As a storyteller, Andrew Niccol tends to think big, tackling heady subjects such as genetic predestination (Gattaca), the nature of reality (The Truman Show), and celebrity in the cyber age (S1m0ne). In Time, Niccol’s first film since 2005’s Lord of War, has a typically gigantic premise–a world where everyone over 25 years old must pay for every continued second of their existence–but stumbles in the execution. While the ideas are exceedingly clever, the telling isn’t especially witty. Justin Timberlake stars as a goodhearted but desperate minimum-wager trapped in a society where the rich are essentially immortal and the poor see their lifespan shorten with every purchase. (A cup of coffee costs 4 minutes, taking the bus also takes 30 minutes off of your life, and so on.) After being gifted with a century by a mysterious benefactor, he begins a romance with a beautiful socialite (Amanda Seyfried), whose father holds the key to the entire monetary system.

Studio: 20th Century Fox
Year: 2011
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Run time: 109 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD
Region: 1

What if time is really money? “The Truman Show” screenwriter Andrew Niccol’s latest film takes the idea of “time as currency” seriously. Set in an unspecified future world, a sci-fi thriller “In Time” gives another meaning to a frequently used phrase “wasting one’s time.” Here the class structures of the haves and the have-nots are determined by the time left to live, shown by the internal “body clock” on the wrist.

Many people say the idea is interesting. Maybe. But no matter how good the ideas may be, they need to be developed to be turned into a drama with a story. Andrew Niccol, the director of brilliant “Gattaca,” seems to have forgotten that. The rest of “In Time” is a tepid action flick that does not what it wants to do, that is made up of bits and pieces borrowed from other action movies.

All characters are stock types. Justin Timberlake is one of the “have-nots,” hard-working Will Salas. Amanda Seyfried is Sylvia Weis, a daughter of a rich family. Cillian Murphy is Raymond Leon, a veteran “timekeeper.” Throughout the film, what they really want to do is never fully explained. (What does Murphy’s “timekeeper” have to keep anyway?) The subplot about Johnny Galecki’s character, friend of Timberlake’s hero, is terribly bland.
Movie Quality: 6/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. Colors are a bit on the softer side. I believe the color palette chosen here was for the style of the film. Blacks levels are good. There is some grain throughout the film that isn’t consistent. Details are also good in this film. There is some edge enhancement in some of the scenes.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA l0ssless 5.1 mix. This isn’t a mix that will be demo worthy, but it gets the job done. Dialogue is clean and crisp through the center channel with no issues. The soundfield is where I had a few issues with as the action sequences didn’t feel as immersive. That is a bit of a shame since this is a film that could have been taken advantage of with atmospheric sound. I found this presentation to be a bit more front heavy as the soundfield doesn’t get the use it should of except for the film’s score.
Print Quality: 8/10

Special Features

  • The Minutes
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Sneak Peak

Special Features: 4/10

Final Thoughts

There are so many holes in the plot, but the biggest problem of the film is its inept storytelling and lack of characters we can identify with. We don’t need car chases. We don’t need guns. We need someone like Truman Burbank whom we really cared about. Sadly “In Time” doesn’t have one.
Overall Rating: 7/10