The 24th Day (2004)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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A casual gay pickup turns into a nightmare in Tony Piccirillo's adaptation of his play, The 24th Day. Tom (Scott Speedman of TV's Felicity) approaches Dan (James Marsden of X-Men) in a bar, and the two hit it off. Tom brings Dan home to his apartment, where, after some idle chatter, Dan tries to kiss Tom. Tom shies away, and begins asking Dan about his sexual history. Dan eventually realizes that he's been in Tom's apartment before. They had an encounter several years ago, and Tom has a much clearer memory of that night than Dan does. Eventually, things turn ugly, and Dan finds himself tied to a chair. Tom extracts a blood sample, explaining to Dan that he just recently learned that he's HIV-positive. Tom insists that he's not gay, and believes that the only way he could have gotten the virus is from Dan. Tom goes out to have the blood sample tested, and when he gets back, he tells Dan that when he gets the results back, if Dan is HIV-positive, Tom is going to kill him. As they wait for the results, the hours go by, and Dan tries to engage Tom in conversation, to engage his sympathy, and to find a way to escape. As the two men talk and battle for control, Piccirillo flashes back to the recent past, and Tom's motives become more clear. The 24th Day was shown at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.
R (for language and sexual dialogue, and for brief violence)
Drama , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Sofía Vergara
as Isabella
Barry Papick
as Mr. Lerner
Charlie Corrado
as Officer No. 1
Jarvis W. George
as Officer No. 2
Scott Roman
as Bartender
Jeffrey Frost
as Dan's Assistant
Jona Harvey
as Marla
Thea Chaloner
as Tom's Wife
Brian Campbell
as Blondie
Nadia Axakowsky
as Studio Executive
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Critic Reviews for The 24th Day

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (8)

The movie is never more than a hesitantly filmed recording of the play.

Full Review… | July 21, 2004
Top Critic

At times The 24th Day plays like a two-man actor's workshop. As navigated by talented actors and director, it nonetheless proves a riveting ride.

Full Review… | June 17, 2004
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

What might have proved reasonably compelling onstage comes across as forced on film, with credibility taking a back seat to contrivance.

June 2, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Scott Speedman and James Marsden, two talented and attractive actors who know how to hold attention, perform with depth and range.

Full Review… | May 20, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

Despite strong performances, this drawn-out Day feels like a cross between the claustrophobic play it once was, and the R-rated After-School Special it wants to be.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Boasts one of the most ludicrous plots ever committed to digital video.

May 14, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The 24th Day


Tom (Scott Speedman) is a married man and expected father, who has just found out that he is HIV positive. He's not a promiscuous guy, and traces it back to a one night stand, he had years back with a man. Tom's not gay, but like many, he was curious and thanks to too much alcohol, let it go too far. Seething with anger and thinking about revenge, Tom starts scouting local gay bars until he finds Dan (James Marsden). As soon as he sees him, Tom starts flirting and convinces Dan to go home with him, where Tom ties him to a chair and tells him they've met before. After obtaining a blood sample, Tom lets Dan know that when that test comes back, if Dan is positive also, he's going to die. The film is based on an award winning play and I venture to say as a play, this would have been terrific. On the big screen however, the same raw emotion isn't as evident and the story doesn't have much in the way of variety. The 24th Day is very narrowly focused, and after it's initial abduction and reveal, it becomes quite boring, as both the men and the audience prepare for the ending. In transferring this story to film, I feel as though something more should have been added to story. Maybe some flashbacks or an unintended visitor, just something to break up the monotony. Both Scott Speedman and James Marsden are very good in their respect roles and I really enjoyed both the beginning and end of this film, unfortunately the middle is somewhat boring and takes away from an otherwise original and outstanding story.

Todd Smith
Todd Smith

Super Reviewer

Wow. This was a very dynamic role for James Marsden and he was absolutely fabulous. Scott Speedman isn't bad as a serious actor. The cinematography and editing were interesting, but the script was really good.

Katie B
Katie B

** (out of four) I admire the performances as well as the theatrical stage feel of this movie. The idea is interesting and thought provoking. But I think it loses it with too many twists and turns that feel unrealistic, and it is weighed down with some heavy handed dialogue. Scoot Speedman plays a married man who learns that he is HIV positive. He slept with a man once five years ago. He hunts down the young man (James Marsden) and kidnaps him, keeping him tied up in a room. He decides that he will take some of his blood. If he is also infected than he will kill him, but if he is not, he will release him.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

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