Slow Burn (2005 film)

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Slow Burn
Theatrical poster
Directed by Wayne Beach
Produced by Stephen Break
Written by Wayne Beach
Anthony Walton
Starring Ray Liotta
Jolene Blalock
LL Cool J
Mekhi Phifer
Taye Diggs
Bruce McGill
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Guy Torry
Music by Jeff Rona
Cinematography Wally Pfister
Edited by Kristina Boden
Distributed by DEJ Productions
GreeneStreet Films International
Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date
  • September 13, 2005 (2005-09-13) (TIFF)
  • April 13, 2007 (2007-04-13)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15.5 million[1]
Box office $1,797,256[2]

Slow Burn is an American drama thriller film starring Ray Liotta, Jolene Blalock and LL Cool J, which is notable for the extended period between production and eventual release. A crime drama, the film was produced in 2003, was finally given a showing at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and finally got a proper theatrical release in 2007.


The movie begins with Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock), a biracial (African and European) woman, being questioned by Ford Cole (Ray Liotta), the District Attorney. Nora, who also happens to be the Assistant District Attorney, claims to have been raped by Issac Duparde (Mekhi Phifer), prior to shooting him in the head in self-defense. Ty Trippin (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a journalist interviews Ford in his car; Ford anticipating both his first and second questions, surprises Ty by stating them to him before he asks Ford himself. Nora narrates her version of the story to Ford, meeting Issac at a music store, where he came on to her, asking to give her a ride on the rainy night they had first met about a week ago. Nora politely rebuffs his advances, but is left with no other option then to accept his ride in his car, when left stranded in the rain with no cab to respond to her calls. Issac locks the door to his car when Nora tries to leave his vehicle upon reaching her home, only to give her a music cassette as a compliment. Nora tells Ford that Issac waited for her in her house one night, and grabbed her from behind, and he raped her.

The plot thickens when Luther Pinks (LL Cool J), claiming to be an associate of the deceased Issac, shows up to meet Ford and relates his version of the story, stating that Issac's death was not Manslaughter, but Murder. He states that Nora had seduced Issac into falling in love and ultimately becoming obsessed with her. He tells Ford about an 'African violet flower' tattoo on Nora's backside to support his claims. Ford initially believes him, as he himself had seen it, making it evident that Nora had two lovers. Things get more complicated when Isaac's home is set a blaze and Ford receives an odd voicemail from the deceased suggestion a conspiracy involving Nora and 5am. Later, Luther tells Ford of a deal Timmer supposedly offered Issac for his cousin who was recently booked on drug charges: If his aunt agrees to sell her home to an interested party, his cousin will walk. Luther also reveals Nora's dirty little secret—that she isn't biracial but is using being a minority to benefit her career and to satisfy some strange obsession with being black.



It was released in American theaters on April 13, 2007, but performed poorly. It had an opening weekend of $778,123 in ticket sales and closed in just 2 weeks with a domestic total of $1,237,615 and $559,641 from foreign markets for a worldwide total of $1,797,256.[2] It ranks among the top ten widely-released films for having the biggest second weekend drop at the box office, dropping 84.7% from $676,048 to $91,748.[3]

The DVD was released in North America on July 24, 2007 and sold 44,720 units in the opening weekend, translating to revenue of $893,953. This does not include Blu-ray/DVD sales rentals and sales tracking does not extend beyond the first week.[4]

The film has themes of inter-racial dating, "passing" or pretending to be a member of another race, stereotypes included, and using a rape defense to the accusation of murder.


Slow Burn received negative reviews from critics, and holds a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 33 reviews.


The screenplay is based on a short story by Wayne Beach and Anthony Walton. Wayne Beach converted the story to screenplay and directed the film.[5]


  1. ^ "Slow Burn Box Office Data". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Slow Burn (2007). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  3. ^ "Biggest Second Weekend Drops". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ Movie Slow Burn - DVD Sales. The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  5. ^ Tabouring, Franck (2007-04-17). Slow Burn - Ray Liotta. Retrieved 2010-10-31.

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