Tarantino, Go and Amores Perros have a lot to answer for. Their multi-stranded puzzle-plot templates directly feed Greg Marcks’ high-concept, low-budget black thriller-com. The result? Clever plotting, thin characters and a starry cast at sea. The problem is in the title: 11:14 is all about clock-watching. The action covers five feckless characters in the 15 minutes before a car crash (Amores Perros, anyone?).
Pre-Million Dollar Baby, Hilary Swank is a convenience-store clerk who has to shoot herself in the arm to help fake a burglary. A long time post-ET, Henry Thomas is a drunk-driver trying to cover up an accident. Meanwhile, Patrick Swayze ditches the kiddy-fiddling of Donnie Darko to play concerned dad to Rachael Leigh Cook’s femme fatale. The characters’ intersections hint at themes of fate and coincidence, but Marcks’ time-frame structure offers little scope to expand thematically or emotionally. It’s fun watching the mechanics click into gear, but it sure ain’t Memento.