Hours - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hours Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 20, 2014
One of the last films with Paul Walker is this suspenseful thriller that can be quite tense in a welcome minimalist way when not being contrived or melodramatic, yet it could have been set in any city hit by a fictional hurricane without the need of using a real tragedy as a plot device.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2014
In one of Paul Walker's best performances to date, "Hours" follows a man after the loss of his wife during childbirth and he must keep his baby breathing in the incubator with no power during the events of Hurricane Katrina. The premise of this film sold me right from the start and it was just the film that he needed to boost his performance stature. Taking place mainly in one building for the entire film, this low-budget film is a true marvel and really something to strive to be able to pull off. While this film has a few script issues and there are a few predictable moments, Paul Walker's performance vibrates off the screen and the emotion in this film is handled beautifully. Almost every scene made me tear up, because they knew how to handle it. Aside from it's few faults, "Hours" is a great film!
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2013
three stars
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2013
Every second counts.

Great final Film to an Excellent Actor!!! This film amazed me as I am not normally into this genre. I went in not expecting anything really but by the end I was captivated and really cheering Paul Walker on. Paul Walker does an amazing job and he made the film for me, his emotion and grit shone through. By the end I found myself emotionally attached to the story and really immersed in the story. This is a survival story above all and I applaud Paul Walker in his role. May he Rest in Peace!

A father struggles to keep his infant daughter alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2014
Though sometimes melodramatic and not entirely unfamiliar, Hours succeeds at being an affecting drama, recounting one man's experience in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Set in 2005, the film follows a soon-to-be-widowed man, left to care for his infant daughter, being stabilized only via a ventilator, in the midst of one of the greatest natural catastrophes to hit the country.

As the story itself is rather confined, centering entirely on Nolan Hayes (played by Paul Walker), and his efforts to rescue his daughter, its' success as a narrative and as a film overall is very much hinged on Walker's performance. This, to be sure, is the biggest surprise of the film, finding a much more dramatically nuanced Walker than in his previous exploits, with an affecting presence, relentless tenacity, and calmness under pressure which is perfect for the role.

The film itself does a good job of using the hurricane as a backdrop, incorporating the very real realities of what went on (ex. sniper fire, abandoned hospitals, looting), without losing sight of the film's central focus. There is, of course, a number of moments which feel a bit too over-dramatized, and we get a sense quickly of where the story will end up.

Yet the film's earnestness is never called in to question, resulting in a film that never ceases to be engaging.

3.5/5 Stars
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ December 30, 2013
This film is set during the period of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, the year post-hardcore band Funeral for a Friend released their album "Hours", while David Bowie's "'Hours...'" was reissued with a second disc that was plagued with remixes, so doesn't this film remind us of enough horrifying tragedies without starring Paul Walker? Shoot, it's easy to get this film confused with 2002's "[u]The[/u] Hours", which was itself kind of depressing, so this film is all kinds of downputting with its reminders, yet the producers can at least be happy that this film is going to get a whole lot more attention than plenty of other thrillers this low in profile, even if that attention is coming through morbid curiosity. I understand that this film gets its title from the amount of time Walker's character has to wait to see if his newborn child will survive in an incubator that runs low on power while Katrina is outside messing some stuff up, but the title is most fitting because it practically came out mere hours after Walker died. Yeah, maybe a joke, even one that light, about this situation is a little unnerving at this time, but hey, I've already heard some jerks say "Fast and Furious 6 Feet Under" and that Walker went from "Fast and Furious" to "Gone in 60 Seconds". Some people just have no self-control, like you jerks out there who are chuckling a little bit right now, confident that no one knows that it's over those Paul Walker jokes. Seriously though, folks, Walker was taken from us "2 Fast 2 Soon"-I mean, too soon (I've also heard someone make that joke already anyways; you're dirtbags, the lot of ya!), and only now do we realize that he actually did have some genuine talent to him. Well, to be fair, this film helps, and yet, as good as Walker is, or rather, was in it, this film unnerves with more than just reminders of disturbing events.

