In Seattle, the successful forensic psychiatrist and college professor Jack Gramm is in evidence since he was responsible for the condemnation of the serial killer Jon Forster, influencing the jury to sentence him to the death row. Jon accuses Jack of manipulation, inducing one witness and sister of one of his victims to testify against him. On the eve of Jon’s execution, Jack receives a phone call telling him that he has only eighty-eight minutes of life, while a killer is copycatting Jon, killing women with the same “modus-operandi” and is investigated by Seattle Slayer Task Force. With the support of his former wife and associated Shelly Barnes, the FBI agent and his friend Frank Parks and his assistant Kim Cummings, Jack investigate some weird and problematic students, a security guard of the campus and the woman with whom he had one night stand.
This thriller starring Al Pacino keeps viewers guessing until the end. Pacino plays forensic psychiatrist Dr. Jack Gramm. Nine years after his testimony helped convict a serial murderer, Dr. Gramm gets a phone call telling him that he only has 88 minutes left to live. The rest of the movies consists of Pacino running around trying to prove his theory that the murderer he put away nine years ago is behind the threat. But how can that particular psychopath be the mastermind, when he is on death row awaiting his execution that same night?
I love mysteries, but “88 Minutes” is just not satisfying, and I think I know why. What makes mysteries so enjoyable, whether in movie or book form, is trying to piece together all the clues to figure out who-dun-it. But in “88 Minutes,” there almost aren’t any clues!
Pacino’s character is therefore lost in trying to figure out what’s going on. The ending seems to surprise Dr. Gramm as much as the movie-going audience.
“88 Minutes” cannot be awarded our Dove Seal due to the violent theme, as well as the language, nudity and sexual content.