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Timed Out

Primed by a litany of innocent man Hitchcock thrillers, Out of Time situates itself near Miami, loving the sun-drizzled scenery as it lures audiences in with affairs, drugs, money, and temptation. Then there’s Denzel Washington as police chief Matt Whitlock, caught up in a divorce and a scheme to snatch drug money.

Whitlock is innocent of course. That’s never in question. How he keeps the charade going is where Out of Time finds its spark past a languid opening act. Whitlock sweats as his ex-wife detective begins to suspect he’s at fault in a double homicide arson – one of the victims being his mistress.

It’s complicated, maybe overly so. Hitchock never needed so many stray threads to draw tension, and Out of Time’s emulation feels derivative. The pile-on draws in early 2000s technology, from PDA-bound GPS systems to fax machines, instantly dating Out of Time.

Out of Time is best measured by its second act, where the energy focuses on getting Whitlock in too deep…

Despite the presence of door-kicking Eva Mendes, Out of Time’s Hitchcock touch is primarily wrapped in how it treats women. Sanaa Lathan is trapped in a role. She’s first a sex object for Whitlock. Later, Out of Time strips her of victim-hood in a gross twist, turning victim into perpetrator. Mendes too, she’s trampled on by the faster, smarter Matt Whitlock.

Missing is the vigor of a memorable thriller, that draining pace, situating Whitlock in persistent danger of being discovered. That all comes and goes, allowing too much rest and time outs for ironic comedy. Out of Time’s best sequence happens not in the throes of a chase or fight scene, but in the small town police station where ringing phones, straining fax machines, and yelling detectives creates a sense of palpable panic. Every electronic sound is another potential opening to exposing Whitlock’s involvement.

As a turn-of-the decade thriller, Out of Time leaves itself there, lacking the cinematic bite to retain any potency. Washington is stellar as Whitlock and where the script allows her to be, Mendes’ fire is on full display. Those two serve at the heart of Out of Time, but neither escape the wonky outcome or listless opening chapter. Out of Time is best measured by its second act, where the energy focuses on getting Whitlock in too deep, stacking lies on lies, leaving an uncertainty that he can work his way out. Once he dons a gun, Out of Time exists in a derivative early 2000s thriller mode.


The intense sun of Miami locations means extensive contrast. At times, whites clip, eroding fidelity if to a limited degree. Black levels counter with their own weightiness when the sun sets, dense and in avoidance of crush.

Prime lighting circumstances lifts out heavy fine detail. Close-ups resolve facial definition in droves. Washington’s panicked, often sweating face is a breeding ground for texture. Note that Out of Time uses a plethora of close-ups.

All of that is wonderful, but the master here is one that employs the touch of edge enhancement. Halos appear on any contrasting edge. Exteriors look unnaturally sharp and rigid. Grain elevates, too coarse and raw. Out of Time shows age with some print damage, one particularly ugly scratch notable a few minutes past the hour mark. Various spots of dirt show up too.

This is a colorful film, although the saturation on this Blu-ray reaches slightly too far. Bleeding of primaries is an issue, especially red. Out of Time lacks the qualities of a modern master, seemingly untouched since its DVD debut. At least the transfer doesn’t introduce any digital artifacts.


Rudimentary audio work leaves the soundtstage of Out of Time listless. Miami’s liveliness produces no ambiance. Minor sound elements slip into the stereos, splitting things enough to catch a closing car door or thrown gun to slide out from the center. During the finale, gunshots carry a tail through into the surrounds, at least a sign of rear channel activity.

Unlike the video, age doesn’t show in terms of fidelity. Dialog is still precise. Low dynamic range keeps volume stable, if to no benefit of anyone seeking some pop.

On a final note, the subtitles on this disc contain innumerable typos. Between missed spaces, randomly substituting / for I, and other weird errors, those who need them will have moments of struggle.


Director Carl Franklin provides a commentary track. Franklin is then a frequent participant in Crime Scene, a generic featurette from the DVD release. A single outtake is included in a menu option labeled “outtakes,” plural. Oops. Short screen tests from Dean Cain and others show a little bit of the process, and text/stills-based character profiles look like something from the DVD-ROM era.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Out of Time
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


While Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes stand out in their roles, Out of Time is derivative, slow, and lacking in an exciting finish.

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