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In Time

A movie directed by Andrew Niccol

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Despite Some Issues, This is an Interesting Science Fiction Thriller

  • Oct 28, 2011
It is said that time is money and in the new film "In Time" this statement takes on an entirely new meaning. In the future we learn that humans have been genetically created to stop aging at the age of 25. Once they reach this selected age, a clock starts to count down from one year. People can obtain more time via work, stealing it from others, or being gifted more time but once their clock hits zero, they expire or "Time Out" as it is called.

As the film opens, we are introduced to Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), a man who is three years past twenty five who lives at home with his mother (Olivia Wilde). Will starts each day with barely enough time on his clock for another day, so he dutifully heads off to work each day to earn more time. As does his mother and everyone he knows since workers are paid at the end of their shifts by having more time added to their accounts. Many need to work daily in order to see the next day. To stop working is to die and since everything from food to rent and clothing is paid for in time from an individual's account, they often have to make the choice between a transaction or more hours of life.

One evening after work, Will encounters a man named Henry (Matt Bomer), with over 100 years remaining on his clock and cautions the man that in this area he is likely to attract thieves. Will's warnings go unheeded and soon a group of thugs arrive forcing Will to whisk the man away to safety. During their night in hiding, the man tells Will that after living for over a century, he is tired of the way the system is and how the rich can live forever while the working poor suffer just to live another day.

Will awakens the next morning to find the man gone and that his clock has now been credited the 100 years. Will locates the man just in time to watch him time out with a smile as he watches the sun rise. Flush with new wealth, Will plans to move his mother out of the slums and into a better life but when tragedy strikes, Will decides to move to where the wealth is as to take them for all he can.

Will soon finds himself in a high stakes card game at a casino and in a desperate move finds himself wealthier than he ever imagined. His actions impress very wealthy banking magnet Philippie Weiss (Vincent Kartheiser), who introduces him to his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). Will and Sylvia hit it off as she is intrigued by someone who came into money rather than being born with it and imagines what life would be like with some excitement.

Will and Sylvia soon have their worlds turned upside down when Will is suspected in the death of Henry and find themselves on the run from a Timekeeper named Raymond (Cillian Murphy), who wants to bring Will to justice. In a rapid series of events, Will and Sylvia must contend with Raymond, criminals, and a series of unsavory characters to regain their lost time before it is to late so they can implement their master plan to truly make a difference.

The film has some great social commentary and a great cast but is hindered by trying to be too many things. It works well as a science fiction film with elements of action and romance. Sadly the film goes off course by having Will and Sylvia act as a modern day Robin Hood duo taking on the powers-that-be to save the downtrodden masses. While it is a noble effort it derailed the momentum of the story as much of the tension and mystery of the story was lost. If one is wanted by thugs and the authorities, I would think that knocking over one high profile time bank after another would not be the way to keep a low profile.

That being said, despite the flaws, the film works and I found myself thinking about the characters and the setting they lived in days after the I screened the film. I had been concerned that the film would be nothing more than a knockoff of "Logan's Run" but thankfully the film had enough new content to keep it fresh and interesting. In many ways, "In Time" is science fiction at its best as it allows for timely social commentary and provides a disturbing look at many age old debates on society's endless quests for wealth, power, and youth.

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October 29, 2011
Well done !
October 28, 2011
Thanks for the review, Gareth! I've been really curious about this one and didn't realize that it's out in theaters now. Will have to catch it.
More In Time (2011 film) reviews
review by . October 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
In the beginning, I had high hopes for the film “In Time”. Partly because it was written and directed by Andrew Niccol, responsible for the cult hit “Gattaca” and also because he wrote “The Truman Show”. Ok, perhaps, his resume is less than stellar since he also wrote the less than impressive “Simone” and “Lord of War”. Be that as it may, his films always have an interesting premise and “In Time” was everything I expected. It …
review by . November 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Interesting, just in time for the last few review on Lunch! I must be one of the last few people to catch this in the cinema in Hong Kong! Even my visiting uncle from Toronto had seen it before I did!   Never mind, In Time is just as interesting for the first to see as it is for the last. Provided you didn't cheat and know what the whole premise of the movie is all about. I like it for its conceptual thinking and the fact that it's based on something entirely different from our current …
review by . November 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
In Time is a Sci Fi Robin Hood tale set in a futuristic looking 1960s. Time is money, literally and once everyone hits 25, their clocks start ticking down. Each person is given a year to live but, you can buy or win more time. You don't age past 25 which makes for confusing introductions (is it a grandpa, uncle, dad, or hot guy across the bar?). The rich have all the time in the world whereas the poor live day to day with a daily hike in taxes and costs of living in order to maintain a steady …
review by . March 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****    It's the year 2161, and genetic engineering has turned cash and coin money into time; as literal as can be. How much of it you have it kept on a glowing, green countdown-like clock on your wrist; and when you run out of time, you also run out of life. So in other words, you die. This is a problem for the lower class people - the homeless, the poor, the unhealthy - but those of profound wealth need not worry, for they may replenish their time as often as they …
review by . October 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Review: 'In Time' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree...Don't Waste Your Time (Video)
      By Joan Alperin-Schwartz      'In Time' is a sci/fi thriller written, directed and produced by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca)...Maybe that's the problem. You know what they say about wearing too many hats...      Okay, when the film begins, we discover that we are now in the future....A future where you stop aging at 25...(Guess that put a big dent in the Botox industry). Your mother, sister, grandmother, grandfather etc, …
review by . October 28, 2011
The movie begins with a decent enough premises for the sci-fi universe and definitely has enough potential to feel like it could be something special. It was written and directed by Andrew Niccol who also wrote Gattaca and The Truman Show so the man is no stranger to the bizarre. Niccol’s future enjoys a very glossy look with a vintage touch; he has also envisioned a future full of attractive people. It is all very fitting because In Time concerns itself more …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #112
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Poster art for "In Time."In Time, previously titled Now and I'm.mortal, is a 2011 science fiction thriller film starring Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki, and Vincent Kartheiser. The film, written and directed by Andrew Niccol, was released on October 28, 2011.

Although In Time is set in the future, the film contains many retro influences. Most of these influences are from the early 1960's to late 1970's, with a bit of 1980's thrown in. For instance, many vehicles used for the film are actually 1960's and 1970's models, but heavily modified to make them look futuristic. Furthermore, a lot of buildings, both interior and exteriors, display retro influences as well. For example, Dayton, the ghetto, in which the main character was raised, was heavily influenced by hip-hop culture from the 1980's, although some parts of Dayton are influenced by the 1960's, while New Greenwich, a large city, in which Will's girlfriend, Sylvia Weis, lives contains buildings that resembles 1960's architecture. The film's characters also wear retro-futuristic clothing.

  • In Time
  • Opened October 28, 2011 | Runtime:1 hr. 55 min.
  • PG-13
    Violence, some sexuality and partial nudity, and brief strong language
  • Information for parents: Common Sense Media says Iffy for 13+. Read More
  • In a future where time is money and the wealthy can live forever, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is a poor man who rarely has ...
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Director: Andrew Niccol
Screen Writer: Andrew Niccol
Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes

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