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DVD Review: In Time

January 31, 2012

In Time – A 20th Century Fox Release

DVD Release Date: January 31st, 2012

Rated PG for violence and coarse language

Running time: 109 minutes

Andrew Niccol (dir.)

Andrew Niccol (writer)

Craig Armstrong (music)

Justin Timberlake as Will Salas

Amanda Seyfried as Sylvia Weis

Cillian Murphy as Raymond Leon

Vincent Kartheiser as Philippe Weis

Our reviews below:


In Time DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Living in poverty with his mother (Olivia Wilde) in a world where nobody ages past 25 and subsequent years can be bought and traded as a form of currency, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is given the gift of over a century by a man ready to die.  Wrongfully accused of murder, he escapes to a richer district.  He teams up with Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), the daughter of a millionaire banker (Vincent Kartheiser), and they become partners in crime to steal time and take down the system by redistributing the years evenly amongst the poorer parts of town.

If you look closely, there are some holes in the plot, and the time-keeper (Cillian Murphy) who is hot on their trail is somewhat of a cartoonish villain.  Sometimes the premise is also a little more engaging than the actual film.  But the young cast is attractive even with the glowing green clocks on their arms, and the multiple car chases and fight scenes are exciting.  The premise is intriguing and does provoke thought about classism in society, making In Time an often stylish thriller that is mildly worth 109 of your minutes and the price of a rental.

The Blu-ray includes several deleted and extended scenes as well as The Minutes, a featurette on the backstory of the film.  Also included is an extra disc that includes a DVD and digital copy of the film.


In Time DVD Review By Erin V.  

***1/2 (out of 4)

The first thing you have to do is just accept the premise – in the future world of In Time, everyone lives until their bodies are physically 25, at which point they stop aging and a one year countdown clock starts on their wrist.  If they work, they can earn more time to live past the year – but they also have to pay for living expenses with the time they have.  Essentially, in their world, the interpretation of the saying ‘time is money,’ is literal.  ‘Time shares’ are also literal, as one can take or give time when joined wrists with another.

While the rich who are born ‘into time’ can theoretically live forever in this system, the poor are struggling to have more minutes at one time than in any given day.  We are first introduced to Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), who lives in one of the poorest districts/timezones with his mother Rachel (Olivia Wilde).  With them both struggling to pay the rent without timing out, it becomes a mixed blessing when Will meets a man in the local bar named Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) – who has over a century on his wrist.  After Will helps Henry escape the time bandit gang known as the ‘Minutemen’ who are led by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer) and will think nothing of stealing someone else’s time, Henry reveals to Will that he is actually 105 – and feels that he has lived long enough.  When he gives his time to Will, suddenly the 28 year old has the potential to live to 100 without having to work another day in his life.

But the ‘Timekeepers’ from the rich city of New Grenwich, led by Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), see the sudden extra time on his clock, suspect Will of murdering Henry, and come after him.  Plus, there’s the fact that no one in the poor timezones ‘should have that much time,’ no matter how they got it, as it upsets the system.  So, Will has no choice but to flee to the New Grenwich, where that much time doesn’t make him stand out.  There, he meets time tycoon Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser), who runs the system of time lending, and his daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried).  When Will is discovered as an impostor to the rich city, he ends up going on the run again and taking Sylvia with him – partially as a hostage, although she is fed up with the rich system and is more on his side than anything else.

The whole film plays out always like a chase – after all, at any given time the main characters can be minutes from ‘timing out,’ giving constant tension.  Even so though, there is enough breathing room to not bombard us with action.  As Will and Sylvia steal time and give it away to the poor, they become more dangerous to the Timekeepers as the ‘perfect’ system that keeps the rich rich and the poor poor starts to fail.

In case it wasn’t already obvious, the whole thing is a metaphor for how we use money – raising the cost of living for those who don’t have much, so that they are living day to day, while others can live without the worry of where their next meal will come from.  In Time is well cast, and the production values here are good with the scenes and action filmed clearly.  The score by Craig Armstrong, I also liked and found fitting.  And while it is technically interesting both in its premise and execution, the film is very entertaining as well.  There are genuine moments of suspense, and we are kept wanting to see where the story turns next.  For such a sci-fi premise, it is surprisingly easy to understand, and very well done.  I’d say if the trailer interested you, this one is well worth a rental.


