5Ive Days To Midnight

  • 2004
  • 3 HR 30 MIN
  • NR
  • Science Fiction

Originally aired in four parts on the SciFi Channel, this time-travel mystery gets off to an engaging start before knotting itself up in its own temporal paradoxes. Widowed physics professor J.T. Neumeyer (Timothy Hutton) has been through a rough period since his wife's death, but his life has taken a turn for the better. His adorable daughter, Jesse (Gage...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Originally aired in four parts on the SciFi Channel, this time-travel mystery gets off to an engaging start before knotting itself up in its own temporal paradoxes. Widowed physics professor J.T. Neumeyer (Timothy Hutton) has been through a rough period since his wife's death, but his life has taken a turn for the better. His adorable daughter, Jesse (Gage Golightly, who bears a striking resemblance to the young Drew Barrymore) is the light of his life and he's begun dating Claudia (Kari Matchett), who just might be the one. Jesse's birthday is always a bittersweet event, since it's also the day her mother died, but J.T. has planned a big party and has started thinking it's time to invite Claudia to spend the night. But while visiting his wife's grave with Jesse, J.T. makes a puzzling discovery: A futuristic-looking suitcase tucked behind the headstone and containing a homicide report dated five days in the future. If the report is for real. J.T, will die at 3:55 A.M. on Friday on the stage of a strip joint called Buck Naked. The victim: J.T. His initial reaction is to laugh it off as a nasty prank, but bit by bit J.T.'s life begins to move into sync with the details in the report. The unfamiliar parka in the crime-scene photos arrives in the form of a gift from Claudia. He's forced to rent a car after he has a freakish accident in his own — he swerves to avoid hitting a dog and a steel beam drops from a construction site and goes right through the roof and pierces the passenger seat — and and the one he's given is the exact same make, model and color as the one he's supposedly driving the night he dies. Seriously spooked, J.T. starts thinking seriously about the list of suspects contained in the file: his apparently wealthy brother-in-law, who's actually on the verge of bankruptcy (David McIlwraith); an eccentric student named Carl Axelrod (Hamish Linklater); Claudia, and Roy Bremmer (Angus Macfadyen), a man of whom he's never even heard. He also contacts local Detective Irwin Sikorski (Randy Quaid), the investigator on the case, who's understandably skeptical of J.T.'s tale. J.T.'s only real hope is that he can somehow use his knowledge of physics to alter the future and prevent his own murder, but the clock is ticking and his initial efforts only seem to make matters worse. Though the climax is a muddle, this tricky genre hybrid benefits from strong performances, handsome production values and a series of entertaining story twists.

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