15 Minutes

March 9th, 2001


15 Minutes

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Still of Oleg Taktarov in 15 MinutesStill of Edward Burns in 15 MinutesSalman Rushdie at event of 15 MinutesStill of Robert De Niro and Kelsey Grammer in 15 MinutesStill of Robert De Niro and Edward Burns in 15 MinutesKelsey Grammer stars as Robert Hawkins

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

Director: John Herzfeld

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
Edward Burns - Fire Marshal Jordy Warsaw
Kelsey Grammer - Robert Hawkins
Avery Brooks - Detective Leon Jackson
Melina Kanakaredes - Nicolette Karas
Karel Roden - Emil Slovak
Oleg Taktarov - Oleg Razgul
Vera Farmiga - Daphne Handlova
John DiResta - Bobby Korfin
James Handy - Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Declan Duffy
Darius McCrary - Detective Tommy Cullen
Bruce Cutler - Himself
Charlize Theron - Rose Hearn
Kim Cattrall - Cassandra
David Alan Grier - Mugger in Central Park

Taglines: "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

Budget: $42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $10,523,154 (USA) (11 March 2001) (2337 Screens)

Gross: $24,375,436 (USA) (22 April 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

To prepare him for filming, director John Herzfeld told Oleg Taktarov to watch On the Waterfront, Spartacus, East of Eden, The Third Man and Moby Dick.

Factual errors: 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.

Emil Slovak: [Slovak is washing his wound in the sink while Razgul films, then he cuts the lights] What are you doing?
Oleg Razgul: I'm cutting the lights to make it more dramatic, just like the movie "Silence of the Sheeps".
Emil Slovak: Shut up!

User Review

Makes you think

Rating: 7/10

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.


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