Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 100
    Recoing gives a performance that won't soon be forgotten. Neither will Time Out. It's a great movie.
  2. Cantet has rich insights into this material, and brings them alive through sensitive acting and powerful filmmaking.
  3. 100
    This movie makes one grateful that a serious European art cinema still exists. [15 April 2002, p. 88]
  4. There's piercing sadness, and fury, too, in this Everyman's isolation, and Cantet is singularly skilled at evoking the universal condition of such tragic ordinariness.
  5. It's a chilly, lonely introduction to a man who has effectively stepped out of the social world of adult responsibility.
  6. A hushed, small-scale masterpiece that moves into the shadowlands of tragedy.
  7. 100
    Cantet's masterful study of a white-collar businessman in decline.
  8. 91
    Recoing's performance is chillingly low-key -- sometimes you can swear that he believes his own fictions -- and Livrozet, making his film debut, has a perfect long-in-the-tooth charm.
  9. Not just an especially subtle and thoughtful psychological drama, it's a provocative, even an unnerving one as well.
  10. Vincent is played masterfully by Aurelien Recoing, who gives him a sort of as-if anomie; this haunted hero is so detached that he may not realize he has no real life to be detached from.
  11. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Theater veteran Recoing is utterly compelling. Both the script and the resourceful, subtle actor provide enormous insight into the troubled character.
  12. Recoing's performance is a sensitive portrayal of a man in the throes of an excruciating spiritual crisis.
  13. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    It's like an Ingmar Bergman film with the loss of religious faith replaced with a sort of socioeconomic nebulousness.
  14. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    It has the stately, well-crafted anxiety of a Hitchcock movie, except that the protagonist and antagonist are one and the same.
  15. Reviewed by: Leighton Klein
    Cantet's script and direction are flawless, and, matched step-for-step by Jocelyn Pook's mournful score, he builds the tension to near unbearable levels.
  16. Skip work to see it at the first opportunity.
  17. "Human Resources" was a good, straightforward tale, but Time Out is better. It's haunting. It's like a poem.
  18. 88
    If the movie has a flaw, it's that the working out of Vincent's psychology is too perfect.
  19. Reviewed by: Rich Cline
    This is brilliant filmmaking.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Look carefully at that final scene; few happy endings have ever felt so downbeat.
  21. 80
    Recoing's meta-performance is an unemphatic marvel, his placid countenance stretched tight over telltale flickers: a quickly suppressed smirk of incredulous delight, a nervous twitch of chagrin, an abrupt pang of guilt.
  22. A subtle mood piece in which a man's collapse is examined so rigorously that one almost hopes for a murder to come along and break the tension.
  23. Faultlessly truthful in its observations.
  24. A well-crafted indictment of the dark side of the modern work ethic.
  25. 75
    I admire the closing scenes of the film, which seem to ask whether our civilization offers a cure for Vincent's complaint.
  26. 75
    The movie isn't a thriller, but it has the tension of a thriller, and its cool, icy tone, deliberate pacing and clean, antiseptic lines are reminiscent of Kubrick and Antonioni.
  27. 75
    For those with the patience to sit through this kind of unhurried motion picture, Time Out offers a compelling character study of an individual under the kind of strain we can all relate to.
  28. This is a documentarylike film about a man who creates a castle in the air and then moves right in, the "Harold and the Purple Crayon" of the workplace.
  29. 50
    Looks great but moves like molasses, is more interesting than truly involving.

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