All but to my surprise, the film is never all that bland, let alone dull, but it is sometimes a little too thoughtful for its own good, with a steady atmosphere behind intentionally draggy material gnawing at momentum of the film until it ultimately falls into, maybe not considerable blandness, but a fair deal of repetition. At least as writer, Eric Heisserer's struggle to find material to keep up the hour and thirty-seven minutes, just as Paul Walker's Nolan Haynes character struggles to keep up the hours, is generally comfortable, yet there are still plenty of aimless moments, and that's blanding enough when you take out of account how much of the material that is being forced in is formulaic. It's hard to make a story like this refreshing, but the film tries in certain places, and that makes its easier to notice the places in which the film doesn't try as much as it should to put a twist on things, and succumbs to tropes that dilute much of the drama's weight, especially when those tropes prove to be manipulative ones. This is a generally genuine film that sustains subtlety longer than one might expect, but for only so long before slipping into dramatic devices that range from somewhat forced thriller set pieces to a touch too much emphasis on dramatic bite with the meditative atmosphere, and can at least be respected for trying to flesh out intrigue. Yes, the film is sometimes slow and manipulative, and it's consistently very formulaic, yet natural shortcomings are what really do damage here, because even though the dramatic plot is worthy, it's minimalist, relying on steady conflicts, rather than all that much intensity, but still holding a potential to be really effective that would be satisfied if the film was more consistent with matching ambition with inspiration. As things stand, as much as the film tries to and, for that matter, succeeds in crafting an effective drama, only so much can be done to charge this promising effort on paper, without all of the conventions and issues in pacing and subtlety that the interpretation brings into play. What you ultimately end up with is an underwhelming, maybe even kind of forgettable film, but it is not nearly as misguided as I feared it would be, bordering on genuinely rewarding, and getting there on the back of a genuineness that even extends to the film's musical style.

Even Benjamin Wallfisch's score is conventional, but it's not quite as trite as other formulaic, atmospherically dramatic scores of its nature, offering a fair deal of inspiration to light, softly intense stylization that is both aesthetically impressive and complimentary to the selling of an equally lightly intense narrative. Again, this story is too minimalist for its own good, as well as much too familiar for its own good, and yet, it's about as refreshing as it can be, as well as tasteful, offering a touch too much material, much of which is less manipulative and more tasteful with its meditative approach to both the affects of the unforgettable Hurricane Katrina, as well as a man's struggle to cope with dangers and loss as he struggles to survive and protect his child. This worthy subject matter is handled a little blandly, and occasionally with only so much subtlety, yet Eric Heisserer's script has its share of well-rounded, thoughtful elements, done justice by highlights in Heisserer's other storytelling performance. I can't say that I feel that Heisserer is as assured as he probably should in his meditative directorial storytelling, but where Heisserer could have almost consistently gotten too emphatic of should-be subtleties, momentum to storytelling is generally just intense enough to challenge dullness, while delicacy is prominent enough to absorb tonal impact, whether it be in the form of tension or resonance. Really, there's not a whole lot to praise here, and that, combined with natural shortcomings, make the final product decidedly underwhelming, but this effort really isn't as underwhelming as I feared it would be, as there is a certain inspiration that tries its hardest to grip, even if it's not as consistent with succeeding in that regard as Paul Walker. Look, people, let's be honest, I hope that Walker rests in peace and all, but he's been hit-or-miss in the past, and considering that this is more-or-less a one-man acting vehicle, I feared that Walker wasn't going to be as strong as he should be for a film of this type, let alone able to turn in the memorably strong final performance that all potentially talented performers want to go out on, but when it comes down to the wire, Walker goes well above my expectations by showing just how much he has fleshed out his skills throughout the course of a career that was all too recently cut much too short, utilizing a broad emotional range and layered presence to capture the gradual breaking of a man in a dangerous situation who can only focus on preserving the fragile life of a child, the only thing he has left after tragedy takes from him the beloved mother of his inspiration for persevering. While Walker is not given the material to be great, he is truly excellent, and I can't emphasize enough to people that I am by no means being influenced by Walker's tragic passing when I say that this is one of the better lead performances of 2013, complete with a subtlety and power that many of us didn't think Walker was capable of, and carries this film a long way, maybe not to the point of making a truly rewarding minimalist drama, but certainly to the point of playing a big part in making this a decent film that is better than I expected, even if it's still far from the best it can be.

When time is up, the final product sputters out as relatively underwhelming under the weight of some slow spells and subtlety lapses, plenty of conventions, and a considerable deal of natural shortcomings, though not as deeply as I feared it would, as there is enough tastefulness to scoring, writing and direction to the telling of a worthy, if minimalist story, and inspiration to Paul Walker's excellent lead performance to make Eric Heisserer's "Hours" a pretty engaging and sometimes gripping dramatic thriller, in spite of the shortcomings, both consequential and natural.

