[Screen It]

 

"88 MINUTES"
(2008) (Al Pacino, Alicia Witt) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Extreme Mild Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme None Moderate Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Suspense: A forensic psychologist races against time to figure out who's responsible for threats against his life when he's told he only has 88 minutes to live.
PLOT:
Dr. Jack Gramm (AL PACINO) is a forensic psychologist and professor at a college in Seattle who's best known for his courtroom testimony that helped convict Jon Forster (NEAL McDONOUGH) as the city's notorious Seattle Slayer. Forster has always claimed he's innocent, and that's returned to top the news now that it's the eve of his scheduled state execution. Of particular note is that similar rape-murders have started occurring again, casting doubt for many about the conviction as well as Jack's testimony.

While his personal assistant, Shelly Barnes (AMY BRENNEMAN), student teaching assistant Kim Cummings (ALICIA WITT) and FBI Special Agent Frank Parks (WILLIAM FORSYTHE) believe in him, some of his students, such as Lauren Douglas (LEELEE SOBIESKI) and Mike Stempt (BENJAMIN McKENZIE) question his modus operandi, especially when he picks up strangers at bars such as Sara Pollard (LEAH CAIMS), points not lost on school dean Carol Johnson (DEBORAH KARA UNGER).

Things become more complicated when one of Jack's students ends up as the latest victim of the real or copycat slayer, causing the feds to cast a suspicious eye on him since he was out with her and other students the night of her death. It gets even worse for Jack when he receives an anonymous telephone call informing him that he has just 88 minutes to live.

He initially thinks it's a prank, but as the calls keep coming, each progressively announcing less time for him, Jack tries to figure out who's responsible. While Kim thinks it might be her jealous ex, Guy LaForge (STEPHEN MOYER), Jack knows the calls are somehow tied back to Forster. From that point on, and as it looks like someone's trying to frame him for the murders, Jack races against time to solve the mystery before it's too late for him and/or others.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
They might if they're fans of anyone in the cast or thriller type films.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For disturbing violent content, brief nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Note: The following does not contain the final revelation regarding the identity of the killer.
  • AL PACINO plays a college professor and forensic psychologist whose previous testimony helped convict Forster as the serial killer. Driven by a deeply rooted personal need to put away all such psychopaths, Jack is focused on getting his students into the same mindset. He must contend, however, with continued doubts about his prior testimony and methods, as well as a series of threatening calls against his life. He uses some profanity, drinks in a flashback, is noted as being commitment-phobic, and had an off-screen, casual sex encounter with a stranger.
  • ALICIA WITT plays his student teaching assistant who helps him both in and out of class, and has a crush on him. She worries that the latter has angered her ex, and wonders if that man is the perp responsible for the killings and/or threatening calls. She uses some profanity and drinks in a flashback.
  • LEELEE SOBIESKI plays one of Jack's students who questions his prior testimony in the Forster case, and goes to various lengths to prove that he was wrong. She also has a lesbian fling with Shelly.
  • AMY BRENNEMAN plays Jack's personal assistant who jumps through various hoops for him. A self-proclaimed lesbian, she has a fling with Lauren.
  • WILLIAM FORSYTHE plays an FBI agent who's initially on Jack's side, but begins to question him when several murders point to Jack. He briefly uses strong profanity.
  • BENJAMIN McKENZIE plays one of Jack's students who questions his testimony in the serial murder case, thus causing jack to be suspicious of him and his possible involvement with the threatening calls.
  • NEAL McDONOUGH plays the man convicted of being the serial killer who's facing his imminent execution. He claims he's innocent and has it out for Jack.
  • DEBORAH KARA UNGER plays the dean of the university who briefly uses profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramatic thriller that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, while a woman is seen fully nude (from the rear and side) as she stands in a yoga pose. Other brief nudity (bare breasts) is also present, off-screen sex is suggested, and some young women are briefly seen in their undergarments.

