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They say the darkest hour is just before dawn, and at the Sunrise Diner it's very late indeed. Four couples find themselves at an out-of-the-way 24-hour diner, but they are not all that they seem. Intertwined throughout the night are a middle age couple who are at a crisis in their lives, a cook who thinks he is finally finding his way forward, a waitress in a bad relationship and a young punk and his girlfriend who think this is the last stop before the new world of imagined ease. But the strangest of all are the dark stranger and young girl who don't seem to be part of this world.
Eight people have gathered at the Sunrise Diner, on most nights this wouldn't be anything other than normal but tonight is not your normal night. You have a couple who have lost each other, a thief and his girlfriend, a waitress who is involved in an abusive relationship and the cook who is looking for something more out of life. Then there's Daniel who is with Hannah, a young lady that could pass as his daughter but she has a secret that will effect everyone.
"23 Minutes to Sunrise" is an ensemble piece that is heavy on the drama until the twist happens later in the film. But even with all the drama and lots of dialogue the story still remains interesting and engaging. As far as the acting goes it wouldn't be fair to pick out anyone in particular and say they really stood out because everyone did a terrific job in the film including Eric Roberts, Nia Peeples, Bob Zany, Dingani Beza, Jilanne Klaus, Tom Sandoval, Kristen Doute and Haley Busch. I mention all eight actors because each and everyone did a fantastic job playing their characters.
The story never really leaves the diner but the film's dark look gives the story an extra bit of atmosphere which really works well with what is going on. Writer/Director, Jay Kanzler does a great job at keeping the story moving along at a nice pace with with all the drama and dialogue that is going on. The story gives some hints early on regarding the secret that Hannah is holding but it never gives it completely away till the very end which keeps you on the edge and wanting more the entire time. I have to admit I wasn't sure about the film early on but it certainly got a lot better as it went a long and I really enjoyed the ending, it might not of closed the book entirely but it left me thinking about it long after it was over.
"23 Minutes to Sunrise" is an original thriller/fantasy that gets in your head and under your skin. I really enjoyed the film and recommend to anyone that likes the genre. This is a gem that is going to get strong word of mouth so be sure to check it out.
Available on DVD, the film comes with Special Features that include:
16:9 Widescreen Format
5.1 Dolby Digital Sound
Behind the Scenes
You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by MTI Home Video
**** Out Of *****