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Out of Time More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Good, if unoriginal noir

Author: blanche-2 from United States
27 June 2009

Denzel Washington is a policeman who is "Out of Time" in this 2003 film also starring Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan, and Dean Cain.

Washington plays Matt Whitlock, a policeman involved in an affair with the beautiful Ann Harrison (Lathan). Whitlock is currently embroiled in divorce proceedings from his detective wife (Mendes), and Ann is married to an abusive ex-football player (Cain). When Ann is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Whitlock wants to help her. It puts him in the center of a crime investigation with potentially devastating implications.

This wrongly accused/framed man storyline has been used with great success in films such as No Way Out and the film on which it was based, The Clock, and "Out of Time" borrows heavily from these two films. Whitlock has to stay one step ahead of his wife's investigation in order to keep from being accused of one crime, and he has to avoid an agent for whom he's holding evidence in order to keep from being accused of another. How he wriggles out of various situations makes for some good suspense and engrossing viewing.

Washington is excellent as the harried cop, and the film is well worth watching, even though it's easy to figure out past a certain point. Although very derivative, it's highly entertaining too.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Washington and Franklin give regular story some leadership and class

Author: bigtommytahoe from United States
16 June 2005

Nothing much seems to go on in this small, lazy South-Florida town. Just as little is done by its sheriff, Matt Lee Whitlock (Denzel Washington), a fact well illustrated in an early scene of him polishing off a beer, his legs propped up on his office desk. Maybe he's bored. Or maybe drinking beers on the job is just what one does to make it through the humid summers down there. There is one thing happening: an affair he has been nurturing on the side with a steamy young woman, Ann, who calls in an attempted robbery as a sort of thrilling preamble to sizzling sex with the sheriff when he shows up. He may be the lazy type, but you cannot say he's not careful. And the scene does sizzle. Ann is played by the very appealing Sanaa Lathan, and married to a jobless professional quarterback, Chris (Dean Cain), who spends his time working at the county morgue. It is made very clear from the beginning the only thing Matt and Chris have in common (other than Gorgeous Ann) is a mutual distaste for one another. So the stage has been set for the rest of Out of Time, a frenetic, sometimes tense thriller that, by force of star power and sure direction, just manages to elevate itself above the unremarkable genre which binds it.

Many movies before this one have told the story of the innocent man trying to extricate himself from a sticky situation, proving his innocence while at the same time trying to catch the bad guy. The Fugitive comes to mind as one of the better variations on the theme, and there are of course many lesser versions as well. In this film, it's Chief Whitlock who's stuck in a mess. And though there may or not be others involved in putting him there, he has for the most part no one to blame but himself for his lousy predicament. And of course this all involves a host of details and plot particulars which are not mine to tell. Let's just say that it involves these factors: his lover Ann; a double murder; a life insurance policy; his ex-wife investigating the murder; the D.E.A., and hundreds of thousands of dollars in confiscated drug bust money. And in the middle of this swamp of ingredients wades Whitlock himself -- caught very much by surprise, no longer bored, and now with a sense of urgency bordering on panic. And as the title suggests, time doesn't look to be on his side.

Out of Time was directed by Carl Franklin, who is capable and experienced at his craft. Two of his films, One False Move and One True Thing, were alike in more than one way. While their stories were completely unrelated, they both featured strong casts, absorbing dialog and measured, observant direction. With One False Move, a film about outlaws on the run through the deep South, Franklin was adept at controlling the pace of the story, keenly evoking suspense when needed, allowing for tense dramatic pauses when called for. He brings that element of pacing to this movie, saturating the earlier scenes with slow-burn slide guitar music and swelteringly slow shots of the Floridian landscape. Then suddenly, as Chief Whitlock becomes enmeshed in his race for time, so does the film's entire speed. That the audience stay on board through countless contrived chase sequences can be attributed mainly to Franklin keeping them there. Here he has a much less inspired story to work with, having to enlist some extra help from the actors. The supporting cast are convincing in their roles. Eva Mendes, who continues to show great on-screen promise, plays Whitlock's estranged wife. The two actors create just the right kind of chemistry as two people who are apart for good reason, it seems, but who still like each other enough to be able to have civilized conversations while working together on the murder investigation.

