Time Served (1999) starring Catherine Oxenberg, Jeff Fahey, Louise Fletcher, Bo Hopkins, James Handy, Larry Manetti, Lourdes Colon, Scott Schumacher, Zach Gray directed by Glen Pitre Movie Review

Time Served (1999)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Catherine Oxenberg in Time Served (1999)

Time to Call it a Day

Eight year old Jason McKinney (Zach Gray) has had enough of being hit bit his step father and watching him attack his mother Sarah (Catherine Oxenberg) so during the latest attack he finds his step father's gun and shoots him dead. Sarah takes the decision to take the blame for the murder and has her lawyer Patrick Burlington (Jeff Fahey - Wyatt Earp) makes sure that her son is kept out of things. Judge William Engstrom (James Handy) sentences Sarah to eight years and is sent to a prison run by the callous Ms. Reineke (Louise Fletcher) and nasty guard Duane (Scott Schumacher) who pick the most attractive prisoners to dance and turn tricks at a strip club and if they refuse their lives are made a misery by the other prisoners as well as the guards.

The best thing I can say about "Time Served" is that you get your money's worth; in fact you get 3 movies in one. The opening could have come straight out of a true movie with Sarah trying to protect her son by taking the blame for killing her husband. That leads to her lawyer Patrick doing what he can to help her out which will come into play later on in the movie. But this opening paves the way for a typical prison drama where we have a nasty warden and nastier guard using and abusing the women prisoners.

Louise Fletcher in Time Served (1999)

Now those two combined are bearable as they naturally work well together and I have watched a couple of lifetime movies which cover a similar story. But "Time Served" is not a lifetime movie as once we enter the prison it has an extra element as the women are forced to strip and turn tricks. Sadly director Glen Pitre handles this poorly right from the word go when we see Sarah and other new prisoners stripping down to their panties as it feels forced with each woman standing directly in front of the camera to remove their clothes. It causes "Time Served" to become erotic yet still we have this storyline which feels like it is supposed to be a true story drama. And that is not the worst of it as there are also many scenes which take part in the strip club where we have lingering shots of topless pole and lap dancers.

The combination of erotic and drama is not the only thing which doesn't work as the acting is often ropey which has the knock on effect of making scenes which are meant to be powerful such as one when two prisoners rape Sarah sadly end up weak and forced. It is a case you end up thankful for just seeing some familiar faces such as Catherine Oxenberg, Jeff Fahey and Louise Fletcher although even then their performances are as weak as those from the actors you don't recognize.

What this all boils down to is that "Time Served" is a mess of a movie, a mix of true story drama with erotica which simply feels wrong. But the acting, characters and editing all add to the movies problems making it a mistake from start to finish.