Movie Review
Out of Time
Out of Time poster
By Greg Ward     Published October 14, 2003
US Release: October 3, 2003

Directed by: Carl Franklin
Starring: Denzel Washington , Sanaa Lathan , Dean Cain , Eva Mendes

Running Time: 106 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $40,767,000
The kind of film that Hitchcock fans can appreciate for its modern day take on what the master of suspense tried to accomplish.
Alfred Hitchcock was and still is the master of suspense, no questions asked. Many filmmakers applied his concept of the innocent person being framed and thrown deeper and deeper into a situation they didn?t deserve to be in ? some have been successful while others have not. Carl Franklin?s ?Out of Time? does a very good job of modernizing this concept to the point where the audience becomes engaged in the story.

Denzel Washington plays Matt Lee Whitlock, the respected police chief of Banyon Key, Florida. He is in the process of splitting up with his wife, Detective Alexandra Cole (Eva Mendes), yet he is still on good terms with her. He is having an affair with Ann Harrison (Sanaa Lathan), a beautiful woman married to Chris (Dean Cain), a man who is jealous and very violent.

When a mysterious fire kills both Ann and Chris, Matt?s life starts to become a little more complicated when Alexandra is assigned to the case. At this point, Matt finds himself in quite a bind, having to solve the questionable murder and deal with some stolen drug money at the same time.

The character of Matt is a classic homage to Alfred Hitchcock ? here is a normal, everyday man who dives into a situation deep enough to screw him over, even though he really doesn?t deserve it in the first place. This film could be considered a character study of how innocent people deal with crazy situations they can?t get out of.

Throughout the film, Whitlock finds himself having to run away from people and even escaping his own office to avoid confrontation with his wife because of his suspicious actions. If I were in a situation like this, I don?t know if I would be able to handle the situation as well as Matt does; he is able to interfere with the phone system and a fax machine (just to name a few).

Denzel Washington plays Matt perfectly ? he literally becomes this character as if he is going through these situations himself. It is almost as if Washington would do the exact same thing in this kind of situation if it happened to him in real life. When Matt finds himself in a bind, we feel the tension going through his head. Denzel Washington plays the part convincingly enough to allow the audience to dig inside Matt?s head and relate to him and feel for him as he gets himself out of one bad situation to the next.

The writing by David Collard is very sharp, which creates a certain amount of suspense that keeps the audience biting their nails throughout the entire ride. Collard develops the characters to a point where they each have some interesting aspect about them ? you feel as if you know the characters. And if there are any questions you may have about them, you want them to be answered, as each character has a complex enough background for a spin-off movie with them as the main lead.

Carl Franklin does an excellent job of creating a modern-day Hitchcock film ? he creates a setting that is believable and enticing, and handles the story with a certain touch, a certain kind of style that I really can?t imagine any other director using, or at least to this level. The scenes are fast-paced, many of them literally having me tapping my foot or biting my nails in suspense.

?Out of Time? is the kind of film Hitchcock fans can appreciate for its modern day take on what the master of suspense tried to accomplish. If you?re looking for a stylish thriller with sharp performances, ?Out of Time? is for you.
Greg's Grade: B+
Greg's Overall Grading: 25 graded movies
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'Out of Time' Articles
  • Craig's review B
    October 4, 2003    There were a couple of moments where this movie strained its credibility, but what has been crafted here is a very interesting ?who-done-it/how-do-I-get-out-of-it? that audiences should really like. -- Craig Younkin