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The Darkest Hour

2011

PG-13 CC

The Darkest Hour is a tense apocalyptic thriller centering on the fight for survival waged by five youths who find themselves stranded in Moscow during an alien invasion. As the invisible extraterrestrials absorb all of Earth's energy and life forms, finding a means of escaping the unstoppable attackers becomes a seemingly impossible task.

Starring:
Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby
Runtime:
1 hour, 28 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure, Action, Horror
Director Chris Gorak
Starring Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby
Supporting actors Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Veronika Vernadskaya, Dato Bakhtadze, Yuriy Kutsenko, Nikolay Efremov, Georgiy Gromov, Artur Smolyaninov, Anna Rudakova, Pyotr Fyodorov, Ivan Gromov, Aleksandr Chernykh, Oleg Poddubnyy, Vasiliy Fursenko, Ilya Ivanov, Sem Vanin, Alya Nikulina
Studio Summit
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andres C. Salama on February 17, 2012
Format: DVD
In this movie, four young Americans (including Emile Hirsch, from Speed Racer, and Max Minghella, from Art School Confidential, among others) get stranded in Moscow when an alien invasion (represented initially, intriguingly, as a lethal form of electromagnetic waves) attack Moscow, leaving almost everyone dead. Our friends hide in a sort of basement, and when a few days later, they emerge from inside, they find wholesale destruction, and the news that the aliens have attack planet wide, but also intriguing hints that there maybe other survivors. And soon enough, they find that some Russians have banded together to resist the invaders.

Produced by Kazakh filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (from the interesting Nightwatch franchise) this movie is nothing special but is surely an entertaining outing. Among the plus: the survivors escaping from the aliens in a desolate Moscow, including empty landmarks like The Kremlin and Moscow State University. Among the minus: some of the special effects are really cheesy.
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Format: Amazon Video
NOTE: THIS CONTAINS NO SPOILERS!

I really liked "The Darkest Hour." In fact, I am surprised at the number of negative reviews here on this site. While I do not feel it was a five-star movie, I do feel this movie did exactly what it had to, as well as it could.

To be honest, when I first heard that an aliens-invade-the-earth movie was going to involve two American "aliens"--that is, two Americans visiting Moscow on a business deal--I found the notion intriguing but not compelling. I mean, why Moscow, right?

But the movie takes off very quickly. Once Ben and Sean, the two Americans, are double-crossed by their Russian "partner" Skyler, several things are set in motion: their two personalities are clarified in crisis, they have a need to go out and burn off steam (and meet Natalie and Ann), and the audience is ensured that Skyler's gonna die.

All of that takes no more than five to ten minutes of screen time. And when the aliens do arrive, they do so in noteworthy fashion: as little Aurora Boreali that drift to the streets. As it has been typical of aliens ever since "War of the Worlds" did it on the radio 70 plus years ago, the intruders somehow zap! people into nothingness. It isn't until sometime later we begin to understand how (through some kind of electrical disintegration).

And, as we find out after the five of them spend an unspecified number of days hiding in a food storage room, there are apparently precious few human beings on the planet left alive.

What really made this film enjoyable was the clever use of its characters, particularly Sean, played by Emile Hirsch.
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especially for what looks like a relatively low budget endeavor. casting was good, actors were likeable, dialog felt fresh, the pacing was crisp, and while it followed the usual structure (5 survivors becomes 4, then 3, then 2, etc) it offered a few surprises along the way. it made excellent use of the Moscow location, and the special effects were not as cheesy as you might expect. worth a rental.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
My wife and I like to see alien movies. Darkest Hour is more understandable than Cowboys vs Aliens, and the characters are more likeable than Skyline. The steady camera work also makes it less of a nausea fest than Cloverfield. The movie is entertaining, even though it has a few tropes.

Unfortunately most of the time in Darkest Hour is consumed by the heroes running from glowing shadowy angel things. All the running really showcases how nicely Moscow is filmed. Oddly the movie takes the heroes through all the famous tourist spots in Moscow. A nightclub, the highway, Red square, The Kremlin, Moscow GUM(mall), the US Embassy and the famous metro are all setpieces. Perhaps without all the shadowy ghostly things, all of these places in Moscow would be fun to see.

If you are looking for over the top violence, sex, or drama, there is none here. That isn't the fault of the young and unknown actors and actresses, its because you can't really script a movie about running from invisible angel things. The movie has more Deus Ex Machina than the average Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. It's a better movie than Cloverfield but it is begging for some closure.

Close your eyes and imagine Ghost Busters vs Pikachu. If that vision makes you smile, rent the movie!
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An alien vs. earth film that doesn't take place in L. A. Two software developers go to Moscow to present their software only to discover the Russians already have an exact copy. Unfortunately the beginning and their talents don't factor later into the film. They meet a couple of other Americans at a nightclub and when it looks like they are going to score aliens attack the planet (story of my life).

These are not ordinary aliens. They are mostly invisible and like Predator seem to hunt by infrared. They kill humans and barking dogs using some kind of microwave beam that causes living things to explode (the cool part). Our focus group of 5 young adults hide in a large storage closet that has food.

Now what? Do you A) stay put until all the food is gone, then maybe venture out to get more food, hoping that the aliens have killed enough humans. And if captured all they would want to do is probe you?

or B) Try to find the US embassy so they can get you back home. Personally I would go with "A" because I know for a fact the US embassy does not have contingency plans for an alien invasion. Perhaps they need to advertise that more.

** mid point Plot SPOILER? but not ending**

Our group chose option "B". Later they discover the aliens can be killed with a "Ghost Buster" looking weapon and there is a Russian sub in the river awaiting survivors...but not for long. They meet people along the way. They gain a few and lose a few.

To be honest I got a bit bored during the alien hide and seek part. There were no monsters to see, so they saved a ton of money on make-up and special effects. I didn't feel much intensity. The acting was okay considering the lack of a script. They needed to add a little humor, maybe a love scene with an "exploding" ending.
Asylum dull.

2 f-bombs. No sex, or nudity. Some hip-hop song lyrics were suggestive.
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