The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour

(2011)

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Sci-fi thriller about a group of young Americans visiting Russia when invisible extraterrestrials invade earth. Stars Olivia Thirlby (The Wackness), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Rachael Taylor (Grey's Anatomy).... More

Stranded in a desolate Moscow, the five yanks are forced into the seemingly impossible task of surviving and escaping the onslaught brought on by the energy-absorbing creatures. Produced by Russian filmmaker Timur Brekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted), the film promises to differentiate itself from other alien invasion movies by showing the attacks and responses from a Russian perspective.Hide

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Flicks Review

“I didn’t cross half the world to see Americans,” our American protagonist Sean boldly proclaims, relaying a similar thought I had about this film. Though the movie promised to show an alien invasion from a Russian perspective, the film decides to track a couple of bland yanks as they run into every Russian caricature in the book of cultural clichés.... More

The first half-hour does a pretty decent job depicting the transparent energy-absorbing creatures wiping out the human populace. After dashing through some pretty hopeless character development, we’re treated to a whole load of people disintegrating as our heroes run for their lives. It’s a cool-looking effect, one that doesn’t get old even when the rest of the movie does.

The second half-hour flips the handbrake on, dragging the film to a stand-still. Whilst the scenes of a vacant Moscow look impressive, they’re wasted on the headless chickens we’re forced to follow. Everything they learn about their alien counterparts seems to happen out of coincidence and dumb luck, as do their encounters with other, more helpful survivors.

With nothing particularly interesting going on, it’s hard not to notice how lame the entire concept is. This becomes abundantly clear by the last half-hour, portraying a showdown that would only be fit on a cheap sci-fi TV show. Dull, absurd and full of “Why did you do that!?” moments, The Darkest Hour is a concept that could’ve, but doesn’t, work.Hide


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12% of critics recommend.
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  • Skirts perilously close to silliness on more than one occasion, but it's pulled back from the brink more often than not by the disarming sincerity of its performances. That helps a lot. Full Review

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