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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 Eugene Novikov

""This is America! No one is responsible for what they do."
1 stars

I thought that "Natural Born Killers" stank the first time I saw it, so I didn't much appreciate being subjected to it again, or, as it happens, a watered-down, mainstream version of it. John Herzfeld, the man who ripped off Tarantino with his "2 Days in the Valley" now rips off Oliver Stone with "15 Minutes," one of the worst movies of the year. It's not quite satire, it's not quite thriller, but it's quite crappy.

Oleg and Emil, passing through U.S. customs, are quickly pegged as the bad guys; just how quickly is a measure of the film's simplicity. Emil (Karel Roden) is an angry, violent Slovak with far-reaching ambitions and numerous misconceptions about the country he is entering. Oleg is far more good-natured, going along with Emil's plots while filming everything with his digital camera and dreaming of making movies like It's a Wonderful Life. When they meet up with Emil's former partner and his wife, Emil goes off the deep end and starts stabbing people left and right, concealing the burning down the house. Meanwhile, Oleg gleefully captures on tape everything that transpires. This is only the beginning of heir crime spree, which they plan to conclude by pleading insanity.

Popular detective Eddie Fleming (Robert De Niro) is assigned to the case, as is arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns). When Fleming concludes that the crime was a homicide, Jordy's job is technically over, but as often happens in these kinds of movies, he wants to -- and is permitted to -- tag along for the investigation. Meanwhile, sleazy tabloid reporter Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammer) discovers that these crimes are being taped. When Eddie Fleming is murdered and the tape is sold to Hawkins' show, he makes the editorial decision to air it; Fleming's murder also inexplicably leaves Warsaw the only man who knows what he's doing on this case.

Satire is presumably an exaggeration of the real world. Since nothing that happens in 15 Minutes in any way corresponds to the real world, there is little here that can be considered satire. That also shoots the film's lampooning of reality TV in the foot; there's no reality in sight. Give me The Truman Show over this film's pseudo-"edge" any day of the week.

Robert De Niro apparently thought that there was something worthwhile in this jumble of a script that was worthwhile (and maybe, at some far-gone development stage, there was), and he infuses his role with far more than it deserves. Edward Burns, in what's ostensibly the lead role, is just awful, though, looking like he just wondered in from playing one of those cheesy supporting roles on Matlock. Other than De Niro, only Oleg Taktarov, as the goofy Russian, hits the right notes. The undeservingly praised Karel Roden is just irritating.

John Herzfeld never decides where the hell he's going with this fiasco and drives it right into the ground. There are some serviceable chase scenes in the opening minutes, but as the movie descends further and further into the realm of the ludicrous, the strings holding it together begin to tear. The parallels to Natural Born Killers become more obvious and when De Niro is dispensed with, there is simply no reason to remain in your seat.

(Review reprinted from

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originally posted: 03/04/07 22:30:44
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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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