Although stylish and intriguingly told, the twisty crime drama "7 Minutes" never quite jumps out of the pack. Writer-director Jay Martin has a solid handle on his story and characters and is well supported by his cast. But in the end it's just another tale of bad eggs, bad choices and bad luck.
In glum Everett, Wash., three young men — brothers Sam (Luke Mitchell) and Mike (Jason Ritter) and Sam's childhood friend and recent parolee Owen (Zane Holtz) — land in debt to a murderous drug dealer (Chris Soldevilla). With 48 hours to set things right, the trio hatches a plan to rob an easy-access bank managed by Sam and Mike's shady uncle (Joel Murray). They believe the raid can be over in just seven minutes. But surprises, of course, are in store.
Martin ticks off each minute of the heist with well-constructed flashbacks that detail Sam, Mike and Owen's personal lives as well as recount the secrets and missteps that have led to the robbery's unfolding disaster.
Others who vividly factor in: Sam's pregnant wife (Leven Rambin), a hapless local cop (Brandon Hardesty), a slutty barfly (Mariel Neto) and, most problematically, the ruthless Tuckey Kevin Gage, an "associate" of Owen's career-criminal father (an underused Kris Kristofferson).
Martin keeps the action, which includes bits of bone-crunching violence, moving apace with solid atmospherics and credible tough-guy dialogue and attitude. Mitchell (TV's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") in particular brings fine dimension and pathos to his role as a onetime golden boy on the skids. If only it was all in the service of something more wholly memorable.
"7 Minutes." No MPAA rating.
Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.
Also on VOD.