||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (September 2012)|
Official film poster
|Directed by||Andrew Niccol|
|Produced by||Andrew Niccol
|Written by||Andrew Niccol|
|Music by||Craig Armstrong|
|Editing by||Zach Staenberg|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||109 minutes |
In Time (previously titled Now and I'm. mortal) is a 2011 dystopian science fiction action film starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Vincent Kartheiser, and Johnny Galecki. The film, written, directed and produced by Andrew Niccol, was released on October 28, 2011.
In the year 3013, humanity has been genetically engineered to stop aging at 25 and to be born with a digital clock, bearing a year's worth of time, on their forearm. At the age of 25 the clock begins counting down; when it reaches zero, that person dies. Time has been turned into the universal currency; one can give time for products or services, as well as transfer it to others. A person can no longer die of old age. S/he can only die by "timing out" (running out of time), having one's clock "cleaned" (murder by someone taking all their time), or through recklessness (e.g. getting shot, overdosing, etc.). The country is divided into time zones based on the wealth of its population. The film focuses on two time zones: Dayton is poor, with a populace that has learned indifference to the timed-out bodies on its streets; and New Greenwich, the wealthiest zone where inhabitants enjoy the benefits of their immortality and wealth, but are constantly surrounded by bodyguards and spend their time worried about accidental death.
28-year-old Dayton factory worker Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), lives with his mother Rachel (Olivia Wilde). While in a bar, he saves drunken and suicidal 105-year-old Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), a New Greenwich resident (who has a century left on his clock), from an attempted time-robbery assault by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), the boss of a gang called "Minute Men". Hamilton reveals to Will the truth about wealth: there is enough time for everyone to live a full but ending life, but New Greenwich citizens take and store most of the time for them to live forever and, to keep the status quo, raise the cost of living to get back time. Hamilton tells him that "For few to be immortal, many must die". Hamilton gives his entire 100 years of his time to a sleeping Will, leaving only five minutes for himself and dies on the Dayton bridge. The police force, or Timekeepers, led by Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), sees Hamilton's clock and realizes that his time was taken. They look at video footage and suspect Will of cleaning Hamilton's clock.
Will visits his best friend, alcoholic Borel (Johnny Galecki), to whom he gives 10 years, but says goodbye, as he plans to live in New Greenwich with his mother. Meanwhile Rachel gives all but 90 minutes of her time to pay her debts to Weis Time Lenders and is not capable of paying the bus fare to Dayton, and so she's forced to run. When Will sees that Rachel is not on the scheduled bus, he deduces what has happened and begins to run to her. He attempts to save her but a second before they can touch she times out and dies. Will decides to seek revenge and leaves for New Greenwich. He enters a casino and meets millionaire time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser), who possesses 10,000 years, and his twenty-seven year old daughter Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried). While playing poker Will nearly dies by betting all but thirty seconds of his time, but wins back the pot of 1100 years. Sylvia invites him to a party in the Weis mansion.
At the mansion Will seduces Sylvia, but he is later apprehended by Leon who confiscates all but two hours of Will's time. Will escapes and takes Sylvia hostage. He returns to Dayton with her, driving into Fortis' ambush, knocking both he and Sylvia unconscious. Fortis tries to take all of Sylvia's years, but leaves about half an hour; then the Timekeepers arrive. They visit Borel to get back some time, only to learn from Borel's wife Greta (Yaya Alafia) that he died of an alcohol overdose with 9 years still left. Sylvia pawns her diamond earrings to buy more time. Will calls Weis and demands a 1,000-year ransom for Sylvia to be distributed to Dayton. Sylvia's mother is willing, but Weis isn't as Leon has already traced the call.
Will discovers that Weis did not pay, but decides to let Sylvia go. Leon tries to arrest Will, but Sylvia shoots Leon, because now she wants to help the poor. Will transfers two hours of time to Leon so that he'll have time to leave Dayton, and Will and Sylvia escape in Leon's hijacked car. Will tells Sylvia to walk away, but she refuses, saying that her life in New Greenwich had no purpose. Meanwhile, Leon issues a warrant for Sylvia's arrest as well, warning Weis not to help his daughter in any way or he will be arrested. Sylvia helps Will rob Time Banks, stealing Time Capsules and distributing them to the poor.
