Out of Time

on October 03, 2003 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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Denzel Washington is terrific as a small-town Florida police chief caught up in murder and theft in Carl Franklin's atmospheric but implausible suspense thriller. Washington is Chief Matt Whitlock, an amiable, respected figure in town with a few skeletons in his closet--notably a hot affair he's having with a married woman (Saana Lathan). When bad news rears its ugly head, events spiral out of control and soon Whitlock finds himself investigating two homicides, even as he tries to obstruct a murder investigation whose clues finger him as the killer.

Dave Collards' script is certainly inventive and complex but its plot threads quickly unravel as the film goes on and its characters are twisted and pulled into increasingly far-fetched scenarios. It's only Washington's tense, gripping performance as a desperate man caught between a rock and a hard place and Franklin's deft, skillful direction that keep "Out of Time" moving as quickly and entertainingly as it does. But compared to such inspired and deep Franklin-directed films as "One False Move" and "Devil in a Blue Dress," that's a minor accomplishment. Starring Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes and Saana Lathan. Directed by Carl Franklin. Written by Dave Collard. Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Jesse B'Franklin. An MGM release. Drama. Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence and some language. Running time: 106 min

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