88 Minutes

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88 Minutes
88 Minutes Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon Avnet
Produced by Jon Avnet
Randall Emmett
Michael P. Flannigan
George Furla (executive)
Avi Lerner(executive)
Gary Scott Thompson
Written by Gary Scott Thompson
Starring Al Pacino
Alicia Witt
Leelee Sobieski
William Forsythe
Deborah Kara Unger
Amy Brenneman
Neal McDonough
Benjamin McKenzie
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Denis Lenoir
Edited by Peter Berger
Production
  company
Millennium Films
Equity Pictures
Family Room Entertainment
Emmett/Furla Films
Distributed by TriStar Pictures (United States)
Warner Bros. (United Kingdom)
Release date(s)
  • March 2, 2007 (2007-03-02) (Israel)
  • April 18, 2008 (2008-04-18) (United States)
Running time 111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30,000,000[1]
Box office $32,593,385[2]

88 Minutes is a 2008 American thriller film directed by Jon Avnet, and starring Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, William Forsythe, Deborah Kara Unger, Amy Brenneman, Neal McDonough and Benjamin McKenzie. Filming began in the Vancouver area on October 8, 2005, and wrapped up in December 2005. In 2007 the film was released in various European countries.

In May 2007, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group paid $6 million to acquire North American and select international distribution rights of 88 Minutes.[3][4] The group released this film in the United States theatrically on April 18, 2008, through TriStar Pictures.

Plot[edit]

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Jack Gramm (Al Pacino) testifies at the trial of suspected serial murderer Jon Forster (Neal McDonough), dubbed "The Seattle Slayer" by police. Gramm's testimony and expert psychiatric opinion are crucial to help convict Forster of the attempted killing of Janie Cates and the murder of Joanie Cates, who was drugged with halothane, hung upside down, raped and tortured after the killer broke into her home. After receiving his conviction by the jury, Forster taunts Gramm, saying "Tick-tock, Doc."

Nine years later, as Forster's execution date approaches, several similar torture murders with very similar modus operandi occur. Gramm is questioned by a lawyer from the Attorney General's office as well as FBI Special Agent Frank Parks (William Forsythe) about his connection to the latest victim, Dale Morris, a former psychology student of Gramm's with whom he was at a party the night before, just hours before her death. On the way to his class, Gramm receives a phone call from someone using software to distort their voice, threatening he has 88 minutes to live. He later reports the call to his secretary Shelly (Amy Brenneman) and has her put together a risk assessment profile of potential perpetrators.

Gramm receives another threatening phone call while teaching and becomes suspicious of his students, particularly Mike Stempt (Benjamin McKenzie). The Dean of students, Carol Johnson (Deborah Kara Unger), interrupts the class to evacuate the building due to a bomb threat called in. As he evacuates the lecture hall, Gramm finds a written threat on the overhead projector in the classroom as well as on his car, which has been vandalized in the parking garage. Gramm then is met by his teaching assistant Kim Cummings (Alicia Witt) who offers to help him find the person that's been targeting him. In the stairwell of the parking garage, Gramm comes upon one of his students, Lauren Douglas (Leelee Sobieski), attacked by an unknown assailant and reports the assault to Campus Security.

Gramm and Kim go to his condo where a package has been delivered. Lauren drops by with the risk assessment of people who may want to kill him that he had asked Shelly to fax to his home. The package contains an old audio tape of his kid sister, Katie, begging for her life, and her subsequent murder. Gramm later explains she was killed several years ago when he left her alone in his apartment while he attended an important meeting; the crime took exactly 88 minutes. As Gramm determines someone had accessed his secure files area to obtain the audio tape, suddenly Kim's ex-husband, Guy LaForge (Stephen Moyer), shows up with a gun but is shot and killed from behind by an unknown person wearing a motorcycle helmet and leather protective gear. The shooter flees through the crowd outside after a fire alarm is triggered in the building.

Next, Gramm and Kim visit Sara Pollard (Leah Cairns), the woman Gramm was with the night before, but find her murdered in her apartment with evidence incriminating Gramm. Carol calls Gramm and makes comments suggesting that she is the killer and demands Gramm meet her at his office. Shelly arrives at Sara's apartment and advises Gramm she suspects Lauren was the one who stole the audio tape of Gramm's sister's death. Kim disappears from the apartment and later calls Gramm with a threat similar to Carol's, also demanding he meet her at the office.

Through prison visitation records, Gramm deduces that Forster's appeals attorney "Lydia Doherty" is actually Lauren using a pseudonym, and surmises she set up the frame on orders from Forster from jail. Kim calls again instructing Gramm to come to another nearby location on campus where he finds Carol has been hung over a seventh floor balcony and Kim is tied up and gagged, held at gun point by Lauren. Lauren threatens Gramm and forces him to "confess" on tape that he gave false testimony at Forster's trial. Special Agent Parks arrives and shoots Lauren, causing both Carol and Lauren to fall from the balcony. Gramm saves Carol from completing the fall, but Lauren comes loose and plummets to her death. When Forster calls asking to speak with Lauren, Gramm informs him Lauren is dead, the set up is over. He then quips, "Tick tock, tick tock, you got 12 hours to live." He then hurls the phone into the atrium, where it strikes the ground floor and shatters.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Jon Avnet replaced James Foley as director. Shero Rauf was the digital effects artist for the film.

The university scenes in the film were shot at the University of British Columbia near Vancouver, which stood in for a fictional Northwest Washington University.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $6,957,216 in 2,168 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking fourth at the box office and averaging $3,209 per theater. In its second weekend, the film grossed $3,593,890 and fell to number eight at the box office.[5] The film grossed $17,213,467 at the US and Canadian box office and $15,379,918 internationally, for a worldwide gross of $32,593,385.

Home media[edit]

88 Minutes was released on home video on September 16, 2008, and sold 220,965 in the opening weekend. As of the seventh week, it has sold about 574,041 units which gathered revenue of $11,150,056 or more than one-third of the budget.[1]

Reception[edit]

88 Minutes was heavily panned by critics. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 5% of 122 surveyed critics gave a positive review, and the average rating was 2.6/10; the consensus is: "88 Minutes is a shockingly inept psychological thriller that expertly squanders the talent at hand."[6] On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 17%, based on 27 reviews.[7]

The film was nominated for two Razzie Awards, Worst Actor for Al Pacino and Worst Supporting Actress for Leelee Sobieski, but lost to Mike Myers for The Love Guru and Paris Hilton for Repo! The Genetic Opera.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "88 Minutes". The Numbers. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  2. ^ "88 Minutes (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  3. ^ Garrett, Diane (2007-05-21). "Sony snaps up 'Friday' remake". Variety. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  4. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (2008-04-22). "How The Mighty Have Fallen". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  5. ^ "88 Minutes (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  6. ^ "88 Minutes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  7. ^ "88 Minutes". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 

External links[edit]