3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets

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3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets
3 12 Minutes, 10 Bullets poster.jpg
Official Film Poster
Directed byMarc Silver
Written byMarc Silver
Produced by
  • Carolyn Hepburn
  • Minette Nelson
  • Leland Brunson
  • Angela B. Corey
  • Ron Davis
  • John Guy
  • Russell Healey
  • Lucy McBath
  • Vic Micolucci
  • Tommie Stornes
  • Cory Strolla
  • Tevin Thompson
CinematographyMarc Silver
Edited byEmiliano Battista & Gideon Gold
Music byTodd Boekelheide
  • Candescent Films
  • Motto Pictures
Distributed byHBO Documentary Films
Release dates
  • January 24, 2015 (2015-01-24) (Sundance)
  • November 23, 2015 (2015-11-23) (HBO)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$30,407[1]

3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, also known as 3 1/2 Minutes, is a 2015 American documentary film written and directed by Marc Silver. The film is based on the events surrounding the 2012 murder of Jordan Russell Davis and examines the shooting itself, as well as the subsequent trial, media coverage and protests that resulted from the shooting.

The film premiered under its original title 3 1/2 Minutes at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2015, later winning the Special Jury Prize for Social Impact.[2] The film was then bought by HBO Documentary Films, and premiered on HBO on November 23, 2015. On December 1, it was one of 15 films shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the 2016 89th Academy Awards.


The film takes a look at the shooting of Jordan Davis, an African-American teenager who was shot by Michael Dunn on November 23, 2012, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting was sparked by an argument between Dunn and Davis over loud rap music. Dunn would later claim in court that he believed that Davis possessed a shotgun and was going to harm him. In the film Silver examines the shooting as well as the subsequent trial, media coverage and protests that resulted from the shooting, especially those stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The film's title refers to the time between when Dunn pulled into the parking spot next to the vehicle Davis was in (seen as 7:30-7:33 PM), and how many bullets were fired (Approximately 10, from Dunn's Taurus PT 99 AF).[3]


Plans to create the documentary began when producer Minette Nelson read a 2013 Rolling Stone article about the case and Florida's stand-your-ground laws.[3] She contacted Silver and asked him to serve as the film's director. Through family lawyer John Michael Phillips, Nelson and Silver met Jordan's parents Ron Davis and Lucy McBath. He became interested in the documentary after meeting the family and noting the short amount of time between Dunn's arrival and the shooting, as he felt that the three and a half minutes could be understood in two different ways: "On the one level, through the court system, you would understand what happened during those three-and-a-half minutes in a very pragmatic way. Then [you have] what really happened in those moments on a bigger, more conceptual level."[3]

Filming took place in Jacksonville, Florida, over a nine-month period in 2013, primarily using a Canon C100.[3] Silver and his crew gained permission to film the Dunn trial, but only if they did not film the jury, as this could have resulted in a mistrial. They agreed, and filmed the trial from the back of the courtroom.[3]


The film premiered in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance in 2015.[4] After screenings, the film was bought by HBO, to be aired in the late fall of 2015.[5] The official trailer for the film was released on YouTube on August 25, 2015,[6] and the film aired on HBO on November 23, 2015 at 9 PM. It is currently available for viewing on Google Play.


Critical response[edit]

The film received universal acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 100% rating based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 7.65/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "3 And 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets tells a gut-wrenching story in overall gripping fashion -- and wisely underplays its outrage, letting the details speak for themselves."[7] Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 76/100 based on 19 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying "The movie's meditative quality makes you feel for everyone involved in this tragedy—even Dunn, who seems very much a prisoner of fear and anger. Where a lot of documentaries would try to stir outrage, this one just leaves you shaking your head."[9] Variety film critic Dennis Harvey also gave the film a positive review, noting "Though there are a few odd gaps in the gripping pic, and/or perhaps in the trial itself... the assembly is tight and accomplished on all levels."[10] IndieWire film critic Aramide Tinubu gave a positive review, saying: "More than seeking answers, [this documentary] sparks so many questions. It reminds us of what is broken in our country. It brings up questions of privilege as well as the constant, vicious, deeply rooted, fear and hatred, that many white people in this country still feel towards people of color."[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

On December 1, the film was selected as one of 15 shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[12]

Year Festival Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2015 African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) AAFCA Award Top 10 Films (6th Tied with Dope) Won
East End Film Festival, UK Best Documentary Marc Silver Nominated
Jerusalem Film Festival 2015 In Spirit for Freedom Award Best Documentary Marc Silver Nominated
RiverRun International Film Festival Audience Choice Award Best Documentary Feature Marc Silver Won
Sheffield International Documentary Festival Sheffield Youth Jury Award Marc Silver Won
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize Documentary- Social Impact Marc Silver Won
Grand Jury Prize Marc Silver Nominated
Zurich Film Festival Golden Eye Best International Documentary Film Marc Silver Nominated[13]


  1. ^ "3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "'16 Sundance Film Festival - Award Winners". Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Institute. Archived from the original on 2016-04-24. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Blair, Ian F. (June 23, 2015). "'3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets' Examines the Murder of Jordan Davis". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  4. ^ Cipriani, Casey (December 3, 2014). "Sundance 2015: The U.S. Documentary Competition". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  5. ^ The Deadline Team (January 31, 2015). "HBO Nabs '3 1/2 Minutes' Documentary From Participant Media — Sundance". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  6. ^ Dogwoof (August 26, 2015). "3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets - Official Trailer". Dogwoof. YouTube. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  7. ^ "3 And 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (June 19, 2015). "3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets Movie Review (2015)". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Harvey, Dennis (February 1, 2015). "Sundance Film Review: '3 1/2 Minutes'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Tinubu, Aramide A (September 28, 2015). "Urbanworld Review: '3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets' is a Gut-Wrenching Tale of Two Parents' Determination to Seek Justice". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Kojen, Natalie (December 1, 2015). "15 DOCUMENTARY FEATURES ADVANCE IN 2015 OSCAR® RACE". Oscars.org. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  13. ^ "3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015): Awards". IMDb. Retrieved April 16, 2018.

External links[edit]