DVD Review: In Time

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Andrew Niccol | CAST: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 1/31/2012 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
BONUSES: deleted/extended scenes; BD adds featuette
SPECS: PG-13 | 109 min. | Sci-fi thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, Spanish and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A perfectly engaging concept if you don’t think about it too hard, In Time is set in a society in the near future in which time — added to or deducted from your life — has replaced money as currency. Every second counts as people stop aging at 25 and are engineered to live only one additional year. They then spend, earn, borrow and steal additional minutes, hours and days, until they either amass enough to essentially become immortal (the “rich”) or until they “time out” and die (the other 99 percent).

In Time movie scene

Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfriend have a dance before the running begins in In Time.

Following a traumatic loss and an unexpected gift of over a century of time, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake, Friends With Benefits) sets out on his own version of the Occupy movement to eliminate the inequity between the two classes, mounting an action-filled, Robin Hood-esque campaign to give back time to the deserving masses and exact revenge on the corrupt system.

In Time adheres well to its own plot rules, but it begs many questions. For example, why isn’t the theft of time more rampant given that timing out — unlike losing your last penny — results in instant death? Where is the middle class — those people who aren’t rich and therefore immortal, but aren’t living day-to-day either? And what government entity agreed to this cockamamie idea that implants countdown clocks in your forearm?

Oh well, it’s still a fun ride that calls to mind such society-bending movies as Gattaca (also directed by Andrew Niccol), Logan’s Run and even Soylent Green. The performances by Timberlake, Cillian Murphy (Inception) as a “timekeeper” (cop), Amanda Seyfried (Letters to Juliet) as a kidnapped debutante and Vincent Kartheiser (TV’s Mad Men) as her father are uniformly wooden, as if the actors are resigned to playing in what’s basically a comic book premise.

Roger Deakins’ colorful cinematography depicts the lower class neighborhoods in desert-like orange and sepia tones and bathes the high society enclaves in blue. It all looks more than acceptable on DVD. The soundtrack is even more impressive, with a vibrant low-frequency throughline in much of Craig Armstrong’s score.

This isn’t a loaded disc by any means, but it includes eight deleted/extended scenes, a few of which simply play with the time-currency concept a bit more.

Though there have been many better examples of speculative science-fiction in the past few years, this one won’t be a waste of your time.


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About Gary

Gary Frisch has been contributing laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray reviews to Video Business magazine, Home Theater Magazine, Home Theater Buyer’s Guide, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and the DVD Guide for more than 14 years. He still has a collection of more than 40 laserdiscs, along with a working auto-reverse LD player, but thinks Blu-ray is da bomb and anxiously awaits the original Star Wars trilogy so he can buy it for the fifth time.