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DVD Review: 96 Minutes

Title: 96 Minutes

Directed by: Aimee Lagos

Starring: Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Christian Serratos, Jonathan Michael Trautmann, Sharon Morris and David Oyelowo

Running time: 95 minutes, Rated R

Four young adults from different sides of the social spectrum are brought together by a violent carjacking.  It’s a story with a message;  the choices we make and the crucial moments of hesitation that can change everyone’s lives for the better or worse.

Brittany Snow (Hairspray) is Carley, the blonde white girl with her whole future ahead of her. Christian Serratos (The Twilight Saga) is Lena, the Latina friend of Carley’s who is looking forward to graduation and is riddled with insecurity over her cheating boyfriend. Jonathan Michael Trautman (Shameless) is Kevin, the white guy with a horrible home life who wants to get initiated into a black gang and Evan Ross (90210) is Dre, whose life is now finally falling into place.

There’s a lot of cliche themes, yet there are scenarios that can cause a reaction because they’re relatable;  such as the character Duane (David Oyelowo) getting harassed by the cops when he was simply being a good Samaritan, or when Dre gets attacked by two cops just for walking home alone.  The Kevin character wanting to get into a gang got the biggest negative reaction from me because his character was just such a loser jerkoff, and I felt gypped because we don’t get to see his comeuppance.

I felt the acting was quite good, the dialogue writing was very true.  The shaky cam was not quite Blair Witch, but almost as unbearable.

The special features include Director Aimee Lagos commentary with actor David Oyelowo (whose British accent is quite enjoyable and his take on the characters were insightful)  and a theatrical trailer.

96 Minutes is sometimes overwhelming with the amount of storylines and arcs. I would feel this film would be okay to show to middle-school age kids in order to show a realistic example of the “choices that can affect your whole life” with fast paced storytelling and with dialogue they can relate to.

Total rating: C+

Reviewed by: JM Willis

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