Nine years ago, torturer and murderer Jon Forster was convicted and sentenced to death after being testified against by forensic professor Jack Gramm (Pacino). In the present day, Forster is due to be executed at midnight. But then, several more murders with an identical modus operandi occur, and then, on the way to his class, Gramm receives a threatening phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live...
This film provides examples of:
- Catchphrase: Lauren Douglas:"Tick tock, tick tock. You have [X] minutes to live." Pacino gives an Ironic Echo version to Forster at the end: "Tick tock, tick tock, you have 12 hours to live."
- Girl Friday: Gramm's secretary Shelly, who is a loyal friend and helps throughout the film when Gramm needs it the most.
- Incompatible Orientation: Gramm says he and Shelly would be perfect together, but she points out she's gay. He knows, but Gramm clearly likes the idea despite this.
- Kavorka Man: Gramm, clearly in his 60's, seems to attract every straight woman on the set.
- Large Ham:"DID I BLOW MY CAAAAR?! DID I SHOOT BULLETS AT MYSELF?!"
- Lipstick Lesbian: Shelly, who mentions she's gay early on but has entirely feminine looks and manner.
- Ms. Fanservice: While naked, Sara does a weird leg stand while also brushing her teeth. Gramm's reaction is appropriately a mix between excitement and an unstated "What the hell?"
- Naked Apron: Sara in the beginning is wearing one, and nothing else.
- Race Against the Clock: The titular 88 minutes Gramm has left before the killer is done playing with him and actually kills him.
- Really Gets Around: Gramm is indicated to have frequent casual sex with much younger, attractive women.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Plot threads and shady characters come and go without any full resolution.