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88 Minutes
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Reviews & Ratings for
88 Minutes More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"88 Minutes" is a minor disappointment.

5/10
Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
12 May 2010

"88 Minutes" is a minor disappointment.

The plot: Jack Gramm (Pacino) is a professor who gets a death threat from a mysterious killer say he will die in 88 minutes. Can Jack stop time and his death from happening? The movie has been languishing on a shelf somewhere for years only to reemerge on DVD in Brazil, almost with good reason. Pacino is good as always, but seems uninterested most of the time. He has one good scene when he explains about his daughter. It's the only well-acted scene.

All the other actors are outmatched by him. Brenneman does a decent job and Forsythe is wasted as usual. Alica Witt comes off the worst with some weak line readings and expressions. The plot seems like a fast-paced thrill ride but it's anything but. It picks up towards the end but most of the suspense seems forced and squeezed out.

Overall, it's for Pacino fans only.

For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Unworthy Material, Al.

5/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
29 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's not the worst serial killer movie ever made but it's certainly unworthy of Pacino and some of the other talent.

The whole thing reminds me of some kind of ninety-nine-cent alarm clock with a happy face on the front, made in China, set to go off in 88 minutes, only if you open it up, instead of some simple escapement, there is a folio balance and verge device with all kinds of extraneous rolling pins of lead and ten gears where three would do and while you're trying to figure out all these anfractuous mechanisms your 88 minutes are up -- and the alarm doesn't work after all.

We have Al Pacino as a forensic psychiatrist who was instrumental in the conviction of "the Seattle Slayer", Neal McDonough, now residing on death row. But since McDonough was sent to the slams, there have been a number of murders that precisely mimic his technique. Is it a copycat? Did McDonough have an accomplice who has continued to kill? Is -- is McDonough INNOCENT? The plot really kicks in when Pacino, a full-time professor and occasional FBI consultant, begins to receive death threats. A disguised voice on his cell phone informs him that he has 88 minutes to live. That is, he's going to be murdered. "Tick tock, Doc," says the voice. The threats are repeated at various intervals and through various media.

There follow some 88 minutes of utter frenzy. Pacino tries to identify the miscreant, dashing from place to place, always on the cell phone, loading up his Walther, driving his car at high speed, rolling off the street to avoid a murderous motorcycle and -- well, I just don't know what-all.

The movie has a barrel of red herrings, like one of those folksy old cracker stores of a century ago. EVERYBODY looks and acts suspicious at one time or another -- his teaching assistant who has a crush on him (Alicia Witt), his Dean (Deborah Karen Unger, another actress with three names), a snotty and defiant student, a cop who turns too anxious to arrest Pacino himself for the murders (William Forsythe, my co-star in "Weeds"), his frantic secretary (Amy Brenneman, a lesbian, too bad), ex-boyfriends of his teaching assistant, acquaintances of former husbands of now-deceased ex-students, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, the three blind mice. We get a glimpse of the actual murderer once or twice but the criminal is always dressed in black leather and wearing one of those black motorcycle helmets with impenetrable face plates, right out of any second-rate slasher movie.

Okay. I'm now going to give away part of the ending. The murderer has the next victim strung up this way. About five stories up this central aviary on campus, the killer, who is light, has one foot on a line that is looped over a beam and suspends the next victim by one ankle -- five stories up. Both the killer and the dangling victim weight in about, oh, 110 pounds, yet the killer is able to prevent the victim from dropping merely by stepping on the line with one foot. A scene of great suspense. Yet, when the killer steps off the line and Pacino, who weighs rather more, grabs it, he's pulled to the edge of the balcony and it's all he can do to save himself and the screaming victim.

Enough.

Al Pacino is as good as he's ever been, at least in his later movies, with that baggy face and look of constant wonder, and that gruff voice, not the nasal whine of his youth. The other performers are competent except for Leelee Sobieski, who has startling eyes but modest talent. The worst performance is by McDonough as the imprisoned Seattle Slayer. He looks and sounds exactly like an actor playing a role, completely devoid of character. You want to see a mass murderer on screen? Try Ed Harris in "Just Cause." Nice Seattle locations. Otherwise watch something else. Poor Al.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Something went wrong with this movie ... it just doesn't work.

