Cuba Gooding Jr. in Ticking Clock (2011)

Time and Again

Investigate journalist Lewis Hicks (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is not overly popular with Detective Becker (Yancey Arias) as an article he wrote was not short in pointing out Becker's failings. It is why when Hicks' girlfriend is brutally murdered Detective Becker is more than happy to put Hicks at the top of his suspects. But having given chase to a mysterious man (Neal McDonough) he saw fleeing his girlfriend's home Hicks finds him in possession of the man's journal which he uses to start his own investigation. But not only do all the clues suggest the killer is a teen orphan at a home run by nuns but there are other's listed in the journal to be killed on specific dates. On top of that Becker won't let it go that Hicks is the only thing which connects all the killings.

For about the first 75 minutes "Ticking Clock" feels pretty ordinary with a thriller built around Hicks trying to solve the case before the next person on the list is killed. And of course it puts Hicks not only in danger from being killed by the serial killer who seems to start toying with him but it also puts him at the top of detective Becker's shit list. And to be honest whilst none of it sucks, in fact some of it is surprisingly graphic, "Ticking Clock" doesn't feel like a movie which was made with passion, just a movie which was a paying job for most of those involved.

Neal McDonough in Ticking Clock (2011)

But observant movie fans will notice that "Ticking Clock" is not just a thriller with some typical action scenes it is also sci-fi and as such there is a twist which arrives although one which is hinted at as Hicks and those he asks for help put the pieces together. Now I won't tell you what the twist is but whilst not the greatest take on this twist it certainly lifts the movie and brings some intensity to the final scenes.

What also helps "Ticking Clock" is that whilst Cuba Gooding Jr. delivers a solid performance you also have Neal McDonough as this mysterious serial killer. And it is the mix of conceited and danger which McDonough gives his character which makes him entertaining.

What this all boils down to is that "Ticking Clock" is one of those movies which is okay but nothing special and relies on a reveal to make it come to life.