Out of Time

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Out of Time Movie Poster Image
Best for older teens and their parents.
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Honesty is the central theme of this film.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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

Violence

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

Sex

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

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and smoking, character drinks too much.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 adre... Continue reading
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 littl... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTrust_me November 5, 2017

Not for young kids

Two extremely steamy sex scenes with a heavy reference to oral sex. Constantly tense and maybe scary for young children.

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate