Nick of Time - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nick of Time Reviews

Page 1 of 73
Super Reviewer
August 4, 2006
A very average movie, a political conspiracy Thriller, with a corny plot. No Johnny Depp stamp on this one and not one he'll be remembered for, watchable, but very forgettable
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2007
I forgot about it as soon as I saw it.
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2009
Ninety minutes. Six bullets. No choice.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2007
"Kisses to you.
- No, kisses to you!"

John Badham, the director, has had some moderate success in the 70's and 80's. 'Saturday Night Fever', 'War Games' and 'Stakeout' just to name a few. Nowadays he's making a career at the TV industry and I'm pretty sure that 'Nick of Time' has something to do with it...

Don't get me wrong! This movie has some good elements. First of all comes in mind that the movie is shown in "real time". I can't really think of that many movies that are made like this. 'Vantage Point' and 'Phone Booth'? And of course now Jack Bauer on TV in '24'...

But the problem with this movie is that it doesn't fee like a movie but more like a 90 minute long TV film. It doesn't have "big screen" written on it. The action is pretty lame and there's like no tension at all. And come to think of it, the story ain't that good either...

But what saves this film from sucking ass is Christopher Walken. He manages to overact once again but in a good way... Like always. Johnny Depp shows glimpses of his star ability but the rest of the cast are mostly unknown to me or familiar from different TV shows. Don't get me wrong (again), I like good TV just as much as the next guy but this isn't a film that should be given major release because it just doesn't have the key elements for that.

So, in my opinion, 'Nick of Time' is recommended only for Depp or Walken fans.
Super Reviewer
November 26, 2009
Written by a ham and cheese sandwich.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
An odd movie. The look is very stylized and I feel it made the film look like a cheap product. The script and plot was less than average and not even Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken could save it from being a bland film.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2009
"Nick of Time" is one of the movies you never hear that much about. It's hard for me to believe that it's not one of the most popular suspense movies of the last few years. A psychopath (Christopher Walken) gives an accountant (Johnny Depp) a job that he didn't want to have. It's 12:00 noon and if Johnny Depp doesn't kill the governor by 1:30, the psychopaths will kill his daughter. He doesn't want to kill the governor and he tries to get help but everytime he sees a policeman or talks to somebody, he finds the psychopath that hired him right beside him or that either the person he turns to for help is involved in the murderous scheme. Johnny Depp has to either find someone to talk to or he must kill the governor, because he will do anything it takes to see his daughter again.
The people who made "Nick of Time" did a brilliant job in making the film suspenseful with the frequent showing of clocks and the great score of the movie. The music and sound effects couldn't have been better for the movie. "Nick of Time" is also well acted by everyone, especially Christopher Walken, Johnny Depp, and Charles S. Dutton. I think "Nick of Time" is one of the most underrated movies of the 90's. It doesn't get the credit that it well deserves. If you like great suspense movies, I definitely recommend getting "Nick of Time." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. The critics didn't really like it, but I thought this was an underrated movie, especially for Depp, and a suspense film that succeeded.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2009
A clever idea - an thriller played along real time to involve the viewer directly in the tension and pressure of the deadlines. Depp is forced to kill a senator or his daughter will be killed by Walken and Maffia. He is given a gun and a time limit to carry it out.

As the basis for a thriller it doesn't quite work - the real time concept falls apart a few times, but with this much talent on board it still holds it own. A throwback to the Hitchcock everyman thrillers of years ago, Depp plays his character well and you always believe he is just an ordinary man in an unbelievable situation rather than an action hero in the making while Walken does what he does best and plays the villain well.

The plot holds together well and you really find stuff out at the same time as Depp does. Some of the conspiracy stuff towards the end of the film is obvious and doesn't add anything to the film, but the main story revolving around Depp and Walken is tense enough to carry the film.

