Review: 15 MINUTES OF WAR Is Intense For More Than A Quarter Of An Hour


Throughly entertaining despite its flaws (poor character development chief among them), 15 Minutes of War is an effectively intense thriller.
Technical Merit

15 Minutes of War, directed and written by Fred Grivois, is a new French war film that shines the spotlight on an incident that isn’t well-known to us stateside. What results is a mostly entertaining but entirely conventional thriller that will entertain you and hold your attention for a little over ninety minutes.

The movie focuses on an operation in Djibouti in 1976 to rescue a bus full of schoolchildren who are being held hostage by terrorists at the Somalian border. Since this is a story with which most audience members will not be aware, the film doesn’t suffer from the predictability that drags down most other true-story thrillers. Instead, you are able to be on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the runtime.

Much of the movie is spent building to the eponymous fifteen minutes of war, so you know when things are going to get crazy, but you don’t know exactly how or what will happen. The film plays with these expectations in a satisfying and enjoyable way, creating a thriller that is adequately tense but not overly rushed.

The main area in which this movie falls flat is the character development. The only character in the film that is relatively well-developed is Jane Andersen (Olga Kurylenko), the teacher of the students who tries to rescue them. None of the other characters have much of a personality with which you can connect. Not even the soldiers of the rescue team have enough development to make them compelling.

Review: 15 MINUTES OF WAR Is Intense For More Than A Quarter Of An Hour 1

Kurylenko does a very good job of infusing her role with humanity. The moments in which she is onscreen are certainly the best in the movie. Alban Lenoir is also good in his role as the leader of the rescue team, even if the character isn’t written in a particularly complex way. He has a lot of natural charisma, and he is the main reason that the military portion of the film still works.

On an emotional level, the movie is mostly resonant, although it does go for a few cheap blows. This film is certainly better at being a heart-pounding thriller than an emotion-packed drama. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t go the jingoistic route, and as such, it has wider international appeal. Instead, the film attempts to go for more basic sympathy, and it works more often than not.

In technical terms, the movie is pretty solid. Although this is a by-the-book action-thriller in terms of both writing and execution, it is done well, and as such, it is effective. The cinematography, editing, and score are all done in a way as to maximize suspense. There isn’t a whole lot of flash, but it accomplishes its goal. The sound design is phenomenal, though. The emphasis on diegetic sounds, especially during the quieter scenes, really helps draw you into the film.

15 Minutes of War may be a somewhat standard movie, but for people who enjoy action-thrillers, this is sure to be pleasing. There is more to recommend about this film than to not recommend, so definitely check it out if you get the chance.

15 Minutes of War hits theaters and VOD on August 2.


Hyperdrive | Will This Racer Win It All? | Netflix

Do Fielding Shredder and his 1997 Nissan 240SX have what it takes to conquer the Hyperdrive track? Watch as this 33-year-old from Texas takes to the course with his light weight 500 horsepower drifting car and encounters the obstacles for the first time in this clip from Netflix's exciting new competition series, Hyperdrive. Watch Hyperdrive,…

Mr Inbetween | Season 2: Deal Preview | FX

Father. Fighter. Lover. Killer. Mr Inbetween returns for an all-new season 9/12 on FX. Subscribe now for more Mr Inbetween clips: Mr. Inbetween is an FX original comedy series created by and starring Scott Ryan as Ray Shoesmith – a father, ex-husband, boyfriend and best friend. Tough roles to juggle in the modern age.…

Sneak Peek | Fear the Walking Dead | Ep. 511

A new survivor reaches out to Victor and Alicia, but they're unsure whether to trust him. Don’t miss the next episode of Fear the Walking Dead, Sunday, August 25 at 9/8c. #FearTWD #FeartheWalkingDead For more Fear the Walking Dead videos: Subscribe to the AMC YouTube Channel : Fear the Walking Dead: Sign…

Legacies | How Well Do You Know Legacies | The CW

Stream Legacies free on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About LEGACIES: The show centers around Hope Mikaelson, the vampire-witch-werewolf hybrid daughter of Hayley Marshall-Kenner and Klaus Mikaelson, and her time at a school for the supernatural called The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Connect with LEGACIES online: Like LEGACIES on Facebook:…

Netflix Gems No One Is Talking About

Netflix offers so many options that choosing the perfect thing to watch can be too much to deal with. Here's a look at some of the best stuff to add to your queue for the next time you don't know what to watch on Netflix. What if John Wick was more violent, more nihilistic, and…

Supernatural’s Final #CWSDCC | The CW

Stream Supernatural FREE on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About SUPERNATURAL: The thrilling and terrifying journey of the Winchester brothers continues as SUPERNATURAL enters its thirteenth season. Sam and Dean have spent their lives on the road, battling supernatural threats that include everything from the demon that killed their mother to the usual vampires,…

Pose | Season 2 Ep. 10: Elektra Wins Mother of the Year Highlight | FX

The Mother we all want but can't afford. Cash in on #PoseFX. Season 2 is available on FXNOW. Subscribe now for more Pose clips: Season 2 of Pose flashes forward in time to 1990. On the heels of the ballroom community establishing itself in pop culture and going mainstream, the House of Evangelista is…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here