Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
Watch On
  1. 91
    An audaciously unique and exciting film, not as successful as an A-to-Z story as it is mind-expanding as a vision of what the cinema can do.
  2. 90
    We're afforded the illusion of an omniscience so complete as to mark a pioneering breakthrough in movie storytelling, one not to be missed.
  3. It's amazing to see a film so brazenly experimental, so committed to reflecting on the circumstances and techniques of its making, that is at the same time so intent upon delivering old-fashioned cinematic pleasures like humor and pathos, character and plot.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    If the satire feels familiar, and the dramatics often contrived, there's rarely a moment here when something funny, intense or cleverly interconnected doesn't keep one's synapses firing on overdrive.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    The movie world could use more stunts as entertaining and innovative as this one.
  6. A clever way of providing crucial layering and heightening a hip, satirical take on bad old Hollywood ways.
  7. 80
    We become so absorbed in the ramifications of the techniques involved that a more challenging plot might have resulted in sensory overload.
  8. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Like a good supermarket tabloid, Time Code grabs - and keeps - our attention.
  9. 75
    This is a big, audacious stunt of a movie -- pointless, perhaps, but incredibly fun to play with.
  10. 75
    Once you get the hang of Figgis' own brand of coercion -- one based on an intricate sound design and musical score -- you find yourself happily going along for the ride.
  11. Is the story being told worth a movie on its own merits? No way. Time Code exists as an esthetic event -- either a trick or a treat, depending on your expectations.
  12. 75
    I'm glad I saw the film. It challenged me.
  13. It would be even more impressive if the story and characters lived up to the inventive techniques, though.
  14. Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    You may leave the theater with a bit of a headache, but you'll feel amply compensated by the sense of having seen a master inventor at work.
  15. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    A fascinating combination of dare, stunt and genuine artistic risk -- often disorganized, but never less than entertaining.
  16. Reviewed by: Richard T. Jameson
    But for all its pretensions toward exemplifying a brave new way of making movies, Time Code offers less and less worth discovering as it slouches toward its tritely "fatal" climax.
  17. Reviewed by: Any (Specify)
    Figgis's bold narrative strategy turns what could have been a standard-issue chronicle of shallow Hollywood lives into a fluid and enthralling experience.
  18. It induces a serious case of sensory overload that left me drained and edgy.
  19. Just fascinating in an empty, trendy sort of way
  20. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    This spectacle of strenuous improvising is more stunt than true experiment.
  21. 60
    I suspect that Time Code was a lot more fun to make than it is to watch.
  22. But for all the meta-movie excitement, the content danced somewhere between mildly interesting and moderately enjoyable.
  23. In fact, for long stretches, especially during the first hour, it's as soporific as watching a bank of security cameras.
  24. Story pitches are made. Coke is snorted. There is lesbian sex. Fellatio. An earthquake. A murder. Just another day in Hollywood.
  25. 50
    Both a headache and a marvel, often eliciting simultaneous groans of despair and sheer wonder at the director's nervy chutzpah.
  26. An irrefutable triumph of engineering, and it entertained and intrigued me through two separate viewings...though as a view of the human condition it's astonishingly and depressingly meager.
  27. 40
    A brain-cramping and eye-straining experiment in digital filmmaking.
  28. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Just because you can make a movie in a day doesn't necessarily mean moviegoers should take an hour and a half to watch it.
  29. 30
    Even with sex, drugs, hip-hop and a murder, these four stories are dull, dull, dull, dull.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. JamesH.
    Jan 18, 2010
    Rather strikingly unusual and daring. The most compelling scenes by far are the ones with Salma Hayak. It's an interesting experiment, Rather strikingly unusual and daring. The most compelling scenes by far are the ones with Salma Hayak. It's an interesting experiment, it doesn't always work but I admire the effort. Full Review »