In Time DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

What if you lived in a world where instead of money, life expectancy was the currency?  In Time uses this interesting premise to make people think about society’s inequality between rich and poor.  WIll Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives in poverty in a world in which individuals die if they can’t buy enough time after 25.  The rich however, can live forever, never looking a day over 25.  When Will’s mother (Olivia Wilde) dies, a rich stranger who has lived long enough decides to sacrifice himself and donate his time to Will.  However, he gets falsely accused of murder, and goes on the run into the richest “ time zone.”  Their he falls in love with Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), daughter of loan shark Philippe (Vincent Kartheiser).  They go on the run from the police and gangsters, on a Robin Hood mission to rob time from the rich.

In Time is a good parable.  It really makes one think about how many people in this world die because money and other resources are not evenly distributed.  The acting is decent, and the glowing arm clocks, while not explained, make an interesting visual.  This is a socially conscious action film with an interesting twist.


In Time DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

The expression ‘time is money’ takes on a whole new meaning in the sci-fi thriller In Time.  In this futuristic world, time is the only currency.  Here, everyone ages normally until age 25, when the digital countdown clock that glows green in your forearm activates and starts counting down your final year.  If you want more time, it has to be earned, traded or stolen from others.  Since everything from cups of coffee to bus tickets, food, shelter, etc. costs anywhere from a few minutes, to hours or days, a desperate and competitive economy exists.  It quickly becomes obvious that the rich live way longer than the poor or working class.

The story focuses on Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) a working class guy who through a twist of fate ends up with years of extra minutes.  That doesn’t go over well with the time-keeper cop (Cillian Murphy) and Will ends up on the run.  He ends up taking time-bank heiress Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) hostage and the two become a pair of Bonnie & Clyde/Robin Hood characters.  In Time portrays an intriuging and disturbing world.  It’s odd seeing all the characters aged at 25.  Seeing Olivia Wilde play Justin Timerlake’s mother is a little strange.

There are a lot of car chases, foot-chases and shoot-outs in this film.  While entertaining enough to watch, none of the action is especially memorable.  Neither is the acting especially memorable.  In Time is one of those movies where the idea of it is more interesting than the delivery.  Full of metaphors for a world where the rich get richer and the poor die young, In Time is entertaining enough if the sci-fi plot appeals to you.  If you’ve got extra time on your hands, then this will only cost you a little less than two hours of your time.


In Time DVD Review By Tony

** (out of 4)

In Time is set in a world where the aging gene has been turned off once people turn 25. To control the population by continued mortality, at 25 a timer on the left arm starts to count down a year of additional life. Time has become a currency, exchanged by a handshake, either by mutual consent or if one person is unconscious at the will of the conscious person. It can also be transferred electronically by passing the wrist over a sensor, such as at banks or toll booths. The inevitable result is a strict stratification of society, wherein the wealthy can live perpetually as if 25 years old while the poor must live day to day trying to postpone “timing out” and dying on the spot. Inflation and usury in poor “ghetto time zones” ensures more and more time trickles up to rich zones whose lifespans they support. Heavy barriers and increasing tolls prohibit travelling from poorer time zones to richer ones. A police force of “timekeepers” protects the system from time bandits called “minutemen” and other threats.

Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), at 25+3, hopes that he and his mother (Olivia Wilde) can scrounge up enough time to celebrate her 50th birthday, but they don’t quite make it. In the Dayton ghetto where people can be killed for a week of time, a guy Henry (Matt Bomer) shows up in a bar flashing over a century on his arm, an obvious target for a local minuteman (Alex Pettifer) and his gang. Will helps Henry escape but after many years of luxury at the expense of countless poor lives, Henry is ready to die and while Will sleeps he gives him what time he has left.

Moving to the wealthy Greenwich zone, Will wins about a thousand more years in a poker game with time tycoon Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) and catches the eye of Weis’s daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). He is suddenly arrested by Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) for Henry’s alleged robbery but escapes with Sylvia as an increasingly willing hostage. As the gross inequity between zones is now clear to both of them, they set out to take the whole system down.

If you can buy its premise and even less likely ending, In Time is a well-paced thriller. The use of time units as currency is interesting, and particularly suspenseful when people are down to their last seconds. When an overnight increase of ghetto bus fare from one hour to two becomes a life and death issue while a night in a luxury Greenwich hotel costs months, the analogy with current 99% vs. 1% “occupiers” is timely. The necessarily young and attractive cast is a nice bonus, though confusing at first when people don’t always look their age–Olivia Wilde as his mother in fact younger than Justin Timberlake, for example.


Consensus: Although there are some holes in the actual plot, Andrew Niccols’ In Time is still a generally entertaining sci-fi film with an intriuging premise, an attractive young cast and several exciting action sequences.  **3/4 (Out of 4)

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