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For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

(Photo by Nicole Goode)

photo caption:
Matt (Denzel Washington) and Alex (Eva Mendes) discuss the case they're investigating over lunch.

end caption.nd of caption


Denzel as Police Chief-Turned-Suspect Running "Out of Time"

Review by Kam Williams

Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington) is the Chief of Police in scenic Banyan Key, Florida. As this fascinating film noir unfolds, the much beloved career cop has the respect of all the citizens in the tiny, seaside community, but only because they are unaware of the skeletons in his closet. This pillar of the community's private life has been rapidly unraveling.

He is having a torrid affair with femme fatale Ann Merai Harrison (Sanaa Lathan), the town temptress he had been attracted to for years. However, Ann happens to be married to the physically-abusive Chris (Dean Cain), a jealous, ex-football player who is clearly suspicious of her cozy friendship with the Chief. Meanwhile, Whitlock's estranged wife, Alex (Eva Mendez), a detective on the force, has moved out of the house and plans to file for divorce.

The plot thickens when Ann is diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer and is given only 5 or 6 months to live. Whitlock next crosses an ethical line by secretly "borrowing" the evidence money from a major drug bust to pay for the desperate woman's expensive, experimental treatment in Europe. Trouble is, she dies in a suspicious fire before she even has a chance to leave. Then, when it comes to light that the supposedly squeaky-clean Chief was just recently named the beneficiary of his married lover's million-dollar life insurance policy, he suddenly becomes the prime suspect.

This is the tangled web cleverly woven by Out of Time, an old-fashioned whodunit directed by Carl Franklin (High Crimes). What I appreciated about this truly engaging thriller, is that after this intriguing set-up, its enveloping plot kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the very end, incorrectly guessing, at every turn, what was about to happen next. Since it is a rare treat to see such a tightly-crafted tale nowadays, allow me to credit first-time screenwriter David Collard for fashioning a script which neither telegraphs its punches nor resorts to an unpredictable resolution.

Oscar winner Denzel adds to his unending string of stellar performances here as a frazzled cop in a race against the clock to both clear his name and crack the case. The rest of the cast proved to be reliable, too, especially leads Sanaa Lathan (Brown Sugar), Eva Mendes (Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and Dean Cain (Superman on TV's Lois and Clark). Almost as importantly, very capable actors were cast in lesser roles, which makes such a difference when one is looking around for credible culprits when trying to figure out a mystery.

I expect Out of Time to be the first big hit of the fall, because it has a little of everything: steamy love scenes, riveting fight sequences, captivating cinematography, lots of lighter moments, and best of all, characters you care about in an inscrutable head-scratcher you're just dying to solve.

Excellent. Rated PG-13 for sex, violence and profanity.

end of review.

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.


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