Time Out (L' Emploi du temps)
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French director Laurent Cantet's sophomore effort is a somber and complex meditation on work -- specifically, how work has become the defining feature of the contemporary individual as well as the quintessential symbol of quotidian despair. The movie tells the story of Vincent (Aurelien Recoing), a middle-class family man recently fired from his drab, middle-management job. Unable to tell his family about his firing, Vincent spends his workdays driving around the French countryside --"business trips" he tells his wife -- keeping intact the reassuring routine of going to work and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Time Out is as serious as a pink slip. And more than that, it's an observant, unfussily poetic meditation about identity and alienation."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"Cantet takes his time, letting us become almost comfortable in Vincent's presence, then shocking us with the audacity of his lies."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Here's a sleepy little treasure folks! Veteran French stage actor, Aurélien Recoing, looms in the film. He is at once foreboding and inviting."
‑ Emily Blunt, Blunt Review
"From a deceptively simple premise, this deeply moving French drama develops a startling story that works both as a detailed personal portrait and as a rather frightening examination of modern times."
‑ Rich Cline, Film Threat
"This film may not restore one's confidence in global capitalism and how it shapes human relations, but for a tonic to restore one's faith in cinema art in a period of diminishing rewards it should not be missed."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"engaging character study that probes far deeper than American films dare tread"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"A nonviolent yet tragic tale of job alienation and self-worth."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"A fascinating, unique exploration of the nature of work."
‑ Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Film Journal
"Quiet and slow-paced, as all the finest French films are, Time Out modestly redefines the psychological thriller."
‑ Tim Merrill, Film Threat
"Paced like a Chabrol film and just as riveting."
‑ Elbert Ventura, PopMatters
"Laurent Cantet's sophomore film, a brilliant character study of the impact of unemployment on one ordinary man's life and personality, places him at the forefront of a new generation of exciting Gallic directors."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Time Out ... manage[s] to remain compelling for all of its austerity and simplicity, acknowledging a strong performance by Recoing ..."
‑ Greg Muskewitz, eFilmCritic.com
"An intriguing character study and a meditation on the psychology of work and the nature of scams."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
"Locked out, by choice or chance, Vincent strikes a profound chord in this startling, evocative film."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Consistently interesting, often moving, anchored by a nuanced performance by Recoing"
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
More reviews for Time Out (L' Emploi du temps) on Rotten Tomatoes