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In Time

A movie directed by Andrew Niccol

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Spend your time elsewhere.

  • Mar 21, 2012
** 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 please. The social classes of the times are divided into two sections: the ghetto - where the poor are located - and the so-called "Time Zones", where those with, well, time can be together all happy and merry. "In Time" is a dystopian science-fiction narrative that is split right down the middle between a frightening look into the future and a silly, absurdist plot. It doesn't quite know where it belongs and it never succeeds in finding its way - not even by the end - but the premise is both imaginative and intriguing, which should be enough for it to find some loyal fans one day, if it hasn't found them already.

In the world of the future, you don't age past 25; unless you don't have "time", then you just die at the very moment that you lose every last second of it. You can acquire more time through exchange or other activities - such as gambling - which would regularly grant you money in the world that we live in today. The protagonist, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), lives life on the edge; his time is limited, he lives in the ghetto with his smoking hot mom (Olivia Wilde), and he fears death. He has connections within the lower class community, and one night, he and some buddies go to a night bar where he meets a guy with perhaps too much time on his hands. This very man's wrist reads about 116 days, and by the end of the night, he's transferred every last one into Will. The next morning, the man dies as a result of his recent loss of time, and falls from a bridge into a river; this is interpreted by the "Timekeepers" - aka the police - as suicide.

However, one of the Timekeepers - Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) - does not believe for a single minute that this was a suicide. He thinks that Will has murdered the mysterious stranger, and taken all his time; the latter he has, the former he most certainly hasn't. Nevertheless, while Ray is on Will's trail; our hero is trying to figure out just how to spend his time. He has so much of it. For the first time in what must seem like forever, he can eat a good meal, sleep in a good bed, and buy good clothes. He can live amongst the rich and be free. But when Will's mother dies upon her time running out, he seeks revenge against those who so greedily hog all of it for themselves. To do this, he must make new connections; he starts by entering a casino, where he meets a wealthy businessman and his beautiful daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried).

One night, Sylvia invites Will to her father's manshion; and this is ultimately where a good portion of the story begins. Raymond and his fellow Timekeepers are able to confront and speak to Will; threatening to take him into custody, only for the hero to escape taking Sylvia as a hostage. Together, they flee the scene and hopefully, even the Time Zone; making way into the ghettos that Will calls home. But the Timekeepers are never too far behind, and the pair will have to be exceptionally quick. Will they evade the law, will our hero avenge his mother, or will their time be up before the end? That's for me to know - and many others with me - and for you to find out. I guess.

The film was directed by Andrew Niccol, whose "Gattaca" was one of the more fascinating and intelligent sci-fi films of the 1990's. Now, he's lowered himself to a mediocre Hollywood science-fiction flick that is neither scientific nor fictitious enough to be as fascinating as any of his previous efforts. I might have enjoyed it if the script hadn't been filled with such one-dimensional characters and silly dialogue, and if it were anything more than a poor execution of a brilliant idea and visually good looking. Niccol once again proves that he has direction, but here, it takes him absolutely nowhere. I found myself bored; helplessly waiting for the thing to be over. "In Time" wasted my hour and fifty minutes, perhaps in a more close-to-entertaining way than most movies of recent times; but nonetheless, the waste of a great concept cannot be so easily excused. Timberlake pulls off another charismatic and fun performance, but his co-stars - save for Cillian Murphy, who is as good as always - can't keep up with the energy that he exerts throughout the picture. My advice is to skip any movie that provokes you to look at the clock more than once for a simple - and often times much needed - time check.

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March 23, 2012
this had a premise with potential, which was too bad, it held back on 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 . October 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … 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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