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Out of Time (2003)
Year, country:
Carl Franklin
Denzel Washington Sanaa Lathan Eva Mendes
1h 45m

"Out of Time" (2003), directed by Carl Franklin, is a thrilling crime drama that stars Denzel Washington as Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock. Set in the small Florida town of Banyan Key, the film weaves a tale of deception, corruption, and a race against time as Whitlock becomes entangled in a complex web of crime.

The story begins with Chief Whitlock, a respected law enforcement officer, going through a divorce and carrying on a secret affair with Anne Merai Harrison (played by Sanaa Lathan), the wife of the local abusive ex-football star, Chris Harrison (Dean Cain). Matters take a sinister turn when Anne is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and Whitlock discovers that she needs a considerable amount of money for treatment.

In a desperate attempt to help, Whitlock seizes an opportunity when a double homicide occurs in Banyan Key. He decides to tamper with evidence to mislead the investigation, intending to secure a large sum of money seized during a drug bust to provide for Anne's treatment. However, his plan quickly unravels as an internal affairs investigation led by Detective Alex Diaz (Eva Mendes) puts Whitlock in the crosshairs.

The film masterfully combines elements of a crime thriller with a character-driven drama, with Denzel Washington delivering a compelling performance as a conflicted and flawed protagonist. Washington's portrayal captures Whitlock's desperation, moral dilemmas, and the escalating tension as his once-manageable plan spirals out of control.

As the investigation deepens, Whitlock must navigate a maze of twists, turns, and unexpected betrayals. The pacing of the film keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, and the Florida setting adds to the atmospheric tension as Whitlock races against time to unravel the truth and clear his name.

Carl Franklin's direction infuses the film with a neo-noir sensibility, utilizing shadows, moody lighting, and a palpable sense of suspense. The supporting cast, including Eva Mendes and Dean Cain, contributes to the overall intensity of the narrative.

"Out of Time" explores themes of morality, redemption, and the consequences of one's actions. It is a gripping crime thriller that showcases Denzel Washington's versatility as an actor, transitioning seamlessly between moments of intense action, emotional depth, and suspenseful intrigue.

While "Out of Time" may not have received widespread critical acclaim, it remains a solid entry in the crime thriller genre, appreciated for its engaging plot, strong performances, and the atmospheric tension created by Franklin's direction. The film offers a rollercoaster of suspense and moral complexity, making it a compelling watch for fans of the genre.