Movie Review: ’11:55′

Watching the news and the media during the last decade or so, it would be easy to conclude that violence is everywhere and unavoidable. But that just isn’t the case. Violence is easily avoidable even in the face of confrontation. 11:55 is a dramatic story about a man coming home from Afghanistan who has to decide whether he should stay, potentially igniting a gang war because of unfinished business from his past, or flee and possibly never stop running.

Nelson Sanchez (Victor Almanzar in his first feature length film role) is a U.S. Marine returning home from war in Afghanistan. Nelson’s family and friends celebrate his return until they all learn that word has gotten back to the brother of a drug dealer who died because of Nelson; who has vowed revenge. So Nelson spends the rest of the movie trying to decide what to do, with the advice from his friends, family, strangers, and his own gut. Should he run? Should he fight? Will he be fighting alone? Watch the movie for the answers.

Almanzar is pretty good, believable in his role. There’s plenty of dialogue to help the audience get into his character’s mind. If you like movies with far more talking than action, this is for you; makes for very dramatic scenes, though some come off unrealistic or underwhelming. Almanzar has some very talented supporting cast by his side, including Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange is the New Black), John Leguizamo (Ice Age, The Pest, Super Mario Bros), David Zayas (Gotham) and Julia Stiles (Bourne films, 10 Things I Hate About You); though saying Stiles is “by his side” might be misleading as she has one scene in the movie and it is not with him.

Overall, I thought it was a decent film with a necessary morale about trying to end cycles of violence. It is very easy to hate; especially when you have a decent reason. The movie shows it is stronger to love and forgive.

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