Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 13+
Sci-fi thriller has violence, sexuality, language.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sci-fi adventure features a fair bit of violence, twentysomething sexuality, and heavy themes about social equality and injustice that may not be appropriate for tweens interested in seeing a Justin Timberlake movie. Language includes one "f--k," as well as "s--t," "damn," "ass"; violent scenes feature close-range shootings (mostly bloodless), people dropping dead when their clocks reach zero, and one suicide. Sex is implied rather than shown, but there's a skinny-dipping scene with a glimpse of a nude bottom, as well as strip poker and some skimpy lingerie. There's a Robin Hood-esque theme to the second half of the movie, but it's wrapped around a shallower Bonnie-and-Clyde vibe of "let's have fun robbing from the rich." Despite the movie's mixed messages, one lesson is loud and clear: Don't waste your time.
- Families can talk about the movie's sci-fi themes. Why are futuristic storylines so compelling to audiences? Is this vision of the future a positive one or a cautionary tale? Can you think of other movies with futures that seem better to live in than this time-obsessed one?
- How do the filmmakers cleverly use "time" to replace wealth in the story? Pick out a few examples of how characters literally mean it when they say "I'm out of time," or "have a minute?"
- How is the movie's message of wealth distribution and injustice relevant today?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The idea that time is precious is a good message for all, as is the notion that no one should ever die so that someone else can become richer. But the movie's moral is muddied by the main characters' inconsistent behavior. How can they judge who merits the time and who doesn't? Still, despite their dire situation, Will and his mother love each other unconditionally and are always willing to spare some time for each other and those who are even less fortunate.
Positive role models: At times, Will is a good role model: He's a loving son, a generous man, and a good friend. His mother is also a sweet and kind woman who gives her son time she can't really spare. The manager of the local mission gives most of his time away to the needier, and even Sylvia grows to understand the plight of the timeless.
What to watch for
Violence: Plenty of shootings (some at close range, though there's little blood); one suicide. Most people die when their countdown clock hits zero, and this can happen to anyone -- particularly the poor -- at any time if they can't find someone to give or lend them some extra time until their next time-paying job. The dead are shown peppered throughout the streets; in one heartbreaking scene, two characters miss being reunited by a second, and it's just long enough for one to die in the other's arms. Those who do have more than enough time can still die if someone steals their time or if they're injured beyond repair in an accident, by a gun shot, etc. Most of the characters who die in the movie have their "clocks cleared," although a few are shot.
Sexy stuff: Will and Sylvia hook up pretty quickly; they flirt and go skinny dipping (her nude bottom is shown under the water) before they even have their first kiss. Later, after their first passionate kiss, they end up staying together and making out. They play strip poker on a bed, and Sylvia is obviously losing -- she's down to her lace bra and panties. There's no actual love scene, though, since the couple is interrupted before they can go all the way (although it's clear they've done so off camera). In other scenes, a prostitute propositions a cop and rich women wear tight, revealing outfits.
Language: Occasional use of words like "s--t," "ass," "damn," and "hell," as well as one memorable "f--k" (said as "un-f--king-believable." "God" and "Jesus"-based exclamations are said several times as well.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink wine, champagne, and hard liquor at social events, a bar, and in private. Will's best friend (literally) drinks himself to death by using all of his bonus "time" on alcohol.