A sci-fi movie that was a major flop in theaters and stars a huge pop star is currently gaining its redemption on Netflix’s global top 10. And, no, we’re not talking about the David Bowie film The Man Who Fell To Earth (which was a spectacular failure at the box office but has since become a cult classic gem). We’re talking about In Time, starring Justin Timberlake, which has picked up momentum with Netflix’s global audience (it’s currently streaming at #3) and can be streamed on Hulu in the United States.
12 years later, audiences seem to have changed their mind, now loving In Time enough to hoist the film near the top of Netflix’s global list.
In 2011, a thought-provoking science fiction film burst onto the big screen with the aim of taking audiences on a thrilling journey into a dystopian future where time is the ultimate currency. In Time, directed and written by Andrew Niccol, explores the consequences of a society where time is not just money — it’s life itself. Unfortunately, audiences didn’t grasp Niccol’s vision at the time of release, and the movie ended up getting panned by critics and audiences alike.
Perhaps just a little ahead of its time, 12 years later, audiences seem to have changed their mind, now loving In Time enough to hoist the film near the top of Netflix’s global list.
Set in the year 2169, In Time presents a world where people stop aging at 25 and are given one year to live. Each person has a clock on their forearm, counting down their remaining lifespan. When their time runs out, they “time out” and die instantly.
In Time’s story follows Will Salas, portrayed by Justin Timberlake, a factory worker living in the poverty-stricken Dayton. His encounter with a wealthy individual reveals the harsh reality: the elite of New Greenwich hoard time while raising prices to keep the less fortunate from accumulating it. When a twist of fate leaves Will with a substantial amount of time, he embarks on a mission to challenge the oppressive system and bring justice to the people of Dayton.
In addition to an all-star cast containing Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy, In Time also boasts a talented cast that brings the futuristic world to life.
Niccol leads the audience through a series of twists and turns throughout In Time as Will and Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), the daughter of a wealthy magnate, join forces to disrupt the status quo. They engage in time heists, redistributing time capsules to the needy, all while being pursued by Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy), a former resident of Dayton turned enforcer of the oppressive time system. The film explores themes of inequality, class struggle, and the value of time itself.
In addition to an all-star cast containing Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy, In Time also boasts a talented cast that brings the futuristic world to life. Don’t Worry Darling’s Olivia Wilde portrays Rachel Salas, Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser plays Philippe Weis, and Magic Mike’s Matt Bomer joins as Henry Hamilton. Additional cast includes Jonny Galecki, Alex Pettyfer, and Will Harris.
Andrew Niccol’s vision for In Time includes a captivating blend of retrofuturism and a meticulously crafted dystopian society. The film’s settings, from the gritty streets of Dayton to the opulent world of New Greenwich, provide a stark contrast that mirrors the social divide within the story.
In Time garnered mixed reviews upon its release, with most responses leaning more negative. Overall, Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 37 percent, with critics praising the premise but panning the execution. Metacritic offered the movie a score of 53 out of 100, while CinemaScore labeled In Time a B-minus film.
It seemed that overall, critics found the premise of In Time to be tantalizing and the acting of the movie to be decent, but the final product showcased basic elements and tropes that could be found in any sci-fi movie.
Justin Timberlake In Hollywood
In Time marked a significant step in Justin Timberlake’s transition from a successful music career to Hollywood stardom. Timberlake, already known for his time with the boy band NSYNC and hit solo albums, proved his acting chops in this science fiction thriller. Following In Time, Timberlake took on various roles in film and television, including notable appearances in The Social Network, Bad Teacher, and Friends with Benefits.
In Time may have divided critics, but its exploration of a world where time is currency remains a thought-provoking concept. With a stellar cast and a futuristic aesthetic, the film continues to intrigue audiences and serves as a notable chapter in Justin Timberlake’s evolving career. Whether you’re drawn to its social commentary or its thrilling plot, In Time invites viewers to reflect on the value of time in our own lives and society.