Film Spotlight: 7 Minutes

Written and directed by music video director Jay Martin, a guy who's worked with acts such as Nas and Christina Perri, 7 Minutes, which opens on Friday at the Capitol Theatre and becomes available for download on iTunes and On Demand on Friday as well, is loosely based on a true family story. The plot centers on three desperate men (Jason Ritter, Luke Mitchell and Zane Holtz) who commit a robbery.

Wearing white plastic masks, the trio busts into a bank one morning. As they're in the middle of the robbery, one of the office workers instantly recognizes Sam (Mitchell) as a former local high school football star. The movie then flashes back to tell us exactly how the guys got to this point.

Sam, who's just been laid off from the machine shop where he works, has been peddling drugs with his brother Mike (Jason Ritter), so robbing a bank isn't outside the realm of possibility. And Sam's friend Owen (Holtz) has already done hard time after a mall cop busted his ass for shoplifting. So Sam brings him into the mix when they meet up with Doug (Chris Soldevilla), a hard-nosed drug dealer who turns them on the designer drug Molly. The only thing is, Doug gives them thousands of dollars worth of drugs.

When the guys lose the drugs thanks to Owen's paranoia about getting busted, they have to ask Doug for a bit more time so they can come up with the cash they owe him. Of course, the only way to get that much cash is to pull off a major heist, something they're ill-equipped to do. While they intend to get in and out of the bank in seven minutes, things go terribly wrong (as they often do during bank robberies).

Newcomer Mitchell whose role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was just made a series regular, shines in this taut, efficient thriller that clocks in at a mere 84 minutes and doesn't waste a single one of them. As much about the decline of the American Dream as it is about a robbery, the film is incredibly well-crafted. It's lensed so well that even the shots of Sam working in a machine shop have an artistic quality to them.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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