    Violence consists of various deaths on and off screen (the former being via gunfire, the latter from briefly/partially seen torture). Much of that has varying degrees of bloody results, and those scenes and various moments of potential peril might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Various bad attitudes are present, as is some tense family material as well as various thematic elements (including that regarding the death penalty). Finally, some flashbacks show drinking, while there's also talk of doing the same.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of camera movement in the film, including some shaky handheld and various quick pans.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see wine on Jack's table and Sarah thanks him for the wine tasting from the night before (not seen).
  • We see a flashback to Jack at a bar drinking with various students, while others there also drink.
  • We see another flashback to the same bar scene from above where various people drink. In the present, Kim states that she didn't leave drunk and sleep with a stranger like Jack did. She does admit, however, that she later went out and had drinks with a student who was later murdered.
  • Kim says she drank too much in the past, and ended up marrying Guy who then beat her black and blue while intoxicated, resulting in her divorcing him.
  • We see an unopened bottle of champagne on a counter.
  • We see another flashback to the above bar scene, this time showing Kim drinking.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see the killer's scalpel draw blood as it runs along a victim's skin. We then see blood run down the face of that or another victim, while a second woman has a little blood on her chin.
  • We see the Slayer's latest victim, strung up by one leg, with blood down the side of her face.
  • We see a flashback to the Slayer's latest victim, hanging upside down, bloody, and screaming.
  • Jack hears the sound of screaming and races into a stairwell to find Lauren somewhat bloodied from an unseen attack (we later see stitches on her face).
  • We see a flashback to a scalpel cutting into some skin (with bloody results) and then the bloody scalpel being dropped to some surface. This is seen again later in the film.
  • We see another victim, strung up by one leg, with blood on her face.
  • Blood drips down onto the floor and then onto Jack's shoulder, forcing him to look up and see a woman dangling high above an atrium floor. We later see that woman closer up with blood on her hand, and a bloody cut on her neck.
  • The culprit is bloody after being shot. After that person falls many stories to an atrium floor, there's blood from the mouth, as well as a growing pool of blood on the floor behind the head.
  • Forster tells Jack that when he gets out of prison, he's going to "piss" all over Jack's grave.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Forster has been convicted of being a serial killer.
  • The person responsible for killing others in a copycat fashion and then trying to implicate Jack in those killings obviously has a bad attitude.
  • A campus cop refers to "snot-nosed" students and those who are "rich bitches."
  • Jack learns that Mike visited Forster in prison and apparently forged his signature on the permission slip (although it's later suggested that was the work of someone else).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Jack gets a call on his cell phone, hears screaming, and is then told he has just 88 minutes to live.
  • Jack sees a stranger watching from the back of the classroom. When Jack goes to approach him, that man leaves, and Jack can't locate him outside.
  • Carol reports a bomb threat and thus everyone evacuates the building (albeit in a mostly calm manner). Preparing to go, Jack then notices that someone has just written a threatening time update on the overhead projector.
  • Jack finds a time deadline message written on his car, and sees that the side window is broken out and the windshield smashed.
  • Jack hears the sound of screaming and races into a stairwell to find Lauren somewhat bloodied from an unseen attack. She says her attacker went into the parking garage after she bit his hand, and thus Jack runs in there and stops various people in their cars, checking to see if they have any wound to their hands.
  • Jack grabs and gets Kim out of the way just in time as a motorcycle races by and barely misses them.
  • Jack is suspicious of a new security guard at his building's front desk, as well as by an unsolicited package left for him.
  • At various points in the film, Jack receives more anonymous calls, each giving him less time to live.
  • Jack readies his gun as he and Kim know that someone is headed toward his apartment. They then see smoke coming under the door, followed by pounding on it. It's Guy, and Kim opens the door, only to have him aim his gun at her. Someone at the bottom of the steps in a motorcycle helmet, however, shoots and apparently kills him, and then repeatedly fires up through the open door, with Jack and Kim taking cover. They then flee and eventually get outside, where various bystanders panic when they see that Jack has a gun. During the ensuing chaos, Jack dives out of the way just in time as a fire truck races by. Moments later, he then tackles Kim to the ground after she tries to open his car door with a remote. The car then explodes.
  • Jack and Kim, handguns at the ready, enter Sara's place without an invite (thus breaking and entering, although the door is unlocked), and slowly walk around the place. They then see a dead woman strung up by one leg, with blood on her face. They then ready themselves when another person enters the apartment, but it's just Shelly.
  • Thinking Jack might be the perp, Frank briefly holds his handgun on him.
  • Jack slowly enters his office after receiving a call to go there.
  • Jack encounters the culprit who's holding a handgun, has one woman gagged and bound to a chair, and another attached to a rope, leaving her dangling high above an atrium floor. The culprit lets that woman slip a bit on that rope, while counting down Jack's time and forcing him to drop his gun and kick-slide it across the floor. The culprit also hits the bound woman on the head with her gun. Frank then shoots that culprit, causing the suspended woman to fall, with Jack grabbing that rope, but he's pulled toward the edge, collecting the culprit as he goes. He struggles to hold onto the suspended woman, with the culprit then falling many stories to the atrium floor (we don't see the impact, but do see the body, with a growing pool of blood under the head).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Unseen bomb/Scalpels Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • Jack finds a gun in Kim's purse, reprimands her about that, and she says her cop father makes her carry it. Later, Jack removes the clip in case she's the killer (she doesn't see him do that).
