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The Darkest Hour
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Darkest Hour More at IMDbPro »

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26 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

"Survive the holidays" - by not watching this film

Author: Peter Hollo from Hungary
23 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

2 software geeks arrive to Moscow to sell their idea to some big shots so that they can earn millions of dollars. The film, of course, is up- to-date in terms of referring to GPS and social networking and touchscreen etc. when this brand new idea is being discussed by the characters. The boys are about to join a meeting when it turns out one of their competitors stole their idea and he is about to cash-in on it.

No matter: searching for some girls for a one-night-stand in a bar in Moscow seems to make all the bad things go away. Except, of course, if there were no blackouts due to some alien race that suddenly falls from the sky in the middle of the night. The creatures are practically invisible and by touching a human being they can simply turn them into dust.

Sean and Ben, our IT heroes, are hiding with their newly-found (girl)friends only to realise that not-knowing the big picture won't save their lives. And, of course, hiding in the US embassy's building would probably be more convenient than doing the same thing in the basement / store room of a Russian night club.

Their journey of traversing from one place to another very slowly and pointlessly starts and 60 minutes-or-so later ends in a fight against these barely visible, not-scary-at-all creatures while they are fighting alongside a Russian electrician(or plumber?) and some bad ass Russian mercenaries / soldiers / veterans.

The Darkest Hour is a horrible film. Everything is bad: acting, plot, conclusion, what-have-you. The visual effects are decent but nowadays you can expect it from such a picture - this is the bare minimum such products have to offer. One can easily guess that Timur Bekmambetov's name was only added to make sure more people will go and watch this garbage - even if the decent CGI and Russian milieu (not to mention the use of many Cyrillic letters) are all his signature elements these cannot sell something that is severely underdeveloped. It was a huge disappoint seeing Emile Hirsch in such a film after the remarkably well-done Into The Wild. The repertoire of Emile and his companions includes such wonderful sentences as: "Don't got there!", "We're gonna die!", and "But we have to try it!"

There is not one single part of the film that's worth watching. Avoid it, if you can, and if you cannot really find anything to watch during the holidays, please, re-watch some of the classics and forget The Darkest Hour has been made.

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27 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Don't Waste Your Money

Author: deadworld from United States
26 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We went to see this Christmas night. The entire family thought this was horrible. We were ready to leave 20 minutes into it. We (I) was hoping for it to get good and was sorely disappointed: it only got worse. The dialog was below amateurish, the acting was poor, the story/plot ridiculous. Don't Waste Your Money! Wait for Netflix or Cable TV. Not worth paying for. The only redeeming thing about this movie was some of the special effects. Most were done fairly well, but the aliens themselves, once their invisible shields were disrupted, were nothing more than scary looking Pokemon type creatures. It was a big letdown. This whole movie was a big letdown.

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30 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Low Light=Lower-Budget

Author: derekblake from Cornwall, United Kingdom
31 December 2011

Well what can I say, a good storyline ruined by budgetary constraints. It seems these days that the latest way of reducing the post-production expense is to shoot an invisible alien at night. The acting was just above amateur, in fact I have seen many amateur performances that would make this production look like a school project. The ending was such that it was either left open to pave the way for a sequel or because they totally ran out of money at one hour and twenty-five minutes. The film ends where the story really begins, such a same not to have realised the true potential of the screenplay. The concept of the aliens was unusual and I must say fairly original, however one has to suspend any knowledge of physics in order to make them believable. Aliens that seem to be of pure electrical energy explode with a shower of solid matter when killed, which makes no sense whatsoever. Please, someone with a real skill for production and direction do a remake, Stephen Spielberg are you listening?

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55 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

Just terrible!

Author: from United States
25 December 2011

This isn't going to take much time. THE DARKEST HOUR is extremely bad, it's terrible. It's a poorly written, poorly acted, poorly directed sci-fi film with unexceptional VFX, that sucked its way into theaters only because it's produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted).. I've seen B-sci-fi films that are better than this. What an excruciating way to spend the holidays, in a theater watching a time-waster like THE DARKEST HOUR. It's a collection of dreadful dialogue and talents like Joel Kinnaman who can be of more use elsewhere, in other gigs. I admit the concept is interesting, like what those alien sparks are actually made up of and how those floating sparks of energy decimate its victims, there also are scenes worth noting because they intend on making the characters selfless and heroic but you don't really feel that emotionally because the script is far from good enough to even think about reaching that emotional believable strength, the speeches are unbearable, the 3D is pointless. The thrills or the sequences that are meant to be suspenseful are neither new nor creative. And I can't help but feel that the entire film is nothing but a weak attempt to promote tourism for Moscow. The young key actors: Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella, Olivia Thirlby, have a few critically acclaimed films on their resumes, like Into The Wild, The Social Network, and Juno respectively, and so seeing them in this poor excuse for a sci-fi action/thriller is just painful to watch.

