23 Minutes to Sunrise Review

Andrew Murphy

23-minutes23 Minutes to Sunrise is a movie that tries many different things for its indie feel, but do any of them work, or is this a failed experiment?

23 Minutes to Sunrise is set mainly around a diner and the two workers that work the late shift there. The movie has two sets of main characters really, it follows the two workers Eddie and Sheila. Eddie is back was a solider in Afghanistan and is now back in college studying and has his job at the diner at nights. Sheila is 30 year old woman who is in an abusive relationship with a husband who doesn’t seem to care at all, and her only escape is to her job at night. The other two main characters are Daniel and Hannah, but we know literally nothing about these two the majority of the movie.

Throughout the night at the diner where Eddie and Sheila work, two other couples enter the diner. Both couples are very weak cliche characters, that don’t tread any new ground in film. You have your full of himself 20 something year old guy who is having a hard time in life, and that’s Donald. With him is his girlfriend Grace, which barely even talks in the movie and adds nothing but gentle words to calm down Donald in his heated overacted segments. The other couple that are in the diner are Rachel and Ted, a couple that are having marriage trouble and trying to work through it. Neither Rachel nor Ted are developed in the movie at all, both are the same people that they are at the start of the movie, that they are at the end. Apart from the characters I have mentioned, this is basically your entire cast for the length of the movie except for one or two appearances from characters that don’t even have names and add nothing to the film.

One of 23 Minutes to Sunrise’s main problems is that it never knows where it wants to go. It takes almost the entirety of the film for something to happen, and I don’t mind when a movie takes time to build up, but when it does, I hope for a good payoff but unfortunately the film doesn’t have one. In fact when I got done watching the film, I asked myself ‘what was the point of that film even?’ and I actually couldn’t find an answer. The film has a story that is impossible to explain because it is barely even there, nothing is explained in the movie, you have characters that barely show emotion and on top of that, you have an ending that shouts ‘we didn’t know how to end this.’ There is just no reason ever given to anything done in the movie.

My problem with the ending is, there is supposedly a ‘threat’ but the threat is never explained, it is never explained to why it is an actually threat to someone. Instead, they cut the movie short and just leave it up to your own imagination to think up something.

One good aspect of the movie is that it has a good narrative early on, it has Eddie one of the lead characters, talking over scenes, as if he is writing down what is happening, or explaining what happened to someone, like telling a story. But this is ditched halfway through and it never comes to light again. The movie also tries to bring in a relationship, ‘love triangle’ sort of thing too but just like the rest of the movie, it gives you a tiny piece and then just cuts it short.

All in all, 23 Minutes to Sunrise presents different things that could of made it so much better, with these different branching story lines and then different characters pasts, and even delving into other characters deeper to show why they are like they are now. But the movie is just lazy and cuts everything short. This movie isn’t worth seeing unless you have literally nothing else to watch.1.5/5

1.5 / 5 stars     


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      1. adam April 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

        I watched it and totally loved it. Don’t know what you are talking about. Loved the mystery, and balance

        • Andrew Murphy April 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm

          Glad that you liked it Adam! :) I just couldn’t get into it at all, and I done no research on what previous people gave it either. I went in with a blank slate and nothing really connected for me.

      2. Karen April 2, 2013 at 1:27 am

        I wished they would’ve explained who that mysterious guy was he supposed to be the devil and I didn’t like how they didn’t show what happened with the others and they should’ve showed Eddie with Sheila at the end

      3. Gayle Gallagher April 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Hi Andrew,
        Thank you for reviewing this film, and thank you for your honest opinion.
        Gayle Gallgher
        Producer, “23 Minutes to Sunrise”

      4. Russell (@razzell2) April 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        We were kind of left hanging at the end of the movie, not being able to see what happened with Donald and Grace. I guess they just disappeared, or walked away or something.
        Many aspects of the movie that were never explored, not followed thru with, or just ignored.
        I always enjoy watching Eric Roberts, and he played his role well, but he could not carry this mismatch of plot lines on his own.
        I would give the movie a 2 on a scale of 1-5.

      5. Bob Holmed April 20, 2013 at 2:18 am

        Horrible! Stupid! A Waste of time and a movie that makes no sense at all. Eric Roberts obviously is a washed up star from the 80’s and early 90’s. There was no point from beginning to end and there was no end.

      6. guy April 23, 2013 at 1:44 am

        Totally sucked!! Thought it was gonna end up making sense but nope!! Terrible waste of time.

      7. contessa April 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        ok so I though the blonde chic was a prostitute trying to get out the life until the end does anybody no what she was n what her purpose was to the guy I’m completely lost n why is it a horror movie nothin horrifying bout it

      8. Shirley April 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        This movie was like eating a piece of chicken with no seasoning..,,,,, what’s the point? Very Unsatisfying and plot took too long to conclude unfinished !

      9. alicia May 6, 2013 at 4:44 am

        About to watch it! So I steady hope it’s some what good to me! Lol I’ll let you know

      10. Pinky May 22, 2013 at 1:50 am

        i watched it and i’m lost didn’t really care for this film.

      11. Steev May 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        He was Death. She was an Assistant Death. It’s like obvious.

      12. Jason June 12, 2013 at 5:29 am

        I just finished watching this movie and loved it. There are hints throughout the film as to the mysterious man’s identity (watch his response when she tells him to “Go to hell”) – Eric Roberts was perfect in that role. And, not to be over the top, but it hits on themes ranging from the seven deadly sins to love and sacrifice. WAY exceeded my expectations.

      13. Morgan July 7, 2013 at 4:59 am

        Why did Eddie go back to Sheila’s house in the end???

      14. Chris December 25, 2015 at 2:11 am

        I thought it was okay. I found it very confusing though. Most of my thoughts are already expressed by others. I am assuming the young girl was no longer immortal at the end but what I do not understand is despite Eddie saying “yes” to immortality to save Sheila’s life, Death/Devil/Angel whatever he was, stated that he did not want Eddie. So how is it that Eddie seems to have been immortal at the end. Was it a matter of ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ and Death/Devil/Angel settled? What was the point of Devil/Death and Assistant Devil/Death. What happened to the two robbers at the end? Why did the cop see an empty diner when he looked in? I’m so confused.