This is a 2007 movie.
The name sounded curious, indicating a timeline for achieving something. I saw the trailer on the TV channel showing Al Pacino as the main actor, so I was interested to see the movie. My wife likes Al Pacino as well, and both of us decided it might be worth seeing.
Well, my opinion is that “88 Minutes” was indeed a good movie with a gripping story line. The movie did meander around for some time, with poor direction, no doubt about that. However, forensic psychiatry was a new thing and I was wondering what is it all about, intrigued that a murder case could be resolved by what appeared to be a unique science. Unfortunately, the movie does not explain clearly what is forensic psychiatry, and Al Pacino’s character does not display any knowledge of the subject matter, apart from trying to teach a distracted class.
The idea that a criminal would come after the key evidence implicating him is not new. But, in this movie, the criminal, who is just going to be executed in prison, manipulates his legal team and causes new murders which resemble his own original crime. And, the victims that he chooses (operating out of his prison cell) come from the classroom of Al Pacino (Dr Gramm). This is where the story line is rather unique and manipulative of one’s expectations.
Though Al Pacino fails to decipher what is going on repeatedly, towards the end he does make some right guesses on the motive of the perpetrator and links the new murders to the criminal who is going to be executed. What is a bit difficult to understand is why the police does not follow him closely, so that they would automatically be led to the new crime scene, instead of Dr Gramm alerting them to come quickly.
The mystery of the 88 minutes that were given to Dr Gramm as the time left for him to live has been handled well by the director, happening when Dr Gramm walks into the university, continuing through his classroom, moving to his car, the actual perpetrator (Lauren Douglas) leading him by repeat phone calls, apartment scenes, delivery of packages by courier, the murder on the staircase, and then to the final scene at the university campus. The pace is good and it was a gripping chase by Dr Gramm all the way.
While it is not the best movie with the best director, and received some bad reviews, I believe it was a good choice for an evening – in fact, I refused to move away from the TV even during dinner time ! Overall, I liked the movie.
See it !
8th January 2012