88 MINUTES

9 mins read
88 MINUTES 1

 

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Director Jon Avnet‘s real-time thriller finds Jack Gramm (Al Pacino), college professor and occasional forensic shrink for the FBI, in a race against time. When Gramm receives a mysterious phone call telling him he has exactly 88 minutes left to live, can he track down his would-be killer before the clock runs out? The ensemble supporting cast includes Amy Brenneman, Leelee Sobieski, Deborah Unger and William Forsythe.

Director:

Jon Avnet

         <div class="section"><h6 id="cast">Cast:</h6>          <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%">                         <tbody><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Al_Pacino/70729">Al Pacino</a>                                                      </td>                 <td>&nbsp;</td>                  <td width="2%"> </td>                   <td width="49%">                                                      <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Alicia_Witt/100371">Alicia Witt</a>                                           </td></tr>                 <tr><td>&nbsp;</td>                      </tr><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Amy_Brenneman/164247">Amy Brenneman</a>                                                      </td>                  <td>&nbsp;</td>                  <td width="2%"> </td>                   <td width="49%">                                                      <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Leelee_Sobieski/20002789">Leelee Sobieski</a>                                             </td></tr>                 <tr><td>&nbsp;</td>                      </tr><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Benjamin_McKenzie/30006631">Benjamin McKenzie</a>                                                      </td>                    <td>&nbsp;</td>                  <td width="2%"> </td>                   <td width="49%">                                                      <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Deborah_Kara_Unger/30057131">Deborah Kara Unger</a>                                           </td></tr>                 <tr><td>&nbsp;</td>                      </tr><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/William_Forsythe/31177">William Forsythe</a>                                                      </td>                 <td>&nbsp;</td>                  <td width="2%"> </td>                   <td width="49%">                                                      <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Neal_McDonough/61541">Neal McDonough</a>                                              </td></tr>                 <tr><td>&nbsp;</td>                      </tr><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Stephen_Moyer/20009510">Stephen Moyer</a>                                                      </td>                    <td>&nbsp;</td>                  <td width="2%"> </td>                   <td width="49%">                                                      <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Brendan_Fletcher/20028972">Brendan Fletcher</a>                                           </td></tr>                 <tr><td>&nbsp;</td>                      </tr><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Victoria_Tennant/91690">Victoria Tennant</a>                                                      </td>                 <td>&nbsp;</td>                  <td width="2%"> </td>                   <td width="49%">                                                      Michael Eklund                                            </td></tr>                 <tr><td>&nbsp;</td>                      </tr><tr><td width="49%">                                                              <a href="http://www.netflix.com/RoleDisplay/Kaj-Erik_Eriksen/30009581">Kaj-Erik Eriksen</a>                                                      </td>                  </tr></tbody></table></div>                                      <h6>Genres:</h6><p>Thrillers

 

THE AV REVIEW:  

The film opens in September of 1997 in Seattle, in which a serial killer breaks into the home of two sisters. Both are silenced with an animal sedative and hanged upside down. The rope is only attached to one ankle; the other leg is allowed to dangle freely. The killer then begins slicing one of the girls with a scalpel until she dies. The other sister is spared because she screams just as the killer opens the door to quiet the hungry cat. The man arrested and charged for the crime was Jon Foster (Neal McDonough), who was finally convicted and sentenced to death based on the damning expert opinion of Dr. Jack Gramm (Al Pacino), a forensic psychologist. As soon as the sentence is read, Foster and Gramm exchange glances, after which Foster ominously whispers, “Tic tock, doc.”

The story then flashes forward nine years. Still on death row, Foster continues to maintain his innocence as well as his hatred for Gramm, who he says persuaded the jury into believing falsified evidence. Now a teacher at the University of Northwest Washington, Gramm one day receives a call on his cell phone–the electronically altered voice at the other end of the line tells him that he has only eighty-eight minutes to live. At first he doesn’t take the threat seriously, since someone in his line of work receives death threats often. But to be sure, he calls his office and asks his secretary, Shelly Barnes (Amy Brennerman), to contact his provider and have them trace his last call. This is the first in a series of favors he will ask throughout the film; it seems like all he can do is order people to look up names and retrieve information. It gets boring after a while.

Gramm is then informed that one of his students was murdered the night before, and what’s worse, it was an exact copy of the murder nine years earlier. This looks bad for Gramm since he was with this student the night she died. A number of other people were also with him, and it’s suggested that one of them knows something they’re not telling. I dare not say whether or not this is true, but I will say that Gramm receives another phone call later on in class, and his minutes have dropped down to seventy-nine. He now knows that the threat is serious. From that point on, he regards absolutely every character with an air of suspicion, students, employees, and federal agents alike. The audience is also suspicious because everyone seems to be hiding something: some follow Foster’s case too eagerly; some are getting too close to Gramm, like his student, Lauren Douglas (Leelee Sobieski); some have that funny look in their eye, like they’re ready to shoot someone.

 

The Blu-Ray is amazing. I haven’t seen an Al Pacino film come to the High-Def medium with such clarity. Sure, the special features are on the limp side, but this works for what it is. Hopefully, you’ll choose to give it a shot. If I do have to knock off points. It’s that the lossless audio on the disc seemed to be weak on the back end. Rent it first, then decide if you want to buy.

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