96 Minutes

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96 Minutes
96minutesposter.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Aimée Lagos
Produced by
Music by Kurt Farquhar
Cinematography Michael Fimognari
Edited by Aram Nigoghossian
Distributed by Content Film[1]
Release dates
  • March 2011 (2011-03) (SXSW)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

96 Minutes is a 2012 American dramatic thriller written and directed by Aimée Lagos. The film stars Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, J. Michael Trautmann, David Oyelowo and Christian Serratos. The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2011.[1] It was released in theaters on April 27, 2012.

Plot[edit]

The film is set against 96 minutes in one night. The events of the night unfold in real time and the film intercuts the beginning and the end of that day. It follows four separate stories and the seemingly innocuous decisions that lead them towards a terrifying and life changing conclusion.

At first we see the four main characters: Karley, Lena, Kevin and Dre begin their day. Lena wakes up next to her boyfriend and they have a brief conversation about where he is going and what he will be doing for the day. From the tone of their conversation it appears that Lena does not trust her boyfriend. After a few minutes he leaves and Lena, left alone in the room decides to check his cell phone. She spots a text from another girl and in a fit of anger the phone against a wall.

Next we are introduced to Dre and Kevin. Dre is in a classroom where he receives a test back from his teacher. Dre has received a passing grade and his teacher informs him that he can now graduate. Kevin is shown to be a troubled 16-year-old with anger issues. It is shown that he is a product of an abusive home and these episodes of violence have led to Kevin becoming aggressive. Seeking an out, he attempts to join a gang in his local neighborhood. However, the leader JJ, declines his request. JJ offers him membership on the condition that he steals his "daddy's" car. This infuriates Kevin as he does not consider his "daddy" as his father.

The film moves to Karley who is on the phone with her father who she is trying to convince to come to her graduation. The audience only hears one side of the conversation and from Karley's reaction it seems that her father has a meeting in Tokyo that conflicts with her graduation. She attempts to tell her father that she will only graduate once and that it would be important for her if he attended. There is a brief mention of Karley attending law school in the future but her father is unable to make her graduation and when the call ends Karley is seen to be upset at the outcome.

Lena comes to the school and sees her boyfriend hanging out with another girl and quickly leaves and goes to her car. She is so distraught that she shifts her car in to "drive" instead of "reverse" which leads to her hitting a tree right in front of her. Her friend comes out and comforts her, they make plans to have a "girls night out". The time shifts to the present where Kevin and Dre are driving in a stolen car with Lena and Karley held against their will in the back of the car. It's clear that Lena has been injured and Karley pleads with her captors to take Lena to the hospital as she is losing a lot of blood. Kevin responds with hostility to the suggestion and telling Dre that they should let Lena die. Dre for his part is visibly upset at Kevin and blames him for shooting Lena. Kevin in turn attemts to blame his actions on Lena. He turns on gangster rap style music which Dre in turn switches of. Dre goes on to tell Kevin that he is an idiot for escalating the situation.

Karley spots an opportunity for escape and using Lena's blood writes the word help on the car's window. Kevin spots her attempts and scolds karley. Dre stops car at a petrol pump so they can grab some food. Kevin gets angered by a stray comment from the shop keeper ("cool down my son") and shoots the man dead.

The film flashes back to how Kevin and Dre got the car. The two men spot Karley and Lena chatting with each other.Kevin thinks that by stealing a car he will be allowed join JJ's gang. He therefore attacks Karley and Lena in order to steal Lena's car. Lena fights back and Kevin panickedly shoots her. Dre and Kevin steal the car and force the two girls into the back. The film returns to the present where Dre stops car at a tunnel and gets out. He considers killing both Karley and Lena but decides against it. But as he returns to the car he spots that Karley has escaped and is running for help. Kevin again panicking shoots her. Kevin and Dre hop back into the car and dump Lena at the entrance to the tunnel and the car speeds off.

Karley however manages to get to the road, where she is spotted and admitted to hospital. It is shown that it has been about 96 minutes from the time they left the restaurant. While Karley is rescued, Lena is missed and dies alone in the tunnel.

The film shows that a few days later Dre was arrested while Kevin committed suicide. Karley visits the jail to talk with Dre and as their meeting ends, she decides that she cannot forgive him for his involvement.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 47% based on reviews from 17 critics.[2]

Joe Leydon of Variety gave the film a positive review, noting that it "maintains a brisk pace and generates a satisfying degree of suspense" and that it "boasts strong performances by well-cast up-and-comers".[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2011 Boston Film Festival "Best Actress" – Brittany Snow Won
"Best Director" – Aimee Lagos Won
"Best Film" – Charlie Mason
Paul Gilreath
Aimee Lagos
Justin Moore-Lewy
Lee Clay
Won
SXSW Film Festival "Breakthrough Performance" – Evan Ross Won
St. Louis International Film Festival "Emerging Filmmaker Award" – Aimee Lagos Won
Woodstock Film Festival "Best Editing in a Narrative Feature" – Aram Nigoghossian Won
"Best Film" – Aimee Lagos Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Content Film Grabs '96 Minutes,' Sundance Selects Takes 'Last Days Here' The Hollywood Reporter. 14 April 2011
  2. ^ 96 Minutes at Rotten Tomatoes
  3. ^ Joe Leydon (March 30, 2011). "96 Minutes". Variety. 

External links[edit]