It doesn't contain any explosions or martial arts but the tension is good throughout. It's not a classic thriller but it's quite an original idea and plot and nearly manages to keep the tension for the whole movie.
Super Reviewer
½ February 6, 2007
This clever thriller plays itself out in "real time"; that is, the entire action takes place during the time required to watch it.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2008
Mediocre attempt of Hitchcockian assassination plot. the few interesting paranoid spans are soon forgotten. A hackneyed thriller that crumbles minute by minute.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
Walken almost ate my television.
Super Reviewer
September 24, 2007
okay for a "on tv" movie.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Interesting thriller.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2007
A good thriller I hadn't heard of before, has a strong cast and plenty of tension.
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2007
It's a nice idea, and we all love Johnny and Christopher, but the real-time conceit feels gimmicky and it's a little forgettable. Far from awful though.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2006
Such a great idea in theory, but on film it never quite came together.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2006
One of Depps' unusual movies - he plays a normal character in a thriller - which was treated unfairly - i thought the plot was great and its something you dont see everyday. Fast paced and some good thrills by veteran Christopher Walken - this is a movie where time is of the essence!!!
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2006
Movies taking place in real time are cool.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2012
Nick of Time is a political thriller that takes some interesting turns, but has trouble maintaining suspense. The story follows a man who's given less than two hours to assassinate California's governor at a campaign rally, or else his daughter will be killed. Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken give strong performances, but the rest of the cast is rather bland. The story is fairly simple and focused, but the plot's a bit weak in some areas and doesn't develop the characters enough to get invested in the story. Still, there's some intense, riveting action and a clever plot. Overall, Nick of Time makes for an entertaining film (even with its flaws).
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2011
From the director of "Saturday Night Fever" comes an action thriller. ...Hey, I guess it seems appropriate, and no, not because John Badham also did plenty of other thriller type films like this, but because if you've seen "Alice in Wonderland" all the way to the end, when Mad Hatter started bustin' some moves straight out of "The Excorcist", you'd know that Johnny Depp dancing is scary enough for this film to be pretty tense. Shame that wasn't quite enough to help the film past all of its problems. Seriously, when I tell you that "Nick of Time" is a "waste of time", I really, really, really just said that, because I heard someone who didn't like the film say that, and I just fell in love with the saying, which is probably the only thing about this film that you can remember. No the film isn't nearly that bad, but let's go ahead and jump right into the flaws of this film while it's still fresh in my mi...-wait, what were we talking about? Oh yes, "Noke of Tim"-I mean "Nike of Tom"-I mean "Nickel Time". ...Okay, I think that's it.

Right out of the gate, during the opening credits, this film portrays the mechanics of a firing gun, set to some awesome music. At that point, even if you're cynical about this film, you're pumped up, ready for some hardcore thriller action. Still, as you go along, you come to realize that this film... well, is actually pretty exciting, but that's not the only convention this film falls into. Now, the storyline, while nothing terrible unconventional, still has some uniqueness to it, but just because something is unique in concept, doesn't mean that it doesn't have to be unique in execution. Now, the screenplay isn't plagued with terrible dialogue, a total absence of character development and overall stupidity, but it's still somewhat generic, and even worse, rather underwhelming, particularly in the development department, for although development isn't completely absent, as I said earlier, there's still not enough of it for us to latch onto these characters and storyline, landing a heavy blow against the compellingness. I'll be the first to admit that the film has plenty of points of tension, but there's not enough of those points to power the story past its genericism and underwhelmingness, ultimately leaving it somewhat forgettable. Still, while you're in the heat of the moment, it's not like the experience of watching this film is a painful one, for although much of the film lacks uniqueness, the film does make its fair share of good moves, some of which are, in fact, somewhat unique ones.

If nothing else, the film is entertaining and well done in some aspects, from a solid score with a Danny Elfman sound, only with more pump, to enjoyably surrealistic sound design tricks, both of which do contribute to the tension within the film. Still, what you'll notice and enjoy out of the film all throughout it is its style. Granted, the lighting gets to be rather messy in some settings, but on the whole, the cinematography is lively and gritty. It's hard to fully lock into this film, what with its underwhelmingness, but if you can get some grip on things, be careful not to let go, because there is constantly something going on, and although this film's style isn't as effective as it could have been, it remains one of the two most significant sources of the tension and what compellingness there is. The other most significant source of the compellingness is, of course, Johnny Depp, playing his ever so rare "every man" role, and doing it pretty darn well. I find it funny that on the few occasions where Depp plays an every man, he's always caught up in some crazy situation most of the population will never face, but if we were to face a situtation like our lead, Mr. Gene Watson, does, there's no way we wouldn't be going through a lot of panic, a lot of confusion and a lot of questioning of what to do next, and how to get out of this sitatuion, and Depp nails it like a board with charisma and stong, subtle emotion, defining anything and everything about his character and the situation that he's put in so effectively, that nothing more than a slight eye shift will hit you clean in the gut. Sadly, Depp can't carry the film past its flaws and underwhelmingness, but earlier, when I joked that the only reason to remember this film is for that "waste of time" joke some guy made, I was pulling your leg like a quarter horse, because really, outside of its style, watching Depp's brilliant portrayal of this everyday guy's frantic struggle to find some way out is not just the biggest thing to remember out of this film, but the biggest reason to watch it.

When time runs out on the film, your memory of the film all but runs out too, thanks to the genericism and underwhelming execution of a potentially unique concept, but what keeps you going with the film, as well as after it, is its slick style, as well as Johnny Depp's powerful and believable portrayal of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time, ultimately leaving "Nick of Time" to stand as a generally entertaining and tense thriller.

2.5/5 - Fair
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