5/10
Author: vram22 from United States
1 April 2009

It's hard for a movie to go wrong when you have Al Pacino as your lead character - but it happens. This movie is a case in point. Different people will probably point to different things that failed ... for me, it was the believability of the events. When one implausible thing happened after another - I couldn't "respect" the story anymore.

On the surface, it sounds like it could be good: A famous court psychologist and professor (Pacino) gives testimony that dooms a suspected serial murderer to death. As the execution approaches, the professor receives mysterious, threatening calls - telling him that he has 88 minutes (and counting down) to live. Can he figure out who is behind this in time?

If you have room for yet another crime-solver movie, the setup sounds promising. However, things get goofy when the "enemy" element is able to achieve a little too much. When a cell phone call is "interrupted" with a call from "the enemy" ... that's not an easy feat (for even the cell company itself) to pull off. When you add to that a string of other improbable events (like a perfectly timed written messages, explosions, thievery, etc.) - well, OK - as long as the foe is a supernatural being. Anything less is a bit nuts.

I'm not sure why Pacino agreed to do this movie - maybe he didn't catch some of the crazy stuff and reconcile it with the end of the movie. In any case, don't be fooled by the presence of Al Pacino - this is still a rotten movie. Have you ever liked a movie that had a critical approval rating of 5% (Rotten Tomatoes)?

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

decent time killer

6/10
Author: disdressed12 from Canada
1 February 2009

i guess this wasn't a horrible movie.it just wasn't that great either.it's a pretty standard,generic crime drama/mystery.there are some scenes that could have been from any movie of the genre.AL Pacino is the headliner here,and looks like he's sleepwalking through the part.Leelee Sobieski,Deborah Kara Unger,Neil McDonough,and Alicia Witt also star.I like Alicia Witt as an actress,and she does OK here.in fact,i'd say she the best of the bunch.but she has little to work with.the movie itself is mostly implausible.it just doesn't add up.there's no real suspense or intensity.despite hat,i was entertained for the 101 minute running time.the movie is fairly fast paced.for me,88 minutes is a 6/10

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I can only do it once

5/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
29 September 2008

"Psycho" and "The Sixth Sense" all had surprise endings. But because of the surprises revealed, one can watch the movies over and over to look for clues.

Most stories about detectives looking for killers reveal at the end who the killer is. Even if it's a total surprise who the culprit is, there's nothing particularly significant, and so I for one feel like I can only watch the movies once.

Jon Avnet's "88 Minutes" is sort of like that. It's not really a bad movie, but there's nothing new. Al Pacino, Leelee Sobieski and Deborah Kara Unger have all starred in good movies during their careers, so they basically have nothing to brag about with this one (Avnet's crowning achievement remains "Fried Green Tomatoes").

So even if you choose to watch this movie, it's only worth seeing once.

PS: "I can only do it once" comes from Friz Freleng's cartoons "Curtain Razor" and "Show Biz Bugs". Characters give that explanation after blowing themselves up to impress people.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as some said,BUT definitely a THUMBS DOWN

6/10
Author: Jay Harris (sirbossman6969@yahoo.com) from United States
17 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First a bit of history on my movie going habits. I do not expect the stories in every film to intrigue me.I like going to see familiar actors in films. Many times a cast of well known featured players can make a third rate story seem palatable. I think the lack of a known cast (besides the one star Al Pacino) made the this ridiculous story almost unwatchable.

Al Pacino was quite. good as a forsenic psychiatrist, Sorry to say he can no longer carry a film on his own. There is a reasonably large cast, of whom I barely recognized any one, (They no longer list the cast before the movie starts.) The acting was OK by all BUT none stood out. I remember going to films where beside the main star or stars,there would be a slew of other who you recognized & watched them if the film wasn't that good.

This is the problem I have with 88 MINUTES.There was hardly any cast member I knew from other films or remembered fondly.

There were a few needlessly violent images that did not help either.

Granted I may be an elitist & a film snob, I want to see performers have seen before, especially when the story is not good or interesting

Ratings: **1/2 (out of 4) 68 points (out of 100) IMDb 6 (out of 10)

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Come on Al we love you ; don't do it to yourself.

