Movie Review: ‘TIME OUT OF MIND’ – A Profoundly Quiet Character Study Starring Richard Gere


Preston Barta // Features Editor

TIME OUT OF MIND | 120 min | UR
Director: Oren Moverman
Writer: Oren Moverman and Jeffrey Caine (story)
Cast: Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Colman Domingo, Jeremy Strong, Danielle Brooks, Brian d’Arcy James and Steve Buscemi

There’s no question that some will not find much entertainment in Oren Moverman’s TIME OUT OF MIND. It’s lack of a typical narrative progression might be disorienting and difficult for some viewers. However, if you have ever seen a Moverman film, like THE MESSENGER (2009) and/or RAMPART (2011), you may know he crafts seductive experience-films.

To keep audiences in the game and challenge them has always been one of Overman’s greatest strengths as a filmmaker. He orchestrates think-pieces that serve as reflective studies of human behavior. He isn’t shy when it comes to exposing people to everything and taking them to dark, often uncomfortable places. With TIME OUT OF MIND, he structures something so smart and emotionally resound, that even when you feel like you’ve experienced it all, you dive deeper and find yourself completely immersed.

TIME OUT OF MIND is a subjective experience that follows the journey of George (Gere), a homeless man on the search for meaning and the repairment of his relationship with his estranged daughter (Malone).

Gere gives his most powerful performance to date here. He constructs a tangible character whom we often question and wonder where the road will lead him. The audience can imagine knowing, loving and maybe even sometimes disliking him, following the arc Moverman has given him. What happens next in his story always remains a mystery. It’s liquid-like flow may not contain the traditional narrative elements that moviegoers are used to, but audiences will feel as though they are experiencing George’s lifestyle firsthand. In fact, there is no film in recent memory that quite captures homelessness like this one does.

Jena Malone and Richard Gere play daughter and father in TIME OUT OF MIND. Photo courtesy of IFC Films.

Jena Malone and Richard Gere play daughter and father in TIME OUT OF MIND. Photo courtesy of IFC Films.

Malone, who is continuing her streak of peculiar work in and out of major studios, such as THE HUNGER GAMES (CATCHING FIRE, MOCKINGJAY PT. 1 & 2) and even her small-but-effective part in INHERENT VICE, capitalizes in a big way here with TIME OUT OF MIND. As George’s daughter, she approaches her character with the same great strength that made her a star. She hammers her way into every scene she’s in, especially at the film’s end, by layering her character Maggie with affection, grief and a spice of mystery.

Check out our Dallas exclusive interview with Jena Malone

Once again, Moverman adds another reel to the vault of great films, uniting film with art for an intellectually stimulating experience. Yes, not everyone will have the patience to stomach TIME OUT OF MIND. If, however, you are a fan of familiarizing yourself with unfamiliar worlds and opening your eyes to rich stories that have never been revealed before on-screen, you’ll benefit from seeing this remarkable film.

TIME OUT OF MIND opens in limited release today, and will be available On-Demand on September 18.

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.