  • Thinking Jack might be the perp, Frank briefly holds his handgun on him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I'll blow your f*cking head off," "Slap the sh*t out of you," "Sh*t-load," "Oh sh*t," "Shut that damn cat up," "Tick-tock, doc," "Who the hell is this?" "You son of a bitch," "Screw you," "He's like a G*ddamn rock star," "What the hell /are you (guys) doing/was that/happened to you/is that?" "Snot-nosed," "Rich bitches," "You look a little freaked out," "Have you lost your mind?" "How in God's name..?" and "Piss all over it."
  • It's possible the mode of torture on display here might be enticing for some troubled kids to imitate. Other behavior/action might have the same reaction.
  • As Jack checks various people to see if they're the one who supposedly just attacked Lauren, one innocent man uses both hands to give him "the finger."
  • A campus cop has a tattoo on his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Jack's car suddenly explodes (although this is telegraphed).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some songs had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially containing objectionable material.
  • A song had a lyric that sounded like "see some ass."
  • A song includes the wording "hell yeah."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 5 "s" words, 15 hells, 6 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 1 crap, 6 uses each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God," 3 of "Jesus," 2 each of "For God's sakes" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "God," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a young woman in her bra, and then her sister in a short robe that's open, showing her bra and panties.
  • Jack wakes up to see Sarah standing fully nude in his place, toothbrush in hand and one leg lifted into the air in some yoga-type pose. We see her bare butt and a side view of her bare breast, with sex the night before heavily suggested.
  • When a federal agent implies that Jack might somehow be involved with a student's murder, Jack states that his relationships are professional and not sexual, adding that he doesn't sleep with his students or patients.
  • A song had a lyric that sounded like "see some ass."
  • Kim states that she didn't leave a bar drunk and sleep with a stranger like Jack did.
  • Kim flirts a bit with Jack in his place, and removes her sweater, leaving her in a camisole type top (that shows a little cleavage). She then reclines on his steps, but nothing happens.
  • Jack learns that Sara (the woman he had casual sex with) worked for an escort service.
  • We see a flashback to a woman (possibly Sara) walking out of the camera view, dropping her robe or top that allows us a brief side view of her bare breasts.
  • We see a quick flashback to Shelly kissing Lauren, and off-screen sex is implied. There's another such flashback later in the film (just kissing).
  • About a recent murder victim, Frank tells Jack that the latter's semen was found in her vaginal cavity. He then talks of her or another woman, asking Jack if it was his (Jack's) or the killer's semen in her, with Jack saying someone framed him by taking his semen from one woman and putting it in the other.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A woman must contend with being present at her sister's murder and the subsequent trial (all shown fairly quickly).
  • Jack learns that a threatening call came from a phone registered in the name of his sister who was murdered long ago at the age of 12.
  • Kim says she drank too much in the past, and ended up marrying Guy who then beat her black and blue while intoxicated, resulting in her divorcing him. She then worries about him coming around, and is then shocked when he's later shot and presumably killed.
  • Jack receives a tape recording of his 12-year-old sister's murder from many years ago (we hear part of her screaming and other sounds of violence).
  • Jack tells Kim the tale of his 12-year-old sister's death at the hands of a killer who took 88 minutes to hack her to death (just described, not seen).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Forensic psychologists.
  • Serial killers.
  • The death penalty.
  • Shelly reminds Jack that she's gay (which is why they haven't gotten married).
  • Kim says she drank too much in the past, and ended up marrying Guy who then beat her black and blue while intoxicated, resulting in her divorcing him.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see the POV of the killer racing toward a young woman in her apartment, and see her shocked reaction, but don't see the actual attack. Moments later, we see the killer hoisting the woman up off the floor by one leg, over which he runs or slides various items, including a scalpel that draws blood. He also renders her unconscious once again with more Halothane, and after the woman's sister wakes up from the noise, we see both women hanging upside down (both are bloody, and one is dead).
  • We briefly see video playback of the Slayer's latest victim screaming in agony.
  • We see a flashback to the Slayer's latest victim, hanging upside down, bloody, and screaming.
  • Jack finds a time deadline message written on his car, and sees that the side window is broken out and the windshield smashed.
  • Jack hears the sound of screaming and races into a stairwell to find Lauren somewhat bloodied from an unseen attack (we later see stitches on her face).
  • Jack readies his gun as he and Kim know that someone is headed toward his apartment. They then see smoke coming under the door, followed by pounding on it. It's Guy, and Kim opens the door, only to have him aim his gun at her. Someone at the bottom of the steps in a motorcycle helmet, however, shoots and apparently kills him, and then repeatedly fires up through the open door, with Jack and Kim taking cover. Once outside, Jack then tackles Kim to the ground after she tries to open his car door with a remote. The car then explodes.
  • We see another victim, strung up by one leg, with blood on her face.
  • When Mike won't let Jack leave, Jack pulls his handgun on him. When Mike asks if Jack is going to shoot him, Jack pauses, says yes, and then fires a shot by Mike's head (through a door, purposefully missing him).
  • Jack encounters the culprit who's holding a handgun, has one woman gagged and bound to a chair, and another attached to a rope, leaving her dangling high above an atrium floor. The culprit lets that woman slip a bit on that rope, while counting down Jack's time and forcing him to drop his gun and kick-slide it across the floor. The culprit also hits the bound woman on the head with her gun. Frank then shoots that culprit, causing the suspended woman to fall, with Jack grabbing that rope, but he's pulled toward the edge, collecting the culprit as he goes. He struggles to hold onto the suspended woman, with the culprit then falling many stories to the atrium floor (we don't see the impact, but do see the body, with a growing pool of blood under the head).



  • Reviewed April 16, 2008 / Posted April 18, 2008

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Crawl] [Stuber] [Annabelle Comes Home] [Midsommar] [Spider-Man: Far From Home] [Yesterday]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2019 Screen It, Inc.