In Time

Bottom Line: This movie is the confusing, nonsensical companion to the #Occupy movement: Time Bandits meets the Communist Manifesto. Clocks of the world, unite!

The Gist: In an alternate or future world, time is literally money. You pay rent with days, buy coffee with minutes. When it runs out, you die. A poor kid (Justin Timberlake) and rich heiress (Amanda Seyfried) play Bonnie and Clyde, stealing time from the rich to give to the poor. Somehow that will make everything fair. Read our full review.

The Verdict: As a movie, the film works pretty well, with a decent plot and some exciting sequences. As a worldview, it’s garbled and completely devoid of reason. The rich own all the time. No reason, they just do. The poor work hard for the rich, only to be rewarded in seconds that slip away when the rich arbitrarily raise prices, which they do when they want to kill off some of the poor. Literally. Economic concepts like opportunity, supply and demand, and risk and reward have no meaning in this universe. It’s time to stick it to the man. For this reason, it won a spot on our list of the most Blue State movies of 2011.

The Verdict: Skip it, unless you want a discussion-starter with your teen on economic policy.

Be Aware: Rated PG-13 for violence (pretty mild), language (fairly mild) and sexuality/partial nudity (between unmarried partners, pretty graphic for a PG-13 movie.)

Occupy Hollywood!

Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake star in "In Time."

If time really is money, then the Justin Timberlake vehicle “In Time” is an Occupy Wall Street manifesto costumed for Halloween as a Bonnie and Clyde type thriller. Like the Occupy movement, it packs a lot of punch and a lot of passion, but doesn’t have an underlying rationality.

In a vaguely futuristic, dystopian world, time has replaced money as currency. People have been genetically coded to stop aging at 25. They retain their youthful looks, but their internal clock starts ticking. This is a literal clock, glowing on their arms, constantly ticking down the moment until their death. At 25, they are issued one year. They may work to earn more time, they must pay for living expenses with time. A cup of coffee costs four minutes, rent might cost a few days. [Read more...]