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10 Items or Less

56 customer reviews

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(Apr 24, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Once the center of Hollywood, an aging actor finds that his fear of failure has made his career dry up, and he’s now forced to consider a role in a small independent movie. While researching for the role, he stumbles into Scarlet, a spitfire check out clerk at a Latino community market. Soon abandoned by his driver, the world famous actor must rely on Scarlet to lead him back to his side of the tracks. This trek through Los Angeles features richly unexpected situations, chance encounters, and personal revelation that neither character could ever have anticipated.

Morgan Freeman isn't really in every movie that's been made recently; it only seems that way. And considering the variety of roles he's had, it's perhaps appropriate that he plays himself in 10 Items or Less. Well, not exactly--Freeman's character has no name, but he is a recognizable actor who's also known as a voice-over specialist, and several references are made to a movie he made with Ashley Judd (although its title is neither Kiss the Girls nor High Crimes, two actual Freeman-Judd flicks). As directed and written by Brad Silberling (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, plus a long list of TV credits), the actor is considering taking a part as a store manager in an indie production (his first film role in four years--nudge nudge, wink wink). His research brings him to Archie's Ranch Market, a grim spot in featureless Carson, California, where he meets Scarlet (Paz Vega, Spanglish), who handles the titular check-out line, a dead-end job which, added to her terrible marriage, makes for one unhappy rancher. Finding himself stranded at the store (his driver has vanished, he can't get his agent on the phone, and he doesn't even know his own home number), the gregarious actor takes the feisty, smart-mouthed Scarlet under his wing, prepping her for an interview for a better job, pitching in when she takes her Gremlin to a car wash, helping her pick out some new duds at Target (where the rich movie star discovers the many wonders of discount retailing), and generally bringing her out of her funk; the two bond, and she drives him back to Brentwood. Story-wise, that's about it, which makes the film almost entirely character-driven. That's not a bad thing by any means, but despite Freeman's and Vega's winning performances, 10 Items or Less is little more than a slight, amusing diversion. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Making of featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Surprise bonus

Product Details

  • Actors: Morgan Freeman, Paz Vega, Jonah Hill, Anne Dudek, Francisca Hernandez
  • Directors: Brad Silberling
  • Writers: Brad Silberling
  • Producers: Morgan Freeman, Brad Silberling, Jill Goularte, Julie Lynn, Kelly Thomas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Alchemy / Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,762 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "10 Items or Less" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on June 23, 2007
Format: DVD
Knowing when to end a movie is just as important as casting, directing and acting. And it's nice to see when a director/script get it right. Clocking in at just 82 minutes, 10 ITEMS OR LESS doesn't stretch the story, trying to grasp at inane topics. It stays focused, being funny, sad, and well thought out.

Morgan Freeman (Lucky Number Slevin) stars as "Him", an aging actor grasping at any roles presented to him. We're introduced to "Him" as he travels to a supermarket in an out-of-the-way section of town by The Kid (Jonah Hill, Click). Realizing he has a star in his car, The Kid pressures Him to talk about his absence in cinema over the past few years. Him isn't very forthcoming because, not only has he been out of it for while, he's also en route to a shooting location of an indie film he might act in ("I haven't decided if I'm going to accept the part."). The Kid is a relative of the director involved in this indie venture and soon drops him in the middle of nowheresville. Stuck, Him decides to check out the local market. He immediately runs into the beautiful Scarlet (Paz Vega, Spanglish) who operates the 10 items or less register. Not just strikingly pretty but intelligent, Him begins using her as his prime research subject for his upcoming independent film role. He learns how she figures out numbers so quickly and why she knows the quirks of every member of this isolated community.

But Him doesn't just use Scarlet, he helps her so he can see deeper into her life.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on April 2, 2008
Format: DVD
He's (Morgan Freeman) not making a commitment, he's just doing research. He's a known actor, who's made a film with Ashley Judd, but hasn't been in a film in four years. The indie film company drops him off in a market where he meets Scarlet.