But the real glue holding the ordinariness together is Denzel Washington. Once again he has brought to the screen intelligence, wit, integrity and, yes, the likability quotient. He always seems to convey these appealing traits through his characters, including those we are not meant to like at all. Even in Training Day, where he played a dirty, despicable cop, much of the movie focused on his character's ability to convince his partner and us that he was doing the right thing. In Out of Time, Denzel's Whitlock is a sympathetic character, to be sure. He is generally respected by the members of the county he runs. We forgive him his faults, as we do the poor decisions he makes while painting himself into a seemingly inescapable corner. Then as the film progresses, and as his methods of extrication go from unscrupulous to outright illegal, we wonder aloud why we have been on his side through the whole thing. This man may not be a sinner, but neither is he the picture of saintliness. It doesn't seem to wash, but there you have it. But Denzel pulls it off through the whole movie, gracing Chief Whitlock with virtuous, sympathetic qualities he does not possess.

Toward the end of the movie, anyone paying attention to the clock would notice that the movie itself is almost out of time -- probably not nearly enough time to resolve the laundry list of problems Whitlock has burdened himself with. The film nonetheless scurries to its disappointing, pat resolution, careful to tighten most of the loose ends it can remember, but done with such brevity as to leave us all feeling a little pinched, and more than a little let down. This kind of pinched finish effectively washes away all of the potentially intriguing character dilemmas presented in the character of Matt Lee Whitlock. Still, the actor playing him is Denzel, so we don't mind feeling happy for him --in spite of his, and the film's, many shortcomings.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

a DVD-production

Author: Mark from Sweden
18 May 2007

This should have gone straight to DVD. Perhaps it did(?)

It has the look - for the most part it's full of close ups and the camera work is full of fast and slow movements for no obvious reason - all of that will look terrible on the big screen but is pretty much standard for TV. And since there are so many close ups, neither achieves the punch that a more restrained use would provide - and at the same time the film doesn't have to show the lack of production values.

The plot is too predictable and the suspense consists mostly of eerie music that we recognize from countless TV productions also - it does not work.

Only for die-hard fans of the always reliable Denzel Washington.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: daanmous from Nijmegen, Netherlands
12 October 2004

Too many cliché's, really really bad acting, a really slow start and an end that didn't surprise at all. A terrible casting of Denzel's wife. She looked fine, but her face had no expressions and she wasn't a credible character. Just terrible. Once the film started, I guessed the story-line, surprisingly I was wright. Sometimes I couldn't hold my laugh, because of the things the director had invented. Why the cliché's of the wife that wouldn't believe her husband at first, but at the end she came back to him and they lived happily ever after. Why they break up and why she wanted to divorce is not clear. They just did. Someone who wouldn't guess everything would be fine at last, has no knowledge about movie-cliché's. I thought Denzel wouldn't participate in that kind of movies. Maybe he just wanted to kiss some beautiful girls. If that's the reason, okay, if it isn't...I don't get him.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Boring beginning and predictable twists but well played and entertaining

Author: kluseba from Chicoutimi, Canada
16 December 2010

I gave this movie a try because I think that Denzel Washington is a good actor and I wasn't disappointed by his performance though I think that John Billingsley gets the merit of the best performance in this movie as an alcoholic and somehow crazy partner and fried of Denzel Washington.

