Box art for In Time

In Time

Every second counts in this sexy, stylish action-thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. In a future where time is literally money and aging stops at 25, the only way to stay alive is to earn, borrow, steal or inherit more time.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Sci-fi thriller has violence, sexuality, language.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi adventure features a fair bit of violence, twentysomething sexuality, and heavy themes about social equality and injustice that may not be appropriate for tweens interested in seeing a Justin Timberlake movie. Language includes one "f--k," as well as "s--t," "damn," "ass"; violent scenes feature close-range shootings (mostly bloodless), people dropping dead when their clocks reach zero, and one suicide. Sex is implied rather than shown, but there's a skinny-dipping scene with a glimpse of a nude bottom, as well as strip poker and some skimpy lingerie. There's a Robin Hood-esque theme to the second half of the movie, but it's wrapped around a shallower Bonnie-and-Clyde vibe of "let's have fun robbing from the rich." Despite the movie's mixed messages, one lesson is loud and clear: Don't waste your time.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's sci-fi themes. Why are futuristic storylines so compelling to audiences? Is this vision of the future a positive one or a cautionary tale? Can you think of other movies with futures that seem better to live in than this time-obsessed one?
  • How do the filmmakers cleverly use "time" to replace wealth in the story? Pick out a few examples of how characters literally mean it when they say "I'm out of time," or "have a minute?"
  • How is the movie's message of wealth distribution and injustice relevant today?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 21
    see all In Time reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Clever and unsettling.

- Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fresh: Niccol's zippy direction, joined to a sleek, rich production design, keeps the movie spinning like a shiny toy.

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, October 31, 2011

Rotten: A movie so consistently flat-footed, with pauses between lines of dialogue so vast, that you begin to wonder if the whole thing might be a psychological experiment of some kind.

- Dana Stevens, Slate, Friday, October 28, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Interesting enough. Action filled enough. Halfway decent enough storyline. I think, however, that Justin Timberlake isn't actor enough...Not bad, but not memorable, either.

- itsjustme2004, Tuesday, July 31, 2012

3 stars

Interesting enough. Action filled enough. Halfway decent enough storyline. I think, however, that Justin Timberlake isn't actor enough...Not bad, but not memorable, either.

- itsjustme2004, Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2 stars

Take an interesting idea that has a message that fits the Takeover movement like a glove and you should have a film that resonates as well as entertains. In Time does that... to a point, although it comes on a bit heavy handed and the back half resorts to the typical car chase stock in trade of a film that can't really figure out something better to do with its screen time. There is a certain nice, retro feel on display here, especially with all the customized Lincoln's and Dodge Challengers circa late 60's and early 70's. That and a nice usage of the L.A. canals and seedier backstreets (some of which I swear I've seen in about a million other films), give the film a good feel, as does some of the lighting elements - but then again it's so uneven. There are washed out scenes that perhaps were intentional, but jarring nonetheless when coming from the tight, claustrophobic dimness of the "ghetto". The story here, just in case you were asleep in class, deals in a future where people stop ageing at 25 (think Logan's Run), and yet someone came up with the bright idea (to stem overpopulation, no doubt) to give everyone a time counter that activates at age 25. From that point on, in order to survive one has to buy time. If you go bankrupt and your time goes down to zero... well, let's just say that at that point Elvis leaves the building. This is ok as far as it goes - a nice little bit of sci-fi - but the film does a nice turn by going deeper, suggesting that the 1% can control population growth and keep the downtrodden down by manipulating the cost of everything. So one day a bus ride will cost an hour, the next day it'll cost two - all to keep the lower class from gathering too much time (money). It is this aspect of the film that gives it relevance and really, if director/writer Andrew Nichol would have spent more time developing this aspect he would have had a better film. In fact, the first half, where this is explored, kept my attention. It was only later when Nichol went all Hollywood that the film loses its way - and boy does it ever; resorting to inane car chases and a Bonnie and Clyde buddy type film with bits of humor and bon mots that totally change the tenor of the film. There is the big confrontation scene at the end where any five year old can tell way in advance what will happen, sucking any potential tension out of the situation. Making it worse is that the film then reuses a dramatic device from earlier in the film - the first time was poignant, the second just seemed silly and lazy. This is then followed with a tag that attempts further humor and is simply superfluous - making this feel like a low budget B film; which got me thinking of all the other B cult films from an earlier age - this film would fit right in to the category where a film like "A Boy And His Dog" reside - not great filmmaking, but not without a certain quirky charm - though A Boy & has a more cohesive narrative. I'm really torn over whether or not this should be considered fresh or rotten - It does have some watchability, and in spite of the change or direction, isn't a total disaster - it rides right on the cusp - a 5.5 if you will. I won't discourage anyone from seeing this, but won't recommend it either.

- paulsandberg, Friday, July 27, 2012