Deliciously twisted black comedy from first time writer / director Greg Marcks that, in the style of Guillermo Arriaga’s “Amores Perros”, explores a fatal car crash from multiple perspectives.

Set during the half hour preceding the accident - which happens at 11.14 one night in the small suburban town of “Middleton” - Marcks tells the stories of five seemingly unconnected characters before bringing them together in a satisfying finale.

The five interweaving plot strands are made up of a drink-driver (Thomas), local convenience clerk (Swank), over-protective father (Swayze), a teenagers joyrider (Hanks), and the big-breasted town tart (Cook).

Remarkably, this excellent Indie offering has failed to find big studio backing in the US and has sat on the shelves since its completion in 2003.

Fortunately for British audiences, however, it is now being given a long overdue UK release, although with “Superman Returns” released on the same day (and “Pirates of the Caribbean” still cutting a dash through the rest of the competition) it still seems unlikely that anyone on this side of the Atlantic will get to see it either.

And this is a shame because – whisper it quietly in case any fan boys are listening – this is easily the most accomplished and consistently enjoyable of the three offerings.

Mixing an ensemble cast (Patrick Swayze continues his late career renaissance with another sprightly comic turn) with clever, well-paced plotting and mischievous wit, “11.14” is reminiscent of past successes such as “Go”, “Very Bad Things” and even “Pulp Fiction”.

Verdict

Marcks’ misanthropic vision of humanity means it’s ok to laugh at his self-seeking characters, and it’s nice to see most of them eventually getting their just desserts, even if the moral of one of the stories seems simply to be: “Don’t pee out of the window of a moving car”.

Rating: 15
Staring: Henry Thomas, Patrick Swayze, Rachel Leigh Cook, Barbara Hershey, Hilary Swank, Shawn Hatosy, Colin Hanks
Directed by: Greg Marcks
Extras: None

Sections TV