The beginning of the movie is very boring. There are some sex scenes and a lot of mediocre dialogues to introduce the main actors but when you have made it through the first twenty-five minutes or so the tension slowly rises. Denzel Washington realizes that he is the main suspect in a double homicide where all the hints lead to him as a police officer and chief of a small local police station in Florida. His lover, Sanaa Lathan who does a decent job and her brutal husband and football player Dean Cain got burned in their house just before she wanted to join Denzel Washington with a huge amount of money from a drug raid that he gave to her to be able to escape with her and fight her cancer illness. Eva Mendez is Denzel Washington's wife that wants to divorce with him and who has to investigate against him. And Denzel Washington tries to erase any proof that connects him to his lover and soon gets in trouble as he has to find the money that he illegally gave to the dead beauty and that strangely disappeared.

By the time, the tension slowly rises, Denzel Washington gets in some really disturbing and uneasy situations and there also some action that comes in and the main characters finally get more profound than before and the movie loosely touches topics like friendship, forgiveness, love, passion, lies and truth. You can finally connect with the characters and get caught by the movie.

The only negative thing is then that the twists are really predictable and offer nothing new or surprising. Of course, there is also the typical happy ending and every cliché you can think of is included in this movie. What really saves this film are the decent performances and the entertaining flow after the first twenty-five minutes or so that keep the tension and attention on a high level.

If you finally want to see a decent and entertaining thriller with some good acting I would recommend you this movie. But this is nothing groundbreaking and I would only recommend you to watch it on the television or loan a DVD but not to buy this movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: Jeff ( from Rock Hill, South Carolina
25 January 2004

When I first saw the trailer for "Out of Time," I was pumped to go and see it when it came out. But then I saw the lame TV spots and decided against going, and the reviews it received didn't exactly give incentive for seeing it either. But I still always sort of had the urge to see it, and I finally got my chance, with decent results.

"Out of Time" is the type of thriller that tries hard, but still comes up short. There were no horrible aspects of this movie, nothing that stands out as being horribly dumb or even horribly unorginal. Yet everything seems mediocre. Denzel's acting was great, but other cast members occasionally seemed a little lost. The direction was also pretty good, but Carl Franklin seemed to have a little trouble pacing the movie, with a couple scenes seeming completely out of place. The music also, by Graeme Revell, was pretty good, but wasn't exemplary or especially dramatic. The cinematography was good, but didn't really stand out, while the screenplay also lagged in places. Plus, the story was original, but not original enough to really keep you guessing.

Yet the movie does create suspense quite well and Denzel saves the movie from complete mediocrity.

Final Grade: B.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Suspense, Action & Great Entertainment

Author: seymourblack-1 from United Kingdom
8 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Out Of Time" is full of excitement, danger and suspense and although its rather intricate plot is very familiar in nature, it's totally gripping from start to finish. Inspiration for the story was obviously drawn from all those film noirs about a guy who makes a bad decision which gets him into a fix and then has to race against time to prove his innocence. The significance to the story of a life insurance policy is reminiscent of "Double Indemnity" (1944) and the presence of a hapless man who's involved in an investigation where he knows that all the evidence is certain to point to his guilt, brings to mind "The Big Clock" (1948). There's even a scene in a hotel where Denzel Washington is unable to leave by the main exit because of all the activity in the foyer and this replicates a very similar situation in "The Big Clock" where Ray Milland is confronted by the same type of problem.

This movie very successfully combines its themes of adultery, larceny and murder with action sequences, amusing plot twists and a good deal of humour to produce some terrific entertainment. The photography and direction are top class and the locations used contribute greatly to the sultry atmosphere of the whole piece.

Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington) is the Chief of Police in the small town of Banyan Key, Florida. His wife is in the process of divorcing him and he's involved in a passionate affair with Ann Merai Harrison (Sanaa Lathan) who used to be his childhood sweetheart. She's married to Chris (Dean Cain) a violent ex-pro football player who frequently beats her but also conveniently works in the evenings as a security guard.