2.75/5 - Decent
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2013
This upcoming movie was described to me as the latest thriller directed and written by Eric Heisserer. Sadly, that there was nothing good (except, maybe, Génesis Rodríguez) in it to thrill me. It was just a melodrama which had elements of survival story to fool us into believing that something like this is possible. The film stars Paul Walker, Génesis Rodríguez, TJ Hassan, and Judd Lormand. The only reason why this will be remembered is that this is Walker's last film. Two weeks prior to the film's release, Walker died in a car accident in Los Angeles, California on November 30, 2013.

The film is set in 2005, during the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Nolan (Paul Walker) is in the hospital with his wife who is ready to give birth five weeks before she was due. But, she dies... In disbelief, the father of a newborn baby stays in shock. What should be one of the happiest days of Nolan's life quickly spirals out of control during the wake of a Hurricane that floods the hospital and causes failures in the power supply, Nolan faces a life-or-death situation when no one returns to help and struggles on his own to keep his infant daughter alive inside a Neonatal ventilator, as minute-by-minute passes, the ventilator runs out of power and the minutes become long hours. Literally! I, thought that this movie is longer than three hours, that was how it felt (my copy was 1 h 36 minutes). I just wanted to be over.

Someone noticed that "an ingeniously simple setup is cunningly exploited for maximum suspense...", and that is true - but the type of that suspense was such that created annoyance rather than excitement. Film Critic Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine stated, "Hours works because, once more, it proves a little story can go a long way thematically and that bigger, deeper themes can surface when there's small-scale filmmaking at hand...", and the only excuse for him would be writing this that he was so high that didn't really see what was happening on the screen.

Nothing in there which should attract an attention of a film lover.
February 26, 2014
I was eager to see this movie since hearing about what happened... I'm even MORE eager to see it after seeing the trailer (the trailer ALONE was a real tearjerker to be honest... I can only imagine how it'll be with the MOVIE)! For those who have seen this movie already... is it like that? For those who haven't seen it already, but HAVE seen the trailer, TRY to tell me I'm wrong... TRY to tell me you weren't at least on the verge of tears by the end of the trailer! Anyway, I STILL think it looks GREAT...! (RIP Paul Walker!)
October 6, 2015
Meeeeeeeeh. The characters are all bland, cardboard cutouts who seem to be reading their lines from a cue card off screen. The hospital staff (along with Paul's character) are all incompetent neanderthals that act like self loving, self righteous, idiots. They're along so unlikable. We could only stand 63 minutes of this movie before shutting it off.
½ August 12, 2015
Really liked this one. It shows the struggle Nolan Hayes has to go through to save all that he has left. While the climax of the movie is kind of underwhelming, it is still worth checking out.
½ July 20, 2015
When the power goes out, Hours will seem like days, weeks, or even years before being rescued by the end of movie from the lack of complexity from almost everything Hours has to offer.
March 22, 2014
I love this movie it makes being a mother a great thing I would do any thing for my kids love Paul may he rip
July 1, 2015
Paul Walker's brilliant performance is the highlight of this suspenseful thriller. Although it's long and feels a bit dull, Hours is intriguing enough to watch till the end.
½ June 7, 2015
One of Paul Walker's last filmed movies before his tragic death, Hours overcomes it's cliches and occasional heavy handedness with his committed performance and enough heart.
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2015
I liked the movie except for two things: I've worked in a hospital for over 30 years now and I can't believe that no one stayed behind to take cake of the baby. That would have NEVER happened at my hospital. Secondly, there were so many medical inaccuracies, it made it hard for me to enjoy watching. Who extubated the baby??
April 27, 2015
It would be dishonest to say that some of the emotional power of this movie is derived by the untimely death of its lead, and it would also be dishonest to ignore the often slow pace. However the tension is strong enough, the cinematography fitting enough, and the acting powerful enough to bring home what is one of the most emotionally charged and feeling conclusions I have ever seen.
April 9, 2015
To be honest, I was mislead thinking that this movie was about our main character getting his baby out during the storm not after the storm. Nonetheless, Walker shines in this film giving one of his best performances ever and a film that gets better as it goes on, this should definitely be seen by more people.
April 7, 2015
Great story, and great performance from Paul Walker. Had the directing been better, this could've been an A+ movie.
½ January 22, 2015
Nothing against the late Paul Walker, but I feel like this movie would have been better had a seasoned actor played his part.
½ December 26, 2014
Paul Walker gives the best performance of his career though the movie can get predictable and quite boring at times
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