In Time (2011)

In Time
Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, John Galecki, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer

In a future where everyone stops aging at the age of 25, but dies when the clock in their arm hits zero, time has become an actual currency, much sought after by the poor. Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is one of them, struggling everyday to find the next 24 hours to survive. After the death of his mother (Olivia Wilde) and a chance encounter with the suicidal Henry (Matt Bomer), who has over a century, Will finds himself with more time on his hands than he had ever seen before – and the police and time keeper Raymond (Cillian Murphy) on his tail, suspecting him of murdering Henry. So he decides to make a run for it and hit it big in the rich center of the country. But he soon finds that he has increasing doubts about the entire system.

I was more than willing to give In Time the benefit of the doubt. “Yes, all the reviews I read say that this film is incredibly stupid,” I thought. “But maybe they were all wrong? And even if they aren’t, maybe it’s still enjoyable?” Sadly, neither was the case.

The movie really has many cool ideas, and at the same time it has so many flaws in its own logic. But even worse than that, it tries to be all critical of society but stays completely at the surface with its criticism. Robin Hood-ism is very nice and all, but when the system is broken, you gotta fix the system, not screw it over ineffectually and willy-nilly.*

Though nothing of that was as stupid is the fucking love story. According to Niccol’s film, to win a woman’s heart, follow these steps:

  1. kidnap her at gunpoint, ignoring all her pleas to let her go
  2. dress her up in your dead mother’s clothes
  3. sever all the ties she had to her family
  4. start a life of crime with her
  5. e presto, #heyladies

But then I had already lost all hope of intelligence when the ghetto-inhabiting-forced-to-run-everywhere-working-mum put on 15cm heels.

But apart from all the stupid, it just wasn’t very well acted. I mean, the cast is not the best in the whole wide world, but both Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried usually do a fine job. But in a movie where even Cillian Murphy manages to come across as completely bland, they don’t stand much of a chance. Nobody was worse than Vincent Kartheiser, though – and he can usually do better, too.

Put altogether it was just really disappointing and didn’t even have the decency to be funny with its badness.

Summarising: Just leave it.

*If this had been my script/film it would have probably become a question of genetics: Can you undo the genetic programming to stop aging? Can you program people to maybe stop aging at 35 instead of 25 and would that help? Why did nobody think of the overpopulation issue when they started with that programming? Wouldn’t the birth rate sink drastically or at least the age where you get children be pushed back a lot? How does the clock work anyway?


  1. I went in expecting a lot from this movie (Andrew Niccol for god’s sake) but came away disappointed.

    Check out the book, Postmortal (known as The End Specialist) in the UK; it tackles the ‘cure for ageing’ aspect in a much more entertaining and dare I say, smarter way.

    • Postmortal looks good – I will add it to the increasingly precarious to read pile in my appartment. ;)
      After this film you really need to hear something intelligent about the topic…

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