Robert De Niro in "15 Minutes"
For much of its running time, “15 Minutes” plays as typical buddy-action-comedy fare in its pairing of a veteran cop (De Niro) and a cocky young fire marshal (Edward Burns) teamed up to take down Eastern European goons who videotape their serial killings. Right before the halfway point, though, the goons successfully capture De Niro’s character, torture him, and, surprisingly, kill him on camera. As with “Stealth,” however, eliminating an Oscar winner for a quick shock backfires by leaving the audience in undesirable screen company. Burns’ grating whiny-voiced tough-guy act only makes one wish the second hour of this thriller was true to its title.