Okay, so it’s a crime thriller. There’s a guy who’s killing people. And there’s a cop (maybe FBI, maybe another acronym agency), he/she is a rookie, a lot of pressure to succeed, be accepted, etc. The killer contacts the authorities, lets them know that he’s going to kill again in 10 days, exactly. Our hero has 10 days to stop him. But there are no clues; none, nada. The 10 days pass, and sure as shit there’s a dead body. The killer contacts the authorities again (there’s a real cat and mouse thing going on – think John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood in In the Line of Fire). Our hero gets on the phone and challenges the killer, calling him out where it hurts (think Bruce Willis and Jeremy Irons in Die Hard With a Vengeance). The killer is not too happy about that. He says he’s going to kill another person in exactly 6(!) days (i.e., 144 hours/xx minutes/xx seconds), then hangs up in dramatic fashion. Our hero and his/her colleagues get back to work, searching for evidence, scrambling for witnesses, shaking down the usual suspects (think The Usual Suspects) and 6 days pass. Dead body. This one’s brutal. Face cut up, hand cut off and shoved up the cadaver’s ass, etc. The killer calls back, the whole agency is on the line (see In the Line of Fire, the Bourne franchise, etc.) and he’s going off, about how he’s ‘fisting’ them. Our hero is mad, lashes out, but the killer knows the anger is a consequence of the hero’s own fears and failures. The killer threatens to kill another person in 2(!!) days. The hero calls him a pussy, ‘If you’re so good and want to kill someone so badly, then why don’t you just go kill someone right now, come down here and kill me! Kill me right now you fuckin’ pussy!’ The killer is silent on the other end of the line. Everyone thinks he hung up, but the extra who always plays the person who’s tracing the call turns and gestures that the killer is still on the line. Our hero looks up. The killer says, ‘You have 2 days, no more, no less,’ and hangs up again. The cops start kicking over every stone they can, really taking their investigation to the next level. The two days go by and, you better believe it, another dead body. This time someone close to the hero. That really gets to the hero, and he/she can’t make it to the office. The hero is a mess on his/her couch. Empty bottle of alcohol on the coffee table, loaded gun in mouth, thinking about pulling the trigger (i.e., all the ‘I’m in grief and can’t handle it without resorting to self-harm’ cliches). The hero’s cell phone rings. He/she answers. It’s the killer calling to gloat. The hero can’t take it, he/she is falling to pieces. Then the killer springs it on him/her – today he’s going to kill the hero. The hero doesn’t believe it. ‘Believe it,’ the killer says. The hero tries to pull his/herself together, when the doorbell rings. The hero freaks out. But the voice on other side calls out, it’s the hero’s captain coming to check in on the hero who everyone knows was in bad shape because of the last killing. The hero lets the captain in. They get to talking. And, BOOM, we figure it out. The captain is the killer. The killer is in the room. It’s about to go down. Right. Now. The captain pulls out his gun. The hero realizes it now, too (the alcohol was clouding his/her brain which is why we, the audience, figured it out first). Now the hero questions the killer/captain – why? Why did he do it? Why the precise times? And the captain reveals that he was upset because life isn’t neat. It doesn’t happen in set amounts of time. No one sticks to a schedule. You say it will take two hours to build a coffee table, it takes you three. You’re going to complete that report in a week, it takes you a month. He can’t rely on anything. And if he can’t rely on anything, then what’s the point of living. But he can stick to schedule. He will make everyone dance to his tune. In all of this, the hero is figuring out how to stop the captain. He/she does. Captain dies. Hero wins. End of movie.
The title of the movie: Deadline