5/10
Author: mmeric534 from Turkey
10 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Al Pacino is an idol for me. Of course I continue to love him after this movie but; In a thriller like this you can't give the leading role to a grandfather. He is too slow of course (oh god he is a marvelous actor, but not a role like this), man don't do this to my idol.

Story and script seems weak to me. Neal McDonough acts well and I think he is a good "bad man" Oh please don't made Al run any other movie, please.

If this movie is playing on television and you don't have another job, and you're not a fan of great Pacino you can watch as a "see and forget" movie. But if you're waiting for Serpico ; forget it.

5 on 10 for old days sake

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Easily predictable - whoever cast this movie should be fired!

4/10
Author: Les C from Philippines
12 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The casting gave it away for me. Nobody shoots 5 minutes of Leelee Sobieski like she's an extra - that would be a producer's nightmare. Why not save a lot of money for an extra (or somebody not well known) - unless of course that actor plays an important part. There are only a handful of roles in a suspense/thriller and they are as follows:

1.hero (first on the billing); 2.victim/s (character built-up for the purpose of screaming - typically too corny/horny/loony); 3.suspect/s (character built-up for obvious suspicion - stares at the hero); 4.killer (character with the least appearance otherwise ubiquitous) and 5.the dumb cop (in the Philippines - we just call em cops - no need for the adjective)

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I can't believe I fell for it

5/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
24 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw the trailer for "88 Minutes", I was pretty excited, Al Pacino usually equals an awesome movie, we all know that. But I should've known when the audience was exiting the theater and were not too excited about this movie that there was something wrong. But I still wanted to see it, sometimes people just misjudge a film, so when I saw it tonite, oh, I'm just going to say it, the first half hour I knew who the killer was and I knew what was going to happen. I understand for a newer generation this is exciting and new, but for a girl who has seen so many thrillers, this is the 5th thriller where I was able to predict the entire outcome. Maybe I should start writing these scripts, get some money off them, but I can tell you that the line "Tic Toc, Doc" will annoy me for the rest of my life.

Dr. Jack Gramm is a respected psychologist, he's put some famous serial killers away, including, Jon Forrester, who has been tried as guilty and is on death row. But when someone copies his killings, his sentence is questioned and Jack is now receiving calls saying that he has 88 minutes to live. So he has to find out what is going on and if there is a copy cat or an accomplice to Jon.

I have to say is that if you seriously have seen all the thrillers, 88 Minutes will not surprise you, I mean it's watchable, due to Pacino, even though I was a little disappointed to never see his face change throughout the film. But it's the supporting cast and this pathetic attempt of a script that makes it unbelievable. The script could've been written by a high school student who has seen one too many thrillers because it's predictable and insulting. Would I recommend 88 Minutes? It's one of those you're going to have to see it for yourselves type of movie, because if you're not used to thrillers, you might like it. But if you're like me, and have seen the thrillers, this one will not leave you surprised.

5/10

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A movie Pacino could've gotten away with a decade ago

5/10
Author: nick1091 from United States
30 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"88 Minutes" seems to have a lot going for it; a great leading man (Al Pacino), an interesting premise (Pacino as a man whose targeted and given 88 Minutes to live in connection to a man he's put on Death Row who stands to be executed), and a competent supporting cast (Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, William Forsythe, and the underrated Neal McDonnough.) So what went wrong? First off, at this stage of his career, Pacino's a little long in the tooth to be playing the womanizing professor. He also seems a little sluggish, not delivering the spark he's delivered previously. It would've been interesting to see him in this role around the same time he made "Sea of Love," a thriller that turned out much better than this.

The other major flaw is the final act. After building suspense (even though they telegraphed the eventual "mastermind", IMO) the film's last 10 minutes are a train wreck, with the carefully though out and interesting characters reduced to one-note caricatures, especially McDonnough, who is turned from a cunning manipulator to a Snidely Whiplash style stock villain at the film's conclusion.

But the acting is competent, if not great (William Forsythe delivers the goods in his limited time,) and the journey of the story might be worth the substandard final destination to you.

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