Ann asks Matt to accompany her when she visits her doctor who tells her that she's terminally ill with cancer and only has a few months to live. The only possibility of a better outcome is if she's able to undergo some expensive experimental therapies which are only available in Switzerland. As Ann is in no position to afford this option, Matt decides to let her have $485,000 of drugs money which is kept in his office safe to be used at some future date as evidence in a trial and in return, Ann makes Matt the sole beneficiary of a life insurance policy which is due to pay out $1,000,000 in the event of her death.

A little while later, Ann's house burns down, two charred bodies are found inside and the money's gone. Tests indicate that the fire was started deliberately and so an investigation is set up to discover who was responsible for the double homicide. This puts Matt in a real tight spot because he knows that he'll become the main suspect if it comes to light that he is the sole beneficiary of her insurance policy. Just to make matters worse, there's a neighbour who reports that she saw him outside Ann's house on the night of the fire, his estranged wife Alex (Eva Mendes) is the homicide detective assigned to the case and the DEA suddenly demand the drugs money which is needed urgently to be entered as evidence in an important trial that they're prosecuting.

Denzel Washington is excellent as the fall guy who has to suppress the evidence he doesn't want to be uncovered whilst also trying to hunt down the real culprits before it's too late. This involves him in some exciting chases, a dangerous struggle on a hotel balcony and some tense situations such as when he intercepts the records of Ann's telephone calls so that he can delete the entries that relate to his calls before Alex scrutinizes the documents. Despite the things that he does wrong, Matt remains a sympathetic character throughout. Washington is naturally charismatic and handles all the aspects of his role with supreme skill and conviction.

There are also some good supporting performances with Dean Cain being impressively menacing and John Billingsley providing both charm and humour as Matt's sidekick.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Would you have given it to me if I slept with you?

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
29 February 2012

Out of Time is directed by Carl Franklin and written by David Collard. It stars Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan, Dean Cain and John Billingsley. Music is by Graeme Revell and cinematography by Theo Van de Sande.

Matthias Whitlock (Washington) is chief of police in little Banyan Key, Florida. Respected for his work and basically honest in the line of duty. Away from work, however, his marriage to Alex (Mendes) has failed, he's having an affair with an abused wife and he likes a little drink on duty. So when his lover Anne Harrison (Lathan) springs on him the shocking news that she has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, it naturally shakes his world. But this news is merely the start of something bigger, for pretty soon Matt will be in the unusual situation of having to stay one step of his own kind or face dire consequences.

It's a film proudly wearing a badge of homage to film noir of the 40s. In fact it very much plays out as a contemporary riff on John Farrow's excellent Ray Milland starrer of 1948, The Big Clock. But that's fine, especially when you have some knowing craft in front and behind the camera in the shape of Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress) and Washington (take your pick here really!). Yet as great as Franklin and Washington's work is, they all owe a debt to Collard's screenplay. Inventive in how it plays out as a plot, with it's many tight situations laid down for Washington's duped law enforcer to try and get out of, the screenplay has a knack for deft humour, often sly, which is something that even some of the hardest of noirs from the golden era are tinted with. The secret is being able to blend the humour with quality moments of suspense, and this picture manages to do that with some interest.

Film also benefits greatly from the tight atmosphere created by photographer de Sande. Sweaty Florida in daylight doesn't cry out as being a good starting point for an offshoot of film noir (real Florida locations were thankfully used), but the scenic beauty is never realised during the drama sequences, colours are toned down, even for a stunning red sky, and this perfectly becomes at one with a near frantic Washington as the tricksters of Banyan Key start to close in on him. It's nice too see, also, interracial couples forming the core of the story, while the dominance of sexuality is firmly given a shrewd work over by director and writer. There's good thought gone in to making this, enough to steer it away from charges of just being a faux neo-noir production.