They rent an entire hotel in Dayton for the night in the hope of evading capture, but an eyewitness saw Will and Sylvia at the hotel, and informs the Minutemen of their location. Fortis is desperate to get both Will and Sylvia now their bounty has been raised to 116 years. Will and Fortis get into a duel to the death involving an arm-wrestling/time-stealing match. Will manages to outwit Fortis using the same tactic his father did (letting his clock run to one second then stealing back the time while the opponent is distracted watching it run down), and kills him and his men.
When the inflation rate rises after another robbery, the pair realize they would need a million years to cause any significant damage to the system, so they break into Weis' private vault and steal a million years. Leon finds them, but Will manages to pass the capsule to a young girl (Shyloh Oostwald) who distributes time among the people. Leon eventually catches up with Will and Sylvia outside the city, holding them at gunpoint. Will deduces that Leon himself was from the ghettos once but managed to successfully circumvent the system. Leon realizes that he had neglected to replenish his own time before going after them, and he dies. Will and Sylvia are left with mere seconds to live. Will runs to Leon's car and takes his allotted time. Will then runs back to catch Sylvia, in a similar scene to that of his mother, but with a different outcome as he catches Sylvia and gives her time.
Will and Sylvia continue robbing banks as part of their efforts to crash the system, while the rich attempt to cope with the sudden surge of people infiltrating their zone. Lower class workers, now rich with Time, cross Time Zones, signifying the end of inequality. The last scene shows Will and Sylvia preparing to rob a huge Time Bank to further disrupt a corrupt system.
- Justin Timberlake as Will Salas
- Amanda Seyfried as Sylvia Weis
- Collins Pennie as Timekeeper Jaeger
- Cillian Murphy as Timekeeper Raymond Leon
- Olivia Wilde as Rachel Salas
- Matt Bomer as Henry Hamilton
- Alex Pettyfer as Fortis
- Vincent Kartheiser as Philippe Weis
- Johnny Galecki as Borel
- Ethan Peck as Constantin
- Yaya DaCosta as Greta
- August Emerson as Levi
- Sasha Pivovarova as Clara
- Jesse Lee Soffer as Webb
- Bella Heathcote as Michele Weis
- Toby Hemingway as Timekeeper Kors
- Aubrey Allen as Tyler
- Melissa Ordway as Leila
- Jessica Parker Kennedy as Edouarda
- Christoph Sanders as Nixon
- Jeff Staron as Oris
- Matt O'Leary as Moser
- Nick Lashaway as Ekman
- Ray Santiago as Victa
- Kris Lemche as Markus
On July 12, 2010, it was reported that Amanda Seyfried had been offered a lead role. On July 27, 2010, it was confirmed that Justin Timberlake had been offered a lead role. On August 9, 2010, Cillian Murphy was confirmed to have joined the cast.
In an interview with Kristopher Tapley of InContention.com Roger Deakins stated that he would be shooting the film in digital, which makes this the first film to be shot in digital by the veteran cinematographer.
The Dayton scenes were filmed primarily in the Skid Row and Boyle Heights neighborhoods of Los Angeles, while the New Greenwich scenes were filmed primarily in Century City, Bel Air, and Malibu. Despite the name of the "ghetto zone" suggesting Dayton, OH and the name of the "rich zone" suggesting Greenwich, CT, the maps used by the Timekeepers are maps of Los Angeles, CA. But the names "Dayton" and "Greenwich" both refer to time, and were more likely chosen for that reason than for any relation to present-day geography. Residents of "Dayton" live on about a days worth of time whereas residents of "Greenwich" enjoy living at the namesake of the source of all time zones.
Using the common device of Future-Retro, the production's vehicle suppliers assembled a prodigious fleet of cars and trucks from used car lots and junkyards. Although an ancient Citroen DS21 and Cadillac Seville feature, center stage goes to a fleet of, seemingly, immaculate, Dodge Challengers and suicide door Lincoln Continentals. The rich drive around in the high gloss Lincolns, all of which have been smoothed, lowered and fitted with over-sized disc wheels on low profile rubber. The Dodges are the Time Keeper's cop cars. These too have been smoothed and externally customized, with grilles front and rear covering the lights, and low profile tires on disc wheels. In stark contrast to the Lincolns, paintwork is matte black. A slim police light-bar is fitted internally, behind the windshield. Externally this fleet may have looked immaculate but internally it was a different story. No money was spent on what would not be seen and many of the vehicles had wrecked interiors, with ripped seats, carpets and head-linings. Because the cars had been assembled from many sources and prepared to look identical, the interiors of most were of a color which did not match the black exteriors. The best of the Lincoln Continentals, for instance, whose interior is seen in the production, is trimmed out in blue.
