In Time has a fascinating premise that manages to entertain. Unfortunately the premise is more interesting than the film, which doesn't quite live up to its potential other than sparking interesting conversation.
Written and directed by Andrew NIccol, In Time is a universe where everyone is genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. At that point you are given a year to live, and it just so happens that time is currency. So you can earn it, spend it, or give it away, but when you're clock runs out you aren't just out of currency, you're dead.
Will Salas (Timberlake) saves the right guy and receives the gift of 100 years, as well as a little knowledge about how the "rich" keep the "poor" down, and living day to day. The movie then shifts to a mix of Robinhood meets Bonnie & Clyde and some of the more powerful themes are lost in a growing heap of time cliches (i.e. the ghetto is called "Dayton" and everyone is named after famous watches to name a few).
I will admit I enjoyed watching the film and that was due in large part to the style and quality of cinematographer Roger Deakins. The acting was good although the script didn't allow for a lot of depth and the movie suffered because of it. It also didn't help that while I quite like both of the leads, Timberlake and Seyfried, they did not share a lot of chemistry. Perhaps a little of that would have filled some of the holes left by poor relational development.
Ultimately it was a good film, but because it had so many truly great ideas to explore, the end result feels disappointing. It's hard not wonder about its potential in different hands.
SO HOW DOES IT END?
Some of the biggest problems I have with this film are both its tendency to telegraph EVERYTHING and how heavily it relied on contrived scenes. The ending in particular. Near the opening of the film Timberlake is running towards his mother as her clock is running out. She dies right in front of him, literally a second before she is able to reach him and get more minutes to live. In order to recreate this scene at the end between Timberlake and Seyfried, the writer has to engineer a situation in which they would be nearly out of time. Not only do you see it coming a mile away, but it is outrageously unrealistic (they just dropped off a card with a MILLION YEARS on it). The idea that two people on a quest to redistribute wealth, who have been fighting to survive the entire film, would allow themselves to run out of time when they had it readily available, is just to big of a conceit for the audience to swallow. And this after stomaching a long list of similar issues like the "police" convicting and punishing a man with no evidence, a bank of time being WAY too easy to rob, an arm wrestle trick that was both ruined on account of foreshadowing AND a bit ridiculous, and finally, let's be honest, with all those clothes changes Seyfried couldn't find better running shoes???
Definitely worth a watch when it hits streaming, but I wouldn't waste your minutes at the theater. I give it 3 out of 5.