13 user 6 critic

Downtime (1997)

Former police psychologist Rob helps to save young Chrissy when she is about to commit suicide by jumping of 21st-story balcony with her 4-year-old son Jake. When he persuades her to go on ... See full summary »


Bharat Nalluri


Caspar Berry




Credited cast:
Paul McGann ... Rob
Susan Lynch ... Chrissy
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ... Jimmy
David Roper David Roper ... Mike
Denise Bryson Denise Bryson ... Jan
Adam Johnston Adam Johnston ... Jake
David Horsefield David Horsefield ... Kevin
Stephen Graham ... Jacko
Birdy Sweeney Birdy Sweeney ... Pat
Paul Johnson Paul Johnson ... Marcus
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong ... Jones
Hywel Berry ... Paul
David Case David Case ... Sam
Craig Conway ... Hammy
Daniel Lake Daniel Lake ... Johnny


Former police psychologist Rob helps to save young Chrissy when she is about to commit suicide by jumping of 21st-story balcony with her 4-year-old son Jake. When he persuades her to go on a date, they are trapped with Jake and old Pat in an elevator because a drunken gang crashed into the elevator's engine room. Written by Anonymous

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Next time, take the stairs


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Did You Know?


The film was set in a tower block in Newcastle upon Tyne and was scheduled to be filmed there but a finance deal and full assistance caused the unit to move filming to Liverpool. See more »

User Reviews

Has some good moments but is usually a deeply flawed mix that doesn't work and is deeply unconvincing
11 December 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When police psychologist Rob is called to a run-down and near empty council tower block he (sort of) helps to rescue Chrissy from an attempted suicide. However the media spotlight temporarily placed on those that live in the squalid and crime-infested environment brings the yobbish actions of the teenage Jacko to the fore – not something he likes and he immediately stamps his authority back onto the flats. Rob however, can't stop thinking about Chrissy and returns to the flats to see her again, which is probably not that good an idea.

The idea seems simple enough and, although on a bigger budget and with guns the claustrophobic setting of a tower block (of sorts) worked well in Die Hard. However the problems in Downtime are far too great to overcome – the weak characters, the lack of pace, the simplicity of the plot and the generally average writing. The film looks good with the grimy dankness of a council tower block but other than that it is sorely lacking in most areas. The plot creates some tense moments but mostly it stops and starts, to the detriment of the film; generally the story doesn't work as an idea and lacks the sort of tension it needs. Likewise the contrast between the visual style and the main characters doesn't work – the flirting between Chrissy and Rob might have worked in a big silly action movie but with such grim "reality" all around it just doesn't ring true and neither of them are any good as characters. The rest of the block's inhabitants are also weak and they contribute to the lack of involvement I felt in the story.

The cast try hard but they can't really get the tone of the film any better than the director or writer. McGann is OK but he is a bit too annoying to lead the film. Lynch has energy but her constant swearing and the lack of "reality" in her character means that she doesn't fit that well – in another film she would have been the best thing but here she is just part of the problem. Graham and his gang are off-the-shelf clichés without any real value other than plot devices while the rest of the cast are OK in filler roles.

Overall a fairly average film at best. It has some tense moments but the whole thing lacks consistency across the characters, the action and the whole tone. It probably does enough to distract but very little of it seems to fit together convincingly and I'd lost interest in it long before the silly and dull hospital denouncement.

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UK | France



Release Date:

13 February 1998 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Miedzy zyciem a smiercia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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