Problems? Yes, a few. Inevitability of outcome is hard to shake off whilst viewing it, especially for those well versed in the genre (sub-genre). Clichés and contrivances are stacked up like a pile of cop thriller 101 books, and Franklin goes smug (daft) by dropping in a couple of slow frame sequences that the film clearly didn't need. While the big showdown in the finale lacks a gut punch. But this is a good viewing, sexy at times and always eye catching, it also pleasingly chooses perky dialogue over action to make its dramatic point. The cast around Washington enhance the quality: Lathan in the tricky role shows a number of layered gears, Cain is imposing as a bully boy husband (where did this Cain go?) and Billingsley almost sneaks in and steals the movie as the loyal and stoic comedy side-kick.

So pesky flaws aside, this is a good recommendation as a night in movie for those with a kink for contemporary neo-noir. 7/10

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not worth keeping but worth a watch...

Author: quatermax-1 from Cyprus
8 February 2008

I'm pleased to admit that I knew nothing about this movie before I viewed it, which is actually quite refreshing. Wooed by this, the cast list and the tag-line 'How do you solve a murder when all the evidence points to you?' (yes, even we hardboiled cynics can fall for such things) I settled down in front of my TV with suitable munchies and a bottle of wine (an Australian Semillon Chardonnay called 'Hair of the Dingo', which I thoroughly recommend by the way) and waited to be entertained.

And waited.

Eventually, after a way too lengthy exposition (thank God I had the wine), the movie starts to, well, move. Suddenly I was on familiar territory: There's this Florida Police Chief (Washington) who, unbeknownst to his colleagues, has been having rumpy-pumpy (that's quite a clean euphemism in the UK by the way – so if I've offended anyone I apologise) with a married woman. She, and her husband, suddenly turn up dead in their burned out house and every bit of circumstantial evidence is pointing to him as prime suspect. At the crime scene he never mentions that he knows the victims, yet it very soon transpires that an eye witness has spotted him outside the house before it was torched; his cell phone number features prominently on the girl's phone bill; he's the new beneficiary of her $1,000,000 insurance policy, and, worse still, he's even borrowed evidence money in his charge to help his girl get cancer treatment, money which is now missing, and the feds are on their way to collect it. As the worst day in his life progresses his colleagues, led by his estranged wife, who's a detective (could it get any worse? Yes it does), are getting closer and closer to solving the case and putting him behind bars, while he is desperately trying to keep one step ahead of them by intercepting phone calls, concealing evidence etc., at the same time conducting his own investigation in an attempt to cover his tracks and clear his name.

I say familiar territory because it's basically a reworking of Costner and Hackman's 1987 NO WAY OUT scenario, which was itself a remake of 1948's THE BIG CLOCK with Ray Milland and Charles Laughton, and, once you accept the implausibility of the situation and the stupidity of Washington's character, it's not half bad, and though it has a few twists I didn't anticipate, the predictable ending is now a little clichéd and leaves too many loose ends for my liking.

Denzel Washington acquits himself well as Denzel Washington; a bearded Dean (SUPERMAN) Cain does a great, almost Colin Farrell quality, turn, refreshingly, as a villain; the girls are gorgeous; but the real star is ENTERPRISE's 'Dr. Phlox', the much underrated John Billingsley, as a beer guzzling baseball capped Medical Examiner (imagine an amalgam of Jack Klugman's Quincy and Oscar Madison characters), and the only one in on Washington's predicament. Director Franklin (DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS (also with Washington), and HIGH CRIMES) makes great visual use of the exotic and sultry Miami area locales.

Not worth keeping but worth a watch.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Simple and effective

Author: Dr Jacques COULARDEAU from Olliergues, France
14 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A simple thriller in which a woman is used as a piece of bait to get some drug money from a gullible cop who believes he is in love with her. The final twist is not what we could have hoped, but it sure is convincing about the dumbness of cops or even men when they get infatuated with love. But the interest of the film is essentially in the hectic chase-escape of one cop after-from another cop who happens to be his-her wife-husband. One thing is sure: as soon as a woman appears within his eye-range he loses all rational common sense and starts seeing butterflies landing on his nose. But it is funny and entertaining.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines

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