A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
It is a dark and stormy night. A violent thunderstorm howls down on a lonely Nevada road. A family of three is stopped by a blowout. While the father tries to change the tire, his wife is struck by a passing limousine. Despite the protests of the limo's passenger, a spoiled movie star, the driver takes them all to a nearby motel. The roads are washed out in both directions. The phone lines are down. Others seek shelter in the motel, which is run by a weirdo clerk.
Altogether, there are 10 guests. One by one, they die. Agatha Christie fans will assume that one of them is the murderer--or maybe it's the clerk. Meanwhile, the story intercuts an 11th-hour hearing for a man (Pruitt Taylor Vince) convicted of several savage murders. A grumpy judge has been awakened for this appeal, and unless he overturns his own ruling, the man will die. His psychiatrist (Alfred Molina) comes to his defense.
We don't know yet how these two stories will intersect, although they eventually must, but meanwhile events at the motel take our attention. We know the formula is familiar, and yet the treatment owes more to horror movies than to the classic whodunit. The group gathered at the motel includes the limousine driver (John Cusack), who says he is a former cop and seems kind of competent. There's another cop (Ray Liotta), who is transporting a killer (Jake Busey) in leg irons. The driver with the blowout (John C. McGinley) tenderly cares for his gravely injured wife (Leila Kenzle) while his solemn little son (Bret Loehr) looks on.
Also at the rain-swept rendezvous are the movie star (Rebecca De Mornay) who Cusack was driving; a hooker (Amanda Peet) on her way out of Nevada, and a young couple (William Lee Scott and Clea DuVall) who recently got married, for reasons still in dispute. The motel manager (John Hawkes) finds them all rooms--numbered from 1 to 10, of course.