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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jesse Eisenberg
Matthew Sullivan
Danny McBride
Nick Swardson
Aziz Ansari.
Directors
Ruben Fleischer.
Screenwriters
Michael Diliberti.
Running Time
83 minutes

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30 Minutes Or Less
Eisenberg gets a pizza the action


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Plot
Small-town pizza boy Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) finds his mundane life spiced up when he runs into two wannabe criminal masterminds (Danny McBride, Nick Swardson). When the pair rope him into their plan to rob a bank, he calls on ex-pal Chet (Aziz Ansari) to help him pull of the impossible.


Review
30 Minutes Or Less
It takes considerably fewer than 30 minutes for Ruben Fleischer to prove Zombieland was no one-off, in this, his latest mix of genres and taste levels. Like Zombieland it manages to be at once easily funny and provocatively un-PC. Like it, too, it surfs a precarious wave of knockabout humour and harsh violence. Like it, three, it stars Jesse Eisenberg — this time thrown into his now-practised histrionics by a bomb strapped to the chest instead of an invading horde of the undead.

Certainly, it feels very similar to Fleischer’s breakout hit in terms of its visual style and sheer unrelenting momentum, but in a summer where the likes of The Hangover Part II and the third Transformers film have repeated previous plots wholesale, he can be forgiven for using familiar licks to spin what remains a new story. On the strength of this he was given the green light for The Gangster Squad, his modern Untouchables, with a cast including Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling and a scope so epic one can only hope it’ll force him to breathe from time to time. Here, though, his foot is flat on the pedal, motoring through a plot packed with twists, surprises and double-crosses in a running time that wouldn’t even get you to the halfway mark of your average Potter.

As with Zombieland, Fleischer’s M.O. as director — very tight, strictly scripted, allowing little room for improvisation — produces at once a startlingly freewheeling feel and a cast on best behaviour. Danny McBride’s usual shoot-enough-bullets approach is thus replaced with something approaching a character. Eisenberg, in a pickle that’s ludicrous even by Fleischer standards, manages to ground his escalating predicament to the point of suspended belief, and their partners in crime, Nick Swardson and Aziz Ansari, provide comedy counterpoints with enough interesting character quirks and plot moments to elevate them above the standard sidekick schtick. All even play along with a recurring food motif that echoes Brad Pitt’s in the Ocean’s series — pointless, yet completely charming.

Clearly a talent, at points there is a sense that Fleischer (and Eisenberg, while we’re at it) is coasting in comfortable territory, and it seems right that he is moving on to considerably bigger things next. But, for now, enjoy them both while they’re here.


Verdict
Outrageous and endearing, the Zombieland team swaps horror for crime in a daft caper that’s undoubtedly slight but terrifically entertaining all the same. Very fast and lots of fun.


Reviewed by William Thomas

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for 30 Minutes Or Less
Empire Star Rating

Lame

Four stars? Seriously? This is lazy filmmaking 101 - surprising since Zombieland was so great. There are exactly two jokes in the whole movie, the cast are all phoning it in, the script is all over the place...oh dear. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 11:49, 11 February 2013 | Report This Post


30 Minutes Or Less

30 Minutes or Less is chalkfull of fine actors, but the script doesn't give much. Despite it's interesting premise, poor writing infused with pointless profanity and many raunchy jokes makes this sometimes a challenge to watch, if you'd prefer intelligence with your comedies.  ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by norgizfox at 03:55, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


Brilliant, one of the best comedies of 2011

This is a great film. I was really looking forward to seeing this at the cinema but my local cinema stopped showing this at the last minute, so I was forced to wait awhile to get it on DVD, although Amazon told me the DVD would be realeased before christmas, it turns out the DVD comes out in January 30th 2012, fuck! I have to wait a whole month! and a bit. I recommend this to fans of Zombieland, and to whoever is up for a good laugh. The story is very loosely based on actual events, in which ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lewisb548 at 16:07, 08 December 2011 | Report This Post


30 Minutes or Less: Review

30 Minutes or Less is a very good film. The story is great, great cast and theres alot of funny scenes. Theres one scene in the film with the guy with the bomb and a police officer and I have to say, I LAUGHED SO MUCH! My only complaint about the film is there are some scenes were im just like WTF? I would recommend to go see this film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 01:09, 25 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Not a four star film

Really enjoyed this, thought it was really very funny and didn't overcomplicate the plot despite the ridiculousness of it all. Disappointed to see that it's not getting more attention, have been encouraging all my friends to go see it as I honestly think they're going to enjoy it, no takers so far though which is a pity. ... More

Posted by musht at 12:45, 22 September 2011 | Report This Post


Not a four star film

The previews looked 'okay' but Empire's four star review encouraged me to go...sorry this was a very average film with some nice lines and a good pace, but it was lacking something, not quite funny enough, not quite clever enough and just......not quite. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 21:47, 21 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: 30 Minutes Or Less

I know it´s a cliche now that certain people are the same in every film,but he even delivers the same lines! ... More

Posted by thetruth at 15:16, 20 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: 30 Minutes Or Less

Well, it would seem that I'm alone in that I like Danny McBride. Saw this yesterday in a double-bill with Drive, and while the latter film overshadowed it, I still had a lot of fun with 30 Minutes Or Less. It didn't half seem to drag tho, which is odd considering its only 80 minutes long. ... More

Posted by adambatman82 at 13:05, 20 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Good apart from Danny McBride

Fairly standard fare. Agree about Mc Bride-obnoxious and annoying. Nothing special here,but not terrible either. ... More

Posted by thetruth at 12:43, 20 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Good apart from Danny McBride

L: Michael Dovey I've got to agree with the review - whip smart script, likeable performances and clearly a director destined for bigger budgets and great things. But why did it have to have McBride in it - the film was almost ruined as a result - a man the phrase one trick pony was invented for - would he have a career if he were unable to use the words f*ck or pu*sy? (I am being polite here hence the *) Saying that apart from the vacuum of his personality it rolled along nicel... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Groovy Mule at 23:33, 17 September 2011 | Report This Post


Good apart from Danny McBride

I've got to agree with the review - whip smart script, likeable performances and clearly a director destined for bigger budgets and great things. But why did it have to have McBride in it - the film was almost ruined as a result - a man the phrase one trick pony was invented for - would he have a career if he were unable to use the words f*ck or pu*sy? (I am being polite here hence the *) Saying that apart from the vacuum of his personality it rolled along nicely and was an enjoyable hour ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Michael Dovey at 17:23, 16 September 2011 | Report This Post


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