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Review: '96 minutes' not enough minutes in the movie

October 25, 2012|By Mark Olsen
  • Evan Ross and J. Michael Trautmann in a scene from the movie "96 Minutes."
Evan Ross and J. Michael Trautmann in a scene from the movie "96 Minutes." (ARC Entertainment )

A carjacking goes very wrong in "96 Minutes" and the lives of four young people are all set wildly off-course. The feature debut of writer-director Aimee Lagos, the film feels overstuffed and overcooked, as if the filmmaker were trying to get too much out all in one go.

Two female college students (Brittany Snow, Christian Serratos) are overtaken by two teenage boys from the rougher side of town. One (Evan Ross) has been struggling to be better than his surroundings, while the other (J. Michael Trautmann) has been getting sucked deeper into a wannabe gangster lifestyle.

Information about all four is conveyed via a jagged timeline, flashing back and forth between earlier in the day and events unfolding that night in the stolen SUV, but the storytelling technique feels ostentatious, an unnecessary flourish.

In its desire to be about race and class and cars, unlikely intersections and chance encounters, the film feels like a collegiate production of "Crash," thinking it's saying big things as it traffics in the obvious.

"96 Minutes." MPAA rating: R for violent content and pervasive language. Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes. At the AMC Burbank Town Center 8, Burbank.

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