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66 out of 131 people found the following review useful:

Don't waste your time or money

Author: zemocarpathian from Carpathia, Romania
8 January 2012

I would rate this film one star and that would be generous. The characters were one dimensional and you knew who was going to get killed a mile off. The special effects were on the level of a made-for-TV-movie on the sci-fi channel. The 3D was needless because there was nothing enhanced since the special effects and the aliens were practically non-existent. I would advise to save your money and time and stay home and watch a good sci-fi DVD. This movie would have appealed to children from 10-15 years old, with absolutely no knowledge of what constituents a good movie experience, plot or special effects. When it was finally over, I wished that I could have gotten my time and/or money back.

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Not so terrible -great SPX, cool premise & refreshing location

Author: juneebuggy from Canada
8 October 2014

Despite all the terrible reviews this wasn't a terrible movie. I actually quite liked it. Sure there are moments where you just have to go with it, (how did that girl end up in the bus when everyone else is in the river?) and the acting (expect for Hirshe) is not great but I've definitely seen worse.

The premise of invisible energy absorbing aliens is pretty cool and the special effects are excellent -even if they're reminiscent of the beginning of War Of The Worlds, where Tom Cruise is running away (and through) everyone getting incinerated into ash. I also loved the fact that this took place in Moscow, super refreshing location, in fact that was the hook that got me to watch, I doubt I would have bothered if this had been another America saves the day in America movie. 5/24/14

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Why such a low IMDb score????

Author: hoytyhoyty from Australia
14 June 2014

Why did this get such a low score on IMDb? I've just logged in now to try and help correct this.

This, really, is a watchable little sci-fi flick! I put it on (from my partner's blu-ray collection) one night just to fill in that last hour-and-a-bit before bed.

I really didn't expect much, even maybe a laugh. Instead I ended up putting out the other lights and turning the sound up.

It's no 2001, or Alien, or even Screamers, but...

It's really pacey, and just dives straight in - you are not left bored. The aliens are original and very well done. The plot details are neat and the reveals good. The tension is set up well and doesn't feel contrived. You get some GREAT footage around Moscow, a fascinating (if scary, even without aliens) city...

And best of all the Russians in the film are finally NOT shown to be idiots like they are in most English-speaking films (though I can't detail what they do without ticking the 'Spoiler' box).

I wonder - is that last point the part that earned this film its dire score? The dumb teenage uneducated yank audience couldn't take one of their pop-culture sacred cows being stepped on?

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I watched it again, so I must like it.

Author: Janada Patton from United States
11 May 2014

How do I know I liked this movie? It came on Showtime and I actually watched it...again. And my husband watched it...again! with me. He is an electronics expert, so he can see more plot holes than I, but even he can put science aside and enjoy a good ride. We could've changed the channel, but we got sucked in and just watched. I enjoyed the writing. The dialogue is quite clever. The actors are not stiff or wooden. I came to really like the lead characters. The special effects are not bad either. If you don't try and pick apart every little thing, it is entertaining. It is a good example of man's indomitable spirit. Seriously, I have watched way worse movies! Relax, sit back, and just go with it.

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Alien apocalypse in Moscow

Author: Laakbaar from The Netherlands
15 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an alien invasion movie centred around American kids in Moscow. The trailer made it seem pretty good, so I was sorry when I missed it in the theatre. However, I saw it on TV last night and I'm glad now I didn't pay to see it.

The problem was not with the aliens. That was done rather well, although their relentlessness does not lend itself to plot development, other than chasing and the occasional nasty death. Invisible aliens have been done before, but the the illumination and vaporization effects were cool.

No, the problem was with the writing and acting, which had a cheesy, cliché, made-for-TV quality. Many of the characters were annoying. The women were all helpless screamers who had to be rescued. (The Swedish guy was almost ridiculously annoying, but he got it right when he reduced the number of screamers by one.) The Russians were stereotyped, almost cartoonish.

There are too many movies where amateur scientists come up with strange ray guns that are just perfect for killing aliens.

However, the setting in post-apocalyptic Moscow was interesting and in a strange way made that city look like nice place to visit, or at least like it might have been a nice place to visit if Russia hadn't become evil again.

The start of the movie showed how Americans see themselves when they travel overseas, but I'm afraid that's not how others see them so it seemed sort of unrealistic. Whenever I see Americans in Europe, they seem out of their element, but I suppose that's not right either.

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Decent B-rate movie

Author: Sherazade from United States
7 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kinda reminded me of 'Cowboys and Aliens' and 'Super 8' it seems like Hollywood is running out of ways to tell alien stories, they're all eerily similar right down to the weak endings. What I did like is that this one was set in Russia for a change, the aliens were creepier than the ones in the two afore mentioned films and the adventure all the characters had to embark on in order to survive was far more interesting and exciting, too bad my favourite actor/character did not survive the alien invasion but it's okay, these type films are a dime a dozen these days and I'm sure he'll turn up in other if not better films. For a B-rate flick, this was not bad at all.

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