‘In Time’ – A SciFi Bonnie and Clyde Romance Thriller

February 7, 2012 12 Comments

Seeing this movie was something of a leap for me. The only reason I knew about In Time (2011) is its leading lady. It explores the paralyzing hold fear can have over us – or more accurately how very brief our life here on earth really is. What it lacks in moral quality, it makes up for in creativity.

In Time (2011) Film Review

Time is not on the side of Will Salas (Justin Timberlake). But in his world, time is everything. He finds his reality is to stop aging at the age of twenty-five, which for him is the span of one’s life. Unless you can earn more time, a clock starts on your twenty-fifth birthday and you have one year to live. Time is literally money in Will’s world. Too late to help his mother (Olivia Wilde), her death leaves Will bitter.

After an encounter with a mysterious stranger (Matt Bomer), he plans to conspire against the wealthy falls into place, but in doing so, he must deal with the “Time Keepers,” a force who keeps everyone in their place. Soon under suspicion of murder, and on the run, he takes a hostage in the form of his wealthy hosts only daughter.

Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) enjoys anything she wants. As one of the privileged, her lifestyle is without limits and she will have an eternal life. Will doesn’t want to hurt the opinionated Sylvia who seems more sympathetic with his plight than anyone else but with a petty criminal (Alex Pettyfer) and a determined time keeper (Cillian Murphy) hunting him, all that keeps him alive is Sylvia.

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During my first watch of this, my feeling was “so-so” until about midway through. Before the end credits roll, it really impresses with more than just its acting; it has a unique way of pulling the viewer into the symbolic meanings of the story. And, the concept of the movie is not just intriguing, it also has a direct correlation to today’s politics and its economy. The popular term “time is money” is literally the working premise of In Time and it’s one that is quite interesting to watch, and see unfold in a fictionalized world. The story almost “demands” clever writing to work, and I enjoy it for its sometimes genius and gusty story-telling.

Set in futuristic times, this movie has a mix of sci-fi/thriller vibe going, and of course, tosses in a hint of romance for good measure. The cast is really interesting because the aging stops at 25 so naturally all of the players look young even if they are 50, 75 or 100. All around I thought the acting is good. It’s also fun to see Matt in something other than his White Collar role as well as Alex Pettyfer (Beastly). Amanda is surprisingly cool as is appropriate in the role of an heiress; her edgy looks and costumes adds to the personality of the character.

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in time (2011) movie review

Ironically, the movie is also a look at the wealthy who see the middle-class as “not valuable.” The rich believe that for a few to be immortal, many must die – and this “logic” extends not to their “kind” but those less fortunate than them. Will, at the opposite end of the spectrum lives day-to-day without the promise of another day. He learns how to survive in his “zone” without time.

For the most part, the movie is a drama with a darker, more suspicious portrait but every now and then a very well-placed bit of wit shines. Another thing to liken this to is a kind of futuristic Robin Hood or Bonnie and Clyde type story. When all is said and done, I did like this film. It’s entertaining and manages to throw in some ingenuity without seeming dull. I’m never bored, and find it one of the better movies I’ve seen in a while in terms of being out of the ordinary. Plus the end is simplistically cute. 

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find In Time (2011) digitally on Amazon Video


‘In Time’ - A SciFi Bonnie and Clyde Romance Thriller. A review of In Time (2011), a thriller with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Text © Rissi JC
‘In Time’ – A SciFi Bonnie and Clyde Romance Thriller. A review of In Time (2011), a thriller with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. #Movies #WhattoWatch #SciFi Click To Tweet

CONTENT: there is some violence [guns], and a handful of characters drop dead in the street after their time runs out [another character is said to drink his time], still another person commits suicide by timing himself out. Two people swim in the nude and play strip poker, including a scene of sensual kissing as she strips down to her undergarments. There’s one f-word and a few milder profanities. In Time rates PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Charity February 7, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    I'll have to rent this sometime. I'm curious to see how Timberlake and Amanda play off one another.

  • Rissi February 8, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    This is an interesting concept, Charity. I really enjoyed the movie once all was said and done, and will certainly watch it again sometime.

    Amanda and Justin… I liked them well enough together but I guess I looked more at their acting as opposed to their "romantic sparks." I'll be interested to get your take on this one if/when you see it. =)

  • Lianne February 11, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Great review! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the movie. I've been debating whether or not to check it out–I enjoy sci-fi movies and the concept of this particular movie seemed interesting but I wasn't sure about the acting and what appeared to be a switch towards a heist somewhere in the story.

  • Rissi February 12, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    This one was really entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing it again. Part of this one does become a "heist" sort of story BUT the concept is really interesting and it makes the movie really engrossing to say the least. Cannot wait to know what you think of this one, Lianne. =)

  • Tory February 16, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Wow, that looks very interesting… Just added it to the queue… ;)

  • Rissi February 16, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    It was, Tory – very interesting.

    I'd be interested to know what you thought of it after you see it.

  • Tory February 17, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    Haha, ok, I will let you know when I do see it… ;)

  • Rissi February 17, 2012 at 4:44 AM

    Cool. =)

    (I'll hold you to that – just kiddin' ;D)

  • Sierra March 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Other than the nudity and etc. etc,I would love to watch it. The review you gave it really made me want to go see it and the story-line really seemed interesting. I have a feeling that I'm more of an action girl…so when I get older I'll enjoy the fantasy and cop shows :P So that could be another reason why…and of course the idea of selling time as money…it's pretty interesting… Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

  • Rissi March 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this one, Sierra. It's suspenseful and entertaining without being too cliched. The concept is very interesting and one that I am looking forward to re-visiting. =)

    The "nudity" scene is shot without being graphic but the implication is still there.

  • […] FILM REVIEW | ‘In Time’ – A SciFi Bonnie and Clyde Romance Thriller […]

  • ‘THE HOST’ (2013) | Finding Wonderland April 27, 2021 at 2:34 PM

    […] I suspect this may take a more romanticized approach, I do actually like the film. It’s creative and the storytelling is decent in comparison to its generational stories. Plus what’s more, the movie quietly relates its story without much in the way of action to move it forward. (Also the man behind the camera is Andrew Niccol, who directs In Time). […]

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