's even more damnably funny, if your sense of humor leans toward the wicked.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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