A respected small-town police chief pockets the cash from a drugs bust so he can spend time with his terminally ill lover. But when he's accused of murder and arson, it's a race against time to recover the dough and discover the truth.
The biggest shock about Out Of Time is that, after directing the lacklustre High Crimes, somebody still felt Carl Franklin was a sound choice for another corkscrew thriller.
Despite demonstrating some taut work early in his career with One False Move, on the evidence of this and its predecessor, Franklin appears at a loss when accentuating a plot's key moments.
Denzel Washington, as always, puts in a good performance, but we never truly relate to his changing character and, as a result, the necessary audience empathy doesn't emerge. Furthermore, Franklin squanders the obvious opportunity to generate some nail-biting anxiety, as Washington barely reveals a hint of shock, betrayal or panic as the pressure increasingly mounts.
As the reasonable neo-noir story meanders to an expected conclusion, some may be able to forgive and forget the frequent indiscretions. But for others, this is another thriller absent of any real thrills.
More of a Sunday drive than a rollercoaster ride, this works as a well-played character piece but fails to generate sustained tension.