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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.22%
Worth A Look: 20.62%
Average: 16.49%
Pretty Bad31.96%
Total Crap: 23.71%

9 reviews, 43 user ratings

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15 Minutes
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by EricDSnider

"My pledge: No easy jokes involving this movie's title."
2 stars

"15 Minutes" is an ugly, depraved movie that is not so much an indictment of American celebrity culture as it is a worthless pile of trash.

It is not without irony that the film starts out like a joke, since that's what it turns into: A Russian and Czech sneak into America. They just got out of prison and are looking for a friend of theirs in New York City who should have their share of the money. Alas, said friend has spent said money, so the Czech (Karl Roden) stabs him and his girlfriend to death and sets the place on fire. The Russian (Oleg Taktarov), who has a fascination with American movies, has bought a camcorder (I have no idea where he got the money) and films the whole thing.

After the post-murder fire, arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) shows up and bumps into homicide detective Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro). The two have no reason to be working together, yet they do; Jordy's interest in police work goes unexplained. For whatever reason, though, they become buddies, kind of, and work together, more or less, when the two Europeans kill a hooker in a hotel room.

It should be noted that the hard-drinkin' Eddie is a local celebrity, due to his frequent cooperation with tabloid TV host Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammer). He's also about to propose marriage to legitimate newswoman Nicolette (Melina Kanakaredes).

But back to the main story, which is that the mean Czech guy has watched enough daytime TV between killings to hatch a plan: He and the Russian will videotape everything they do, get caught, plead insanity, go to a mental institution instead of prison, overcome their faked insanity, sell the movie rights, and become millionaires.

Never mind the millions of holes in that scheme; the movie wants us to take it as a satire of the way we Americans always turn our culprits into victims. But "15 Minutes" is no parody. It barely has a sense of humor at all, let alone one sly enough to pull off a dark, ironic theme like that. No, in this movie everyone is obsessed with getting their 15 minutes of fame, but not in a parodical way. Just a cynical one.

It gets more ludicrous as it goes, leading up to a finale that includes hostage-taking, reappearances of old characters and unconsequenced gunfire. I wouldn't have been surprised if a truckload of monkeys had overturned in the midst of the brouhaha, so fractured and crazy was the scene already. ("Sure," I would have thought. "Why not monkeys?") I'll give the movie this, anyway: At least it's not boring.

De Niro and Burns are good actors (better than the insipid Euro-trash who play the Euro-trash, anyway). They clearly are taking their work here seriously, which is a shame.

With the right direction and a more structured screenplay (both are the fault of John Herzfeld), "15 Minutes" could have been a marvelously thought-provoking satire. Instead, it's just vile.

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originally posted: 03/10/01 11:11:44
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell brutal & entertaing 4 stars
7/28/09 Dane Youssef While the themes aren't as radical as they once were, this is still one worth seeing. 4 stars
4/06/07 brent gerald mejia sr. A good one-time-watch movie. 4 stars
3/06/07 Sambadi Atrociously stupid. An unbelievable piece of trash for conservative retards. 1 stars
1/28/07 action movie fan compelling and exciting--gusty guy film 2001,s best film 5 stars
8/30/05 ES This and city by the sea, not De Niro's best roles for sure 3 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig For people who love sensless violence and weak storylines 3 stars
3/08/04 john bale Some slick action and two suitably nasty villains what more do you need ? 3 stars
3/08/04 Monster W. Kung "Energetic", "interesting". Yeah, right. Sommersby, you suck. 1 stars
6/13/03 Jim Looks like the usual buddy/chase movie, then goes in a different direction 5 stars
6/12/03 your worse goddamn nightmare this movie kicked ass! i loved those two european actors! 4 stars
5/29/03 Ben Critics and reviewers take things too seriously, you guys gotta relax. 4 stars
5/28/03 JoeSco eventful and Burns is good - Look out for Noelle Evans - Shue lookalike and how ! 3 stars
4/17/03 The Mule One of the worst movies I've seen in a long long time (and I've seen some real stinkers) 1 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Implausible but energetic, interesting stuff. DeNiro's best work since "Heat". 3 stars
3/12/03 Artist Freak Exactly, Chiendog. This movie stole twohours of my life and I want it back! 1 stars
1/23/03 Chiendog Hypocritical-Revels in the same senseless media violence it purports to condemn. 1 stars
1/17/03 Chiendog Uses violence as entertainment to condemn violence as entertainment. Give me a break! 1 stars
6/23/02 Dark Barøn Unfortunatly it represents very well today's tabloid media. 3 stars
6/18/02 7of9 Media will assimilate anything if it's bloody... 3 stars
6/05/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi kick butt!! 5 stars
5/16/02 Kent Between 2 & 3 stars - kept my attention, but nothing special. oh-hum. 3 stars
3/06/02 Monster W. Kung Awful! Must be DeNiro's worst to date. 1 stars
11/12/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) REALLY clever. Fuck all you people. 4 stars
9/04/01 seldom scene burns's character is unbelievable, good for a tv movie 3 stars
8/28/01 davd yeah, Vera was the highlite, the clear blue against all that blood 3 stars
8/23/01 TWODOGS Di Niro is back! 4 stars
8/21/01 Monday Morning Heavy handed but the media satire was way too unsubtle. 4 stars
7/06/01 SeStA it had flaws,but they made the film more interesting, you looked at it from diff angels 5 stars
6/12/01 Mina Oak This film makes to think about something beyond the camera, and the reason. 4 stars
6/06/01 Pierce Lanson Are Americans afreid to accept that this film might just tell it like it is? 5 stars
5/23/01 Archibld This is a great film if you don't like the media. 4 stars
5/21/01 dylan ugly, mean-spirited and totally vacuous as satire 1 stars
5/14/01 Vanessa Clunky, obvious, dated concept and a complete mess. 1 stars
4/08/01 Andrew Deikun Below Average, unoriginal 2 stars
4/03/01 Dave Great entertainment and something to dig the yanks about 5 stars
4/03/01 kohawk not too shabby. 4 stars
3/16/01 ike23 Our society is going to create more people with thismentality;it'ssomeone elsesfault I kill 4 stars
3/14/01 Ashley Morrison I liked this movie b/c of it's faults. It wasn't hard hitting, but it was fun. 4 stars
3/12/01 Megaflix This is one pathetic film, make sure you don't see this 1 stars
3/12/01 poetchuck Good entertainment some interesting surprises 4 stars
3/10/01 jon j Funny and clever with great performances by all 5 stars
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  09-Mar-2001 (R)


  24-May-2001 (M)

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