15 MinutesMarch 9, 2001
A homicide detective and a fire marshall must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 6.1/10 (30,049 voted)
Critic's Score: 34/100
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer
When Eastern European criminals Oleg and Emil come to New York City to pick up their share of a heist score, Oleg steals a video camera and starts filming their activities, both legal and illegal. When they learn how the American media circus can make a remorseless killer look like the victim and make them rich, they target media-savvy NYPD Homicide Detective Eddie Flemming and media-naive FDNY Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw, the cops investigating their murder and torching of their former criminal partner, filming everything to sell to the local tabloid TV show "Top Story."
Robert De Niro
Detective Eddie Flemming
Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw
Detective Leon Jackson
Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Declan Duffy
Detective Tommy Cullen
David Alan Grier
Mugger in Central Park
"In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." – Andy Warhol, 1967
Release Date: 9 March 2001
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $10,523,154
(11 March 2001)
(22 April 2001)
Did You Know?
To prepare him for filming, director John Herzfeld told Oleg Taktarov to watch
On the Waterfront,
East of Eden,
The Third Man and
Detective Leon Jackson wears a Detective badge (referred to as a shield on the NYPD) but wears a white uniform shirt and Captain's bars on this collar and shoulders. There is no rank of "Detective Captain" in the NYPD.
[Slovak is washing his wound in the sink while Razgul films, then he cuts the lights]
What are you doing?
I'm cutting the lights to make it more dramatic, just like the movie "Silence of the Sheeps".
Makes you think
This movie took a severe beating in the press and most reviews, so I
wasn't expecting much when I went to see it. However, I was pleasantly
surprised, and reassured that my distrust of what the newspaper
reviewers think is not misplaced.
This movie has a cast that includes the supremely talented Robert de
Niro, Kelsey Grammar, and Edward Burns. It has some excellent writing
and some top-notch acting performances. But its real accomplishment is
how it makes you think.
The increasing relationship between crime and the media is not linear,
and the movie does tend to oversimplify at times. In many respects, it
suffers horribly from being predictable, although there were instances
where it strayed sharply from the "rules" of formulaic movies. (Saying
any more on that score would give away important aspects of the plot,
so I'll refrain from elaborating.) Furthermore, in true Hollywood
tradition, the main villains are dumb, completely amoral, and oh, did I
mention foreign? The idea might have been to give an outsider
perspective on the abuse of American culture, but that angle ultimately
just plays into outdated audience prejudices against people who speak
with an Eastern European accent.
Too, the movie has very graphic violence – but not as bad as I'd
expected, and not as bad as what is shown in many other movies. Through
creative camera angles, many of the bloodiest scenes are only obscurely
hinted at, leaving the audience to fill in the pieces.
Not surprisingly, many entertainment reviewers disliked the movie,
because it has the effect of exposing some of the more negative effects
of the media. "15 Minutes" does not claim that the media causes
violence; rather, it explains that the interplay between the two is
ingrained in American culture. This movie may not be saying anything
original, but it is sufficiently entertaining and thought-provoking to
make it worth seeing.