Critic Reviews



Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Village Voice
The film stirs richer, truer feelings once it becomes a one-man show. This is due both to Heisserer's and Walker's skill — the tension is strong, the scenario elemental, and Walker's harried, urgent hero is compelling — but also the fact that the movies are really good at dudes doing things, especially when those things are scrappy, desperate, and heroic.
Mr. Walker is convincing as a man battling grief, exhaustion and, occasionally, an intruding outside world where lawlessness has taken hold.
Heisserer is able to keep the thrills coming while maintaining an emotional tether to the character and the situation. While occasionally the movie veers into the realm of implausible melodrama, it's a well-modulated affair and knows exactly when to pull itself back from the brink.
Though a screenwriter by profession, Heisserer proves to be more economical with style than storytelling. Like a few too many contemporary genre films, Hours suffers from flashbackitis, a chronic condition that leads filmmakers to believe that a tragic backstory will add gravitas.
Most of the movie elicits tense empathy, which builds to a genuinely nerve-wracking sense of dread.
The Dissolve
From the evidence here, Walker’s forte may have been not action but stillness—a knack for embodying ordinary Joes without any fussiness. That we’ll never find out is truly a shame.
Though Walker, in his most demanding part, does his best to transcend his characteristically bro-ish demeanor, he’s ultimately failed by this film, whose script and questionable taste hardly add up to a eulogy-worthy goodbye.
Walker has few “big” scenes, no memorable dialogue and plays up the exhaustion, which tamps down the emotions of his performance. So even an action packed finale can’t rescue this dramatically thin exercise in one-man showmanship.
Slant Magazine
The film's fealty to history is both unnecessary and a hindrance, pulling us out of a story that could have easily been set in an anonymous city hit by a nondescript hurricane.
The movie is essentially a theater piece in which Nolan (Walker) is mostly alone on screen, making use of what he finds a la John McClane, but without the smart pacing or inventiveness of “Die Hard.”

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