In North Hollywood on a calm summer day in 1997, fifty police officers were defenseless against two lone gunmen armed with AK 47 assault rifles and full military body armor. Only their extreme courage, valor and training p... more »ut and end to the massacre inspiring a new motto for the L.A.P.D. - "The Day Willpower Beat Firepower." Based on the true story of the North Hollywood shootout.« less
"I was one of the Detectives involved in this incident...I was there for the entire "44 Minutes" firing both a handgun and then a shotgun when I ran out of 9mm ammo. I found the movie to be off on acuracy but as entertainment it was great. I must admit the sounds of the automatic weapons fire did bring back memories and get my heart racing a bit. As to some of the comments by other reviewers about suspect #2 being allowed to "bleed out", that was not true. He died of numerous gunshot wounds shortly after being taken into custody. The LAFD rescue team, who were already busy treating a detective with an AK-47 neck wound and the elderly man who was shot when suspect 2 was stealing his Jeep truck, didn't fill out a R/A slip with the time of death. A second R/A unit arrived about 20 minutes later and completed a slip using that time as the time of death, which made it appear he laid there over 20 minutes, dying...Additionally, the jury did not come back with a verdit for the family. The family did not recive an "out of court" settlement either. Suspect #1 did commit suicide at the same moment an officer's round struck him. FYI-Some little known facts-The majority of "officer shooters" were detectives, all were males, and "old timers" on the job. All of the 18 of us out there that day received the Medal of Valor and 10 of us from that group received America's "TOP COP" award in Washington DC in October 1998...It one day of many, February 27, 1997, that made me proud to be and LAPD Detective."
(3.5 STARs) Intense Gunfights with Slightly Conventional Por
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 02/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Watching '44 Minutes' is a strange experience to me. It begins with semi-documentary touch with the grainy images and the actors talking to the camera, but once the bank robbery happens, suddenly the made-for-TV film begins to look like the violent shoot-outs in `Heat.' Lots of bullets fly in the air, making huge holes in the bodies of the cars, and many people are gunned down in the street, police officers and civilians alike. Suppose someone tells you this is made for television, and it would take some time before you believe what is told.
Perhaps before the day February 28, 1997, story of '44 Minutes' would be almost unbelievable. Two robbers armed with AK-47s and covered with body armor go into the bank, and open fire on the outmatched police surrounding the building. The only way for the police officers to fight back is to shoot the head of the criminal, but shooting the moving target is extremely difficult. And as you see, standard 9 mm handgun is not the best choice to do that.
Though Michael Madsen, Ron Livingston and Mario van Peebles all give solid acting, it is the skillful editing and intense gunfights that are the most impressive in the film. The tension of the life-threatening situation is heightened by the good sound effect that conveys the firepower of AK-47s though the use of shaky camera would divide the opinions. Though some (including me) would say the shaky camera brings realism to the film, others would say it is only annoying.
Unfortunately, the characters do not have much time to tell us about themselves. It is understandable that we see no so-called character development as the film is based on the recent events and the real-life people, but the portraits of the LAPD officers here often look like those of the police dramas on TV. The script of Tim Metcalfe gets sometimes flat when it tells of the background story of each character, or Michael Madsen's character who does one thing to keep the loud party-giving neighbors very quiet. It is funny, and I like that scene, but well, is it true? I don't think so.
I don't know anything about the accuracy of the film, but as far as the heroism of the police officers are concerned, the film is a success with one of the intense and realistic shoot-outs I have ever seen recently. But with a less conventional and more detailed approach to the characterization of the brave officers, '44 Minutes' could be much better."
dtrain2 | Privilaged Information | 08/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Usually when you hear the phrase "Made for T.V. movie" you'd groan. No need to for this picture. This is an amazingly exciting and informative movie on the two men who tried to rob a Bank of America branch located in North Hollywood during 1997. This film shows how the would-be bank robbers took control of the bank with ak47s and how the police brought these thieves down. It even contains real footage of one of the men cimmiting suicide and the other being shot down (this later caused a court case where the man's family sued the LAPD for supposedly letting him die in the street from his wounds)."
Could be a five
Liquid Drops | Pacifica, CA US of A | 09/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love this movie they did such a good job with the weapons and special effects it looks real. The only thing i didnt like about this movie and why it didnt get 5 stars is because i would have liked to see the real footage in the special features section but not every movie is perfect. This is a great movie and is worth the money!"
Rafael G. Santiago | 03/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a Deputy Sheriff and in our SWAT Team, I appreciate this film a lot. The way the actors portray Police Officers is authentic enough to make this a fantastic film. This was a made for TV film, but if you have the means to purchase this film, you should. It certainly is not a Lifetime Movie of the week!"