Nick of Time


Nick of Time

Critics Consensus

It isn't the worst '90s action thriller, but by bungling a story pitting Johnny Depp against Christopher Walken, the rote Nick of Time ranks among the most disappointing.



Total Count: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 57,364
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Nick of Time Photos

Movie Info

A stranger pulled into a deadly scheme races against time to save his daughter in this thriller. Gene Watson (Johnny Depp) is an accountant who comes to L.A. with his ten-year-old daughter Lynn (Courtney Chase) to attend a funeral. On the street, Gene and Lynn are pulled aside by Mr. Smith (Christopher Walken) and Ms. Jones (Roma Maffia), who flash what look like police badges and usher them into a van. Gene soon discovers that he's been kidnapped, and his captors have an unusual demand -- if Gene does not murder Gov. Eleanor Grant (Marsha Mason) within 75 minutes, his daughter will be killed. Gene now has just an hour and a quarter to tip off the authorities, spare Gov. Grant, and find out what Smith and Jones are trying to do, along with saving his daughter's life. He finds a much-needed ally in one-legged shoe-shine man Huey (Charles S. Dutton). Most of the action in Nick of Time occurs in "real time," meaning that the passage of time on screen matches that of real life, as the frequent shots of clocks and watches will attest.

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Johnny Depp
as Gene Watson
Courtney Chase
as Lynn Watson
Roma Maffia
as Ms. Jones
Marsha Mason
as Gov. Eleanor Grant
Peter Strauss
as Brendan Grant
Gloria Reuben
as Krista Brooks
Bill Smitrovich
as Officer Trust
G.D. Spradlin
as Mystery Man
Miguel Nájera
as Franco, Governor's Bodyguard
Jerry Tondo
as Chief Aide
Lance Hunter Voorhees
as Weapons Security
Lance August
as Personal Security
Peter Mackenzie
as JBN Reporter
Rick Zieff
as JBN Videographer
Tom Bradley
as Himself
Michael Chong
as Asian Man
Cynthia Noritake
as Asian Woman
Holly Kuespert
as Physically Attractive Woman
Pamela Dunlap
as Centerpiece Poacher
Jan Speck
as Rally Orienter
Tom Lawrence
as Personal Waste Facility User
Robert Buckingham
as Illegal Security Access Carrier
John Azevedo Jr.
as Security Associate
Clark Johnson
as Hackney Transportist
Isabel Lorca
as French Woman
Antonette Saftler
as Mrs. Wentzel
Teddy Beeler
as Union Station Security
Alison Stuart
as Verbally Abusive Spouse
Yul Vázquez
as Gustino, Guest Services
Edith Diaz
as Irene, Domestic Maintenance
Armando Ortega
as Hector, Guest Services
C.J. Bau
as Mixologist
Cynthena Sanders
as Beverage Server
Dana Mackey
as Transport Reception Manager
Christopher Jacobs
as Comestible Server
Charles Carroll
as Sanitation Engineer
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News & Interviews for Nick of Time

Critic Reviews for Nick of Time

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Nick of Time

  • Aug 20, 2016
    This movie basically sucks and makes no sense, but is totally worth watching just for Christopher Walken, who's absolutely hilarious and unhinged here.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 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).
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2012
    The film is a lot of fun, even if it is terribly flawed with conventional storytelling. Great central cast and an early Depp performance. Walken steals the show as normal, he just oozes charisma in every scene and without him the film doesn't tick along. I miss these mid budget thrillers, they had so much ambition and no real issues being made, they just made no money. Fun premise and a guilty time waster. 19/04/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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