Scarlet (Vega) is the 10 items or less aisle checker. She's running the market while the manager and his new girlfriend (Scarlet is his ex) are messing around.

When Freeman's ride home doesn't show up, Scarlet takes him home on her way to a job interview. In helping to fix her up, Freeman regains his own confidence.

"10 Items" is an interesting character driven film, which Freeman and Vega can mostly carry. I found myself noting a bit too much product placement in this vehicle, but it's still an endearing tale of two very unalike people who are able to help each other.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. White on May 2, 2007
Format: DVD
If you want to laugh, think hard, grin and maybe look at life differently, enjoy this film. You can't help but thoroughly be engrossed in it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Crissman on May 14, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie proves you don't always have to spend millions of dollars and 6 months to a year to churn out the world's greatest epic. In the case of 10 Items or Less the movie was filmed in 15 days. The locations were Carson and Brentwood, CA. And a good deal of the story takes place in Archie's Ranch Market, Target, and a car wash. And this is one of the best films to come along - well - in a long time!

Morgan Freeman portrays a nameless (but very recognizable) actor who hasn't worked in four years. He's considering a part, as a store manager, for an independent film. Feeling the need to research this part before committing to the role, Freeman's character is dropped off at a Carson grocery market. And this is where he meets the "10 Items or Less" checkout girl, Scarlet Morales, played by the incomparable Paz Vega. They wind up spending a serendipitous day together. Their lives couldn't be more different, but they share a congruity. Both are somewhat trapped by their own intertia. The actor hasn't stepped beyond Brentwood in a long while and Scarlet hasn't stepped out of Carson.

Freeman's character is stranded with no cash - just a Diner's Club card (Thank you, Diner's Club). He can't remember his own phone number. Scarlet is the sharp, practical and pragmatic one and once she retrieves her Gremlin from estranged husband/store manager, they are in business.

What makes this movie amazing is the bond that forms between the actor and Scarlet. She has an job interview scheduled later that day. The actor puts his desire to get home on hold to help Scarlet prepare for the "audition."

It's worth the price of admission when you come to the scene in Target.
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Format: DVD
10 ITEMS OR LESS was made in two weeks on a shoestring budget by writer/director Brad Silberling, just a little film shot in Carson, CA that feels like the entire story was the best sense of the word. Silberling had the good fortune to pair veteran actor Morgan Freeman, in between his big projects, with Spanish actress Paz Vega, and the result is a dialogue between two people from different vantages who manage to enhance the life of the other.

Morgan Freeman plays himself - yet part of the comedy is that he is depicted as an actor who has been out of work for four years, scouting a location for a little 'filler film' to get back into the flow of things. His 'role' is to be that of a market manager and he is dropped off at seedy market in Carson where he encounters, among others, one Scarlet, the girl at the argumentative 10 Items or Less checkout line. Not only is Scarlet tired of her static job, she is also generally angry about her philandering husband (Bobby Cannavale), currently sleeping with Scarlet's lazy co-worker (Anne Dudek), and her lack of ability to get a decent job elsewhere. The two pair after a few shared problems and off they go on a 'road trip' that results in each of the characters growing from the presence and life story of the other.

It is a simple story, simply told, but because of the tender bonding between Freeman and Paz it works very well. This is one of those little films about human relationships where being vulnerable to change and exchange is the message. It is well worth viewing, and this is a DVD that has featurettes that are touching, informative, and comic - a pleasure to view. Grady Harp, April 07
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Topic From this Discussion
Hey! I've spent the better part of a half-hour trying to discover the same info!! What is the song playing during the carwash scene?!? That tune kept playing in my head - over and over - for 3 days after watching the film. I'm trying to find out the name of it, so if anyone knows please post it... Read More
Oct 12, 2007 by CoCo Loco |  See all 5 posts
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