Until its unfortunate surrender to a formulaic finish, "Out of Time" is one taut, twisty and creatively startling noir thriller about a small-town Florida sheriff whose affair with a married woman begets one ethical misstep that links him to a double homicide -- with all the evidence pointing to him as the prime suspect.

Set in a sleepy but sultry burg in the Keys, where a whiff of duplicity hangs in the air like the humidity, the film stars Denzel Washington as Matt Whitlock, a casually conscientious cop fated to spend the whole movie barely half a step ahead of the his own investigators, trying simultaneously to obscure the facts and clear his name.

Seeking solace from a recent split with his fiery FBI-agent wife (Eva Mendes), Whitlock begins the story immersed in a steamy affair with Ann (the stunning Sanaa Lathan), a vulnerably sexy old flame now married to an abusive failed NFL player (Dean Cain), with whom the sheriff shares a long-running animosity.

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