Title: 88 Minutes
Year: 2007
Run Time: 111 minutes
Genre: Action, Crime, Suspense
Cast: Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, Amy Brenneman, Neal McDonough
Director: Jon Avnet

There are two versions of this movie.
In the original, the story begins with the rape and murder of woman. Forensic pathologist Jack Gramm (Al Pacino) testifies in court and Jon Forster (Neal McDonough) is sent away for murder. In the second release of this movie, the story starts with Gramm waking up from a one night stand and heads to his office.
While at work he gets a visit from the police informing him that a Forster copycat serial killer has just killed one of his students, Dale Morris. On his way to lecture his class he gets a mysterious call informing him he has 88 minutes to live. He has his assistant, Shelly (Amy Brenneman) place a trace on his calls and it turns out the call was placed from a number registered in his murdered sister’s name. He then starts to race against the clock to figure out who is threating his life and suspicion shifts from colleagues to students to Jon Forster fans, all the while keeping Forster from getting a stay of execution and keeping blame off himself for Forster’s conviction and the murders.

-“The legal distinction between sanity and insanity rests upon what?”

Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes, Red Corner, Uprising) directs this story by Gary Scott Thompson of the Hollow and Fast and the furious fame. It’s a whodunnit that’s supposed to grip you and keep you guessing, but it instead comes off as stiff and uncaptivating. Some critics may finger Avnet for blame in this dull, poorly told story, but I felt the biggest let down of this movie is Pacino. He at no time seems like the smart, intuitive scientist he is supposed to portray. He never seems in control or having any idea of what he’s doing. It is truly sad to watch Al Pacino in this film. He is now making just as many flops as he has good movies and may soon be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

What works:
I liked the premise. I grew up on Agatha Christie’s and Murder She Wrote.
It does have a great closing scene, from which I get my footer.

What doesn’t work:
Al Pacino. He simply doesn’t seem credible in this role.
Al Pacino. Why does he always have to yell so much.
Those annoying flashbacks.

Who will enjoy this movie:
It doesn’t have much appeal. If you are a fan of the classic whodunnits you might like the suspense.

Must see? No. Must Have? No.

My Score: 2.5 out of 10

“I personally don’t believe in capital punishment. I do believe in the rights of victims . I do believe that they deserve recompense no matter how significant or insignificant it may be in comparison to their loss.”