Wednesday, 11 April 2012

In Time - Movie Review

A low budget sci-fi movie that questions the moral fibre of society in the future.


When Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is falsely accused of murder, he must figure out a way to bring down a system where time is money, enabling the wealthy to live forever while the poor, like Will, have to beg, borrow, and steal enough minutes to make it through another day.

Who's In It

Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer

What I Thought

I actually didn't know too much about In Time before I watched it, which is how I like to approach most films. I feel like the less I know, the better. I hadn't even read the synopsis, I just knew it was a sci-fi movie.

This approach however left me asking a number of questions immediately, which for the most part are answered throughout the film. How he knows how to gamble like that? Ah okay, his father was a gambler. But then, how did he know how to fight disarmed armed police like that? Never explained.

There were a few fundamental questions that really bothered me too. It's never explained why humanity can never age passed 25. What was it exactly that happened that prevented people from ageing? It's an interesting slant but a bit weird too. Olivia Wilde plays Timberlake's mother and she's supposed to be 50 years old but she (obviously) doesn't look it. You can see more examples of this in the trailer below. The mother, wife and daughter of a rich tycoon all look 25, and are all ridiculously good looking.

It's also not explained when your times runs out, literally, what kills people, how it got into their bodies and why? These two things  really bugged me and I was expecting them to be answered but they never were. I guess the writer/director, Andrew Niccol (of Gattaca fame), was either hoping this film was going to be a success and build on it in a sequel or it was part of his plan in the grand scheme of things not to have them explained. I personally found this frustrating.

Uh, like which way to the prom?
There are no big budget special effects in In Time. Just a green clock counting down on each persons arm, indicating how much time is left in their life. For the most part, the future looks much like the present, the poor quarter like a run down suburb and the city like ... a city. The cops, called timekeepers, have some pretty cool looking cars - they have snazzy hubcaps and white flashing lights on the front grill, instead of the usual red and blue, but that's about it. In fact, the biggest budget scene is probably a car crash, which is unbelievable, as the passengers would never have survived in an open top car like that.

In Time also plays on the whole class system of the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Timberlake's character, Will Salas, at one point says he lives day to day on his time, and is richer for it. The rich however are scared and bored, living long lives. It's one tired, rich person who ends up giving Salas all his years, which is poignant in its self that time transferral is by touch, there's an intimacy involved in sharing your time.

Eventually the film descends into a Robin Hood vs. Bonnie & Clyde crime spree, with daddy's rich girl helping the poor criminal. There's a decent emotional connection between Timberlake and Seyfried, who is largely unrecognisable in a red, bobbed wig. Cillian Murphy gives a strong performance as head timekeeper after the couple, who will stop at nothing to get to them. Alex Pettyfer also does a good job as a slum mafia type character, though he's not in it an awful lot.

Memorable Quotes

  • "For a few to be immortal, many must die." 
  • "Price includes delivery to wherever your going to display it." [discussing buying a car]
    "Display it? Hell, I'm going to drive it!"
  • "Do you usually have a hired hand standing next to you?"
    "No, I usually have two."
  • "They must have thought it was a drive through." [A cop looking at a truck that was driven through a large window into a bank]


In Time proves you don't need big budget special effects to craft a decent sci-fi movie, just make sure the script answers all the audience's questions


Strange how everyone looks the same age, but they could be old enough to be your mother.


  1. Seyfried, in my opinion, held the movie together.

    1. Yeah she was good, I liked the wig too, suited her :-)

  2. Nice review Steve, I liked the premise of the film but some of this film bordered on the ridiculous. That scene where he was running toward his mom caused me to burst out laughing. My wife was not amused lol


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...