While some films are sweeping epics set over years or even generations there are some awesome films that show you just how much your life can change in just one day. These are ten of my favourite films that tell their whole story in twenty-four hours… or less.
La Haine (1995)
Starring: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui
Directed by: Mathieu Kassovitz
What happens?: A riot ensues when a young resident of a French suburban ghetto is killed by police and one of his friends swears revenge after finding a gun.
“Hubert: Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying to reassure himself: So far so good… so far so good… so far so good. How you fall doesn’t matter. It’s how you land!”
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper
Directed by: Jan de Bont
What happens: A New York cop finds himself on a bus that has to travel above a certain speed or be blown up by a madman.
“Harry Temple: All right, pop quiz. Airport, gunman with one hostage. He’s using her for cover; he’s almost to a plane. You’re a hundred feet away… Jack?
Jack: Shoot the hostage.”
Reservoir Dogs (2006)
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
What happens?: A bank heist goes very wrong and the team responsible start to think that one of their crew might be a police informant.
“Mr. Blonde: Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.
[He removes his razor]
Mr. Blonde: You ever listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” weekend? It’s my personal favorite.”
Empire Records (1995)
Starring: Rory Cochrane, Liv Tyler, Renee Zellweger
Directed by: Allan Moyle
What happens?: The staff of an independent record store discover that they’re about to be taken over by a big chain on the same day that one of the employees steals the takings… and all hell breaks loose.
“A.J.: What’s with you? Yesterday you were normal and today you’re like the Chinese guy from the Karate Kid. What’s with you today?
Lucas: What’s with today today?”
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Starring: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee
Directed by: Spike Lee
What happens?: On the hottest day of the year a misunderstanding leads to a full on race riot in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn.
“Mister Senor Love Daddy: Today’s temperature’s gonna rise up over 100 degrees, so there’s a Jheri curl alert! That’s right, Jheri curl alert. If you have a Jheri curl, stay in the house or you’ll end up with a permanent black helmet on your head fuh-eva!”
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Starring: Jason London, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane
Directed by: Richard Linklater
What happens?: It’s the last day of school and adventures are afoot for both the freshmen and seniors of a suburban school in Texas.
“Wooderson: Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.”
Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti
Directed by: Kevin Smith
What happens?: On the day that convenience store clerk, Dante Hicks, wasn’t even supposed to work every possible thing that could go wrong does.
“Randal Graves: Oh what, what’s with you, man? You haven’t said anything for like 20 minutes. What the hell’s your problem?
Dante Hicks: This life.
Randal Graves: This life?
Dante Hicks: Why do I have this life?
Randal Graves: Have some chips, you’ll feel better.
Dante Hicks: I’m stuck in this pit, working for less than slave wages. Working on my day off, the goddamn steel shutters are closed, I deal with every backward ass fuck on the planet. I smell like shoe polish. My ex-girlfriend is catatonic after fucking a dead guy. And my present girlfriend has sucked 36 dicks.
Randal Graves: 37.”
Before Sunrise (1995)
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Directed by: Richard Linklater
What happens?: Jesse and Celine meet on a train and and spend a night together in Vienna but will they ever see each other again?
“Celine: You know, I’ve been wondering lately. Do you know anyone who’s in a happy relationship?
Jesse: Uh, yeah, sure. I know happy couples. But I think they lie to each other.
Celine: Hmf. Yeah. People can lead their life as a lie. My grandmother, she was married to this man, and I always thought she had a very simple, uncomplicated love life. But she just confessed to me that she spent her whole life dreaming about another man she was always in love with. She just accepted her fate. It’s so sad.
Jesse: I guarantee you, it was better that way. If she’d ever got to know him, I’m sure he would have disappointed her eventually.
Celine: How do you know? You don’t know them.
Jesse: Yeah, I know, I know. It’s just, people have these romantic projections they put on everything. That’s not based on any kind of reality.”
Starring: Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris
Directed by: Yann Demange
What happens?: A British solider gets separated from his regiment in Belfast and must find his way back before the IRA finds him.
“Gary Hook: Hey, listen, I don’t want you worried about me, okay? I’ll be fine, promise you.”
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald
Directed by: John Hughes
What happens? Five high school students from different cliques find themselves in detention together for the day and realise that they have a lot more in common than they thought.
“Brian Johnson: Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.”