Movie Details

The Darkest Hour

American-based sci-fi directed by Chris Gorak and produced by Timur Bekmambetov, about an alien invasion in Russia. Starring Olivia Thirlby and Emile Hirsch as young people caught in the invasion.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 29 Dec 2011
Genre: Action / Science Fiction
Running Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Cast: Olivia Thirlby, Emile Hirsch
Director: Chris Gorak
Format: NA, 2D


Writer: Elaine Ewe

Writer Ratings:

Watch this if you liked: “The Happening”

"The Darkest Hour" is one of those movies where you get to urge to make a pun of. For example, how watching it IS one of the darkest hours of my life. Sorry, but the movie is laden with one too many cheesy lines like that one.

It all begins with two friends a la Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, but they are named Sean and Ben, who travel to Moscow in order to close a deal for a new social networking program. The fact that the two and all the other characters you meet later on are never given any last names should say something about the movie, and true enough, about ten minutes in, the body count is racking up faster than the coins at jackpot. This is because aliens have invaded Earth, with the sole purpose of leeching minerals and electricity. Any lifeform that comes into contact with them, hostile or not, is eradicated, leaving only ashes behind.

As you can see, the movie does have a good premise, and the trailer certainly did not disappoint. So there is absolutely no excuse for the characters to be spouting rubbish like "They came here with a plan" or "They can see us, but we can't see them." If anything, what director Chris Gorak needs this Christmas are lessons on subtlety. To make matters worse, none of the cast has enough star power in them to distract audiences from the flat lining screenplay.

Special effects and cinematography-wise, yes, these two must be examined together in this case, because while the special effects are wonderfully worked, with composed shots of flickering lights to indicate danger, the crumbling buildings and a depopulated Moscow, one cannot help but feel that it is all designed to indulge in the laziness on the director's part. On one hand, you have got a movie filled with unseen horrors lurking in the background. On the other, there are no long, lingering shots, or climatic build-up to induce a sense of real danger, leaving only that subpar cast you just want to see dead. The aliens look like cheap pinwheels of light for goodness' sake, not to mention dumb. The only other film in a similar vein is "The Happening" and no decent director should ever want to emulate that, period.

In conclusion, "The Darkest Hour" is an inane movie that has no spot in this year-end season that is stacked with worthwhile movies. Bad enough to be enjoyable, yes, but unless you are watching it for free, the odds of the ticket price against the enjoyment of watching this movie are dark.

Cinema Online, 29 December 2011
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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