Copyright lawsuit 
On September 15, 2011, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a suit was filed by attorneys on behalf of speculative fiction writer Harlan Ellison that the film's plot was based on his award-winning 1965 short story "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman. The suit, naming New Regency and director Andrew Niccol as well as a number of anonymous John Does, appears to base its claim on the similarity that both the completed film along with Ellison's story concern a dystopian future in which people have a set amount of time to live which can be revoked, given certain pertaining circumstances by a recognized authority known as a Timekeeper. Initially, the suit demanded an injunction against the film's release; however, Ellison later altered his suit to instead ask for screen credit before ultimately dropping the suit, with both sides releasing the following joint statement: "After seeing the film In Time, Harlan Ellison decided to voluntarily dismiss the Action. No payment or screen credit was promised or given to Harlan Ellison. The parties wish each other well, and have no further comment on the matter."
Similar works 
A very early instance of a storyline with time as currency occurs in "Mandrake and the Goldman", a Lee Falk comic issue based on the popular Mandrake the Magician character, and published in India in the year 1972. It is possible that the original US publication of this comic happened before publication of the Harlan Ellison short story.
Many of the elements of In Time can be found in the 1987 short film The Price of Life, which aired on PBS as part of their "American Playhouse" series. The Price of Life was a 38-minute short film with story by Stephen Tolkin and Michel Monteaux in which everyone is born with 1000 years placed on a credit card physically linked to their life, thus another example of using time as currency. An elite upper-class is portrayed as living hundreds of years or more. The protagonist is given a certain amount of time as an infant, and as young boy adds days and years to his time account by buying valuables from people and selling them to visiting tourists from the rich enclave. After his sister dies after gambling away her time, the protagonist (now a young man) sets out on a journey to the enclave of "the Old Ones" in order to save the life of his mother, who is (literally) running out of time. He gets there and meets a beautiful older woman who co-opts him into the immortal lifestyle. Despite the striking parallels in the basic plot and storyline, the movie In Time gives no acknowledgment to this film.
A short story entitled Time is Money, by Lee Falk (the creator of the comic strip Mandrake the Magician), appeared in the December 1975 issue of Playboy. It portrays a society that includes many of the elements later used in In Time, a society in which time is the currency for its inhabitants and when someone runs out of time, he dies on the spot. It includes a timekeeper implanted in the body, time banks, transactions by handshakes, no aging, and social class differences according to accumulated time. The movie In Time did not give any acknowledgment to Lee Falk for his story either.
The film received generally mixed reviews from critics; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 36% of 152 critics gave the movie a positive review, with a rating average of 5.2 out of 10. The website's consensus reads, "In Time's intriguing premise and appealing cast are easily overpowered by the blunt, heavy-handed storytelling."  Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 53 based on 36 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B-minus" on an A+ to F scale. Roger Ebert gave the film a positive review with 3 stars out of 4, noting that the "premise is damnably intriguing", but "a great deal of this film has been assembled from standard elements".
Box office performance 
Home media 
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- Sneider, Jeff (2010-08-09). "Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy in Talks to Join 'I'm.mortal". TheWrap.com. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
- Tapley, Kristopher (2010-12-22). "TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘True Grit’ cinematographer Roger Deakins". InContention.com. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- Gardner, Eriq. "Harlan Ellison Sues Claiming Fox's 'In Time' Rips Off Sci-Fi Story (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. September 15, 2011
- Ellison wants ‘In Time’ concessions — only asks for credit?
- "Ellison drops lawsuit after watching In Time". scifistorm.org. 1 December 2011.
- "Mandrake Titles".
- The Price of Life at Vimeo
- "In Time (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "In Time Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- Finke, Nikki (October 30, 2011). "Snow Ices Box Office: ‘Puss In Boots’ #1, ‘Paranormal’ #2, ‘In Time’ #3, ‘Rum Diary’ #4". Deadline.com. PMC. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- "In Time". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Whitman, Howard. "Blu-ray Movie Review: In Time". Technology Tell. www.technologytell.com. Retrieved 4/2/2012.
- Official website
- In Time at the Internet Movie Database
- In Time at AllRovi
- In Time at Box Office Mojo
- In Time at Rotten Tomatoes
- In Time at Metacritic
- Official Trailer