Out of Time Movie Poster Image

Out of Time



Best for older teens and their parents.
  • Review Date: January 5, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Honesty is the central theme of this film.

Positive role models

A strong, racially diverse cast features powerful and determined individuals.


Tense peril and gunplay, characters killed, brief graphic shot of charred bodies. Intense peril.


The movie includes some steamy sexual situations that are right up at the limit of the PG-13 rating; adultery.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking, character drinks too much.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes some steamy sexual situations that are right up at the limit of the PG-13 rating. Characters use some strong language. Characters drink and smoke, one to excess. Violence includes gunplay, death from a fall, and a brief shot of charred dead bodies. Inter-racial relationships and marriages are refreshingly portrayed as commonplace, one of the movie's strengths.

What's the story?

With its very tangled web of betrayal, greed, and murder, OUT OF TIME recalls those classic old-fashioned noir films. Everything about Chief of Police Matthias Whitlock (Denzel Washington), from the crisply pressed white shirt and dark shorts of his uniform to the way he walks down the street checking to see whether all the doors are locked, tells us that he is extremely careful, meticulously honest, and highly professional. But then he answers a call from Ann Harrison (Sanaa Lathan) about a prowler, and things are different when it comes to her. They are having an affair that no one else knows about, especially Ann's abusive husband (Dean Cain) and Matt's estranged wife Alex (Eva Mendes). Matt tells Ann a small lie about Alex. And then, when Ann is diagnosed with cancer and needs an experimental treatment, borrowing that money from the evidence safe begins to seem like a possibility. The sharp uniform and close shave are gone. Matt wears a loose Hawaiian shirt and looks increasingly unraveled.

Is it any good?


Like Body Heat, Out of Time is a throwback to the noir classics, in which an ordinary man is drawn into disaster. Matt (and the audience) may think at first that he has done the wrong thing for the right reasons, but then things spiral out of control and into disaster. The plot holes are outweighed by the specifics of the story and the people who tell it. The movie makes nice sly use of the cliche that white people think that all black people look alike. Having Alex as the homicide detective assigned to the case is a fine twist, and affects her in personal and professional ways.

Most important, there is Washington himself, one of the all-time most mesmerizing and appealing screen stars. This role takes full advantage of all of Washington's greatest strengths, especially his ability to get and keep us on his side and his brilliance in conveying a secretive character. Lathan and Mendes are both exceptionally fine, and Cain is nicely creepy and menacing. The real find here, though, is John Billingsly as Matt's colleague Shay, whose gives his line readings a deliciously offbeat spin, making him far more than the standard wisecracking sidekick.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about where Matt's turning point was and whether he would have been more likely to tell the truth if not for his complicated relationship with Alex.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 2, 2003
DVD release date:January 6, 2004
Cast:Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan
Director:Carl Franklin
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content, violence and some language

This review of Out of Time was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

Not recommended if your child is under 16

You'll like this movie if you like fast-paced detective stories. The violence is bloodless for the most part, but there are two graphic scenes. Your adrenaline will definitely get rushing. The acting is fairly believable most of the time, even if the story is not. However, the sex scenes border on pornographic, especially at the beginning, when two of the main characters enact a rape. This was not essential to the story.
Teen, 15 years old Written byDomination777 October 30, 2011

Great, but a lot of sex.

There is a lot of sex. So much that I could hardly handle. Besides the sex, movie had a great plot and had a huge twist at the end. The movie starts off a little slow, but got really intense.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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