Sunday, September 25, 2022


August 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

You’ve got to figure that the filmmakers behind 30 Minutes or Less were just asking for it when they came up with that title. Critics have pounced on it with glee (that’s another movie they’ve pounced on; see Glee: The 3D Concert). For example, Ann Horniday in the Washington Post: “Would that 30 Minutes or Less lived up to its title. Even under 90, it feels interminable.” Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer adds, “The movie claims to be only 83 minutes long, but it’s the longest 83 minutes to come along in quite awhile.” Manohla Dargis in the New York Times calls it a case of another “rude and crude comedy” with “shtick that helps make the title of 30 Minutes or Less sound like a cruel promise.” The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and was filmed after The Social Network was shot but before it was released. It should have been the other way around, some critics suggest. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times says that the movie represents “an unfortunate career move” for Eisenberg, who received an Oscar nomination for the first film. “He was so good in [The Social Network] that it is impossible to believe him as a character as dumb” as the one he plays in this movie, Ebert remarks. “For comparison, try to imagine George Clooney, Ben Kingsley and John Malkovich playing the Three Stooges.” Lou Lumenick in the New York Post remarks that Eisenberg’s role represents “downward mobility.” But Lumenick is one of a handful of critics who have given the movie a decent review. Sort of. The film, he writes, “may be tasteless, moronic and lacking in any redeeming social value whatsoever. But for me, at least, it was gut-bustingly funny — perhaps this waning summer season’s ultimate guilty pleasure.” Then there’s this left-handed compliment from Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News: “30 Minutes or Less is probably best watched as it was made: without much evident effort. In other words, wait until it hits DVD, order a pizza and Netflix it. But if you’re bored or curious or merely looking to get out of the house, it’s just enough fun to make a $12 ticket worth your while.”