The premise of the film is a good person who does bad things is more of a monster than a straight-up bad guy.
The narrative flips back and forth between the adrenaline-filled crisis sequence and the problems of the characters' everyday lives.
Lena is in love with a boy who treats her like something he dug out of his ear.
Carley is neglected by her father and anxious about starting law school.
Dre is a kid working hard to graduate and escape from street life.
Eventually, the two timelines merge and we see exactly what led up to the shooting.
The film starts slow, but somewhere in the middle of the second act, the pacing catches up and we find ourselves involved in a fairly engrossing melodrama.
Dre makes mistake after mistake as he tries to dig himself and his friend out of a bad situation. The scenario makes for some very nice tension.
Ultimately, "96 Minutes" leaves us with little hope for mankind which puts it right in line with reality.