Official film poster
|Directed by||Andrew Niccol|
|Produced by||Andrew Niccol
|Written by||Andrew Niccol|
|Music by||Craig Armstrong|
|Edited by||Zach Staenberg|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Running time||109 minutes |
In Time (previously titled Now and I'm.mortal) is a 2011 American dystopian sci-fi thriller film written, directed, and produced by Andrew Niccol and starring Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake. The film was released on October 28, 2011.
In 2169, people are born genetically engineered with a digital clock on their forearm. When they turn 25 years old, they stop aging and their clock begins counting down from one year; when it reaches zero that person "times out" and dies instantly. Time has become the universal currency; it is used to pay for day-to-day expenses and can be transferred between people or capsules. The country has been divided into "time zones" based on the wealth of the population. The movie focuses on two specific zones: Dayton, a poor manufacturing area where people live day-to-day, and New Greenwich, the wealthiest time zone.
Will Salas is a Dayton factory worker who lives with his mother Rachel. One night at a local bar, he saves the drunken and suicidal Henry Hamilton from an attempted robbery by local thief Fortis and his gang. Hamilton, who is 105 years old, reveals to Will that the truth about time wealth is that there is plenty of time for everyone to live a long life. The people of New Greenwich hoard most of the time for themselves in order to live forever, while constantly increasing the cost of living in poorer districts to keep people dying. Hamilton gives a sleeping Will 116 years of his time, leaving himself with 5 minutes. He then sits on a nearby bridge and times out, falling dead into the water. Will awakens to a message from Hamilton not to waste the time he was given, and rushes to the bridge too late to stop the suicide. Raymond Leon, leader of the police-like Timekeepers, leads the investigation into Hamilton's death, and incorrectly assumes that Will robbed and killed Hamilton.
Will visits his best friend Borel and shares ten years with him, one for each year they have been friends. Will tells Borel that he is going to use the time to move with his mom to New Greenwich. Meanwhile, Rachel uses all but 90 minutes of her time to make a loan payment and finds herself short for bus fare to get home. The uncaring driver forces her to run back to Dayton, she arrives a few seconds too late for Will to save her and times out in his arms. Will decides to call a car service and head to New Greenwich, where he spends his first night in a suite at a hotel. The next day, he meets time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis and his daughter Sylvia at a local casino. While playing poker with Weis, Will bets all of his time and wins 1,100 years in the hand. Afterward, Sylvia invites him to a party in the Weis mansion. Will buys a car and drives himself to the party, where he is quickly apprehended by the Timekeepers. Raymond Leon confiscates all but two hours of Will's time, but Will manages to escape with Sylvia as a hostage. En route to Dayton they are ambushed by Fortis and his gang, who take all but thirty minutes of their time. Will attempts to get some time back from Borel, but learns that he used his time to drink himself to death. Sylvia is forced to pawn some jewelry to get time, and Will calls her father to demand a 1,000 year ransom for her. Weis refuses to pay, and Will decides to release Sylvia. She calls her father again from a pay phone, but they are ambushed by Leon, whom Sylvia shoots by accident.
Will and Sylvia decide to team up and begin robbing her father's time banks. A ten-year reward is offered for their capture, which leads Fortis and his gang to hunt them down in a local hotel room. Will shoots the rest of the gang and escapes with Sylvia, after killing Fortis by winning a duel to the death. They realize they cannot steal enough time to effectively change things, as New Greenwich simply raises prices to compensate. They decide on a big score and rob her father's personal vault for one million years. Timekeeper Leon chases them back to Dayton, but is too late to stop them from distributing the stolen time to the poor. Leon chases them to the outskirts of the city where he times out, having forgotten to collect his daily time allotment. Will and Sylvia, each with just over a minute to live, race to Leon's patrol car and Will collects Leon's daily pay. In a scene reminiscent of the death of his mother, Will and Sylvia run toward each other with seconds left; this time, he makes it in time to save her.
TV reports show factories in Dayton shutting down as everyone has enough time and abandons their jobs to go to New Greenwich. 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.
- Justin Timberlake as William "Will" Salas
- Amanda Seyfried as Sylvia Weis
- Cillian Murphy as Timekeeper Raymond "Ray" Leon
- Alex Pettyfer as Fortis
- Vincent Kartheiser as Philippe "Phillip" Weis
- Olivia Wilde as Rachel Salas
- Matt Bomer as Henry "Hank" Hamilton
- Johnny Galecki as Borel
- Collins Pennie as Timekeeper Jaeger
- Ethan Peck as Constantin
- Yaya DaCosta as Greta, Borel's wife
- Rachel Roberts as Carrera
- August Emerson as Levi
- Sasha Pivovarova as Clara
- Jesse Lee Soffer as Webb
- Bella Heathcote as Michele Weis
- Toby Hemingway as Timekeeper Kors
- 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 day's 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 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.
The use of future retro is one of many elements that the film seems to share with Niccol's earlier work, Gattaca. The earlier work also features electrically-powered vintage cars (notably a Rover P6 and again, a Citroen DS), as well as buildings of indeterminate age. Gattaca also deals with innate inequalities (though in its case genetic, rather than longevity) and the film's protagonist also seeks to cross the divide that his birthright is supposed to deny him. Similarly, he is pursued by law enforcement officers after being wrongly identified as having committed a murder.
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."
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.
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 by 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.
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, and the basic premise and storyline are so similar that In Time has been called an unacknowledged remake of the earlier film. The Price of Life was a 38-minute short film (story by Stephen Tolkin and Michel Monteaux) in which a time account is physically linked to every infant at birth, with death automatic when the balance drops to zero. 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.
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
The film opened at #3, behind Puss in Boots and Paranormal Activity 3, with $12,050,368. It earned $37,520,095 domestically and $136,410,501 overseas for a total of $173,930,596 worldwide, making it a success against its $40 million budget.
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- Ellison wants ‘In Time’ concessions — only asks for credit?
- "Ellison drops lawsuit after watching In Time". scifistorm.org. 1 December 2011.
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- Official website
- In Time at the Internet Movie Database
- In Time at AllMovie
- In Time at Box Office Mojo
- In Time at Rotten Tomatoes
- In Time at Metacritic
- Official Trailer
- Time is Money, by Lee Falk, http://mandrake-comics.blogspot.ro/2009/02/time-is-money-short-story-by-lee-falk.html