The ticking clock: It's a time-honored movie trope and the quickest way to ratchet up the tension. Gets you thinking: Oh no! How's he going to defuse the bomb and get all the way across town to save the baby in just one hour?! Feeling nervous yet? The on-deadline plotline is reused again in 30 Minutes or Less, opening tomorrow, in which, contradictory to the title, Jesse Eisenberg's character has nine hours to rob a bank or he gets blown up via the ol' jacket-fulla-dynamite trick. This is actually a pretty down-the-middle deadline as far as race-against-the-clock movies go. Some characters only have twenty minutes to save themselves or a loved one; others have a few days to solve whatever on-deadline dilemma they've gotten themselves into. Not fair! So sit back and watch our compilation of dramatic deadlines and try not to think of all the stuff you have to finish in the next 24 hours, because you probably don't have to track down a murderer or defuse a bomb or anything. But we're just guessing!
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