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NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Brittany.
The movie opens with Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) coming home from work. You see a sweeping shot of the ghetto where he lives. He comes home and gives a hug to a beautiful woman (Olivia Wilde). He then wishes her happy second 25th birthday. The woman is his mother and is celebrating her 50th birthday in real time. She asks to see his arm to view the remaining time he has, and asks where the time from his shift went. He presents her with a bottle of Champagne and tells her that it went to this. She reminds him that they owe money on rent and their loan today. Salas says he can always fight for money, but his mother reprimands him, telling him not to be like his father. Salas tells her he will meet her at the bus stop the next day. This will be after he gets paid so he will be able to give her more time. She stops him as he is leaving and gives him thirty minutes so that he can have a good lunch.
Salas heads off towards work and stops along the way to get a cup of coffee. We see the prices of things like coffee going up as he orders. The people in line complain that coffee has risen to 4 minutes, but Salas holds out his hand and deposits his time into a u-shaped metal device.
Once at work we see Salas pulling down on a lever and the same u-shaped metal device coming out. They will be known from now on as Time Holders. As he is leaving work, he again holds his hand over a Time Holder to get paid, but after looking at his watch (green numbers on his arm), he pauses and asks where the rest of his time is. The man distributing time says that the quota has gone up again, meaning people are getting paid less.
Salas heads to a bar where he meets his good friend Borel (Johnny Galecki), who is drunk. Borel tells Salas that there is a guy in the bar with over a millennium on his watch, and that this mystery man has been buying drinks all night. Salas heads over to the man and tries to warn him away. He says something like “You don’t belong here.” They guy says “yes.” Salas continues to warn him, saying the guy is going to get drained, killed. They guy just keeps saying yes. Suddenly the doors burst open, and a gang appears, flaunting guns. They are time stealers. Everyone immediately runs away. Salas and Borel stop in a corridor off the main room, before the bathrooms, and Borel says they have to go. Salas tells Borel that he won’t do anything stupid, but stays as Borel runs off.
The ringleader of the time gang, Fortis, (Alex Pettyfer) asks how much time the mystery man has. He is incredulous when he sees 105 years. He tells mystery man that he will fight him for it. The mystery man is all pale and asks for a moment. He wobbles to the bathroom and vomits. There is a gang member guarding him, and he asks mystery man something when suddenly the bathroom door bangs in and knocks him out. It is Salas. Salas grabs mystery man and a chase scene ensues. Mystery man and Salas end up in a factory.
They begin talking, and mystery man identifies himself as Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer). They talk about time, and Hamilton says something like “For some to be immortal, many must die” Salas doesn’t like this. Hamilton asks what Salas would do with 105 years, and Salas immediate jokes “I’d stop looking at my watch." He sobers then and says seriously that he wouldn’t waste it. He tells Hamilton that they will be safe for the night and promises not to take his time.
Hamilton awakens in the morning and gives Salas his time. (You can transfer time by grasping another person’s hand. The person with the hand on top gets the time.) Hamilton stops when he has only 5 minutes remaining. He goes to a bridge and watches the sunrise. When his time goes out it looks like a shock, then he topples into the water. Salas reaches him a few seconds after he falls.
Salas sees a camera pointed at him and runs. He heads to Borel's house, tells him what happened and gives Borel 10 years for 10 years of friendship. Borel calls to his wife that he is going out and heads to the bar. Salas heads off to meet his mother. He is going to take her New Greenwich. It is the rich's time zone. (They all live in time zones, based on how much time they have.)
We switch to his mother. She pays off the loan and heads to the bus. The price of the bus is now 2 hours. She only has 1.5. She pleads with him to lend her a half hour, saying that it is a two hour walk. The bus driver tells her to run. She looks imploringly at the people on the bus, but no one meets her eye. She turns and runs back towards the money lender, but it is closed. She looks at her watch, and a look of desperation and fear cross her face. She doesn’t think she’ll make it. She starts to run.
We see Salas waiting at the bus stop with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He is so happy. He becomes more concerned as everyone gets off the bus and he doesn’t see her. The bus pulls away and he drops the flowers, running towards where his mother will be coming.
We pan back to his mother, who is running as fast as she can. She keeps glancing at her watch. There are 10 seconds left when Salas and his mother see each other. They sprint towards each other. When she is a few steps away, she leaps towards him, calling his name. Her time has run out, and she is dead in his arms. Salas starts sobbing.
The next scene is Salas getting into a limo. You see him driving through the time zones, the price for each going from a few days to a year. The limo driver finally asks him what he is doing in this time zone (New Greenwich), and Salas intimates that it is to get even.
Meanwhile, the Timekeepers discover Hamilton’s body and realize he had a lot of time by the number of zeroes. The Timekeeper (Toby Hemingway) says all they have to do is follow the time. They eventually discover that someone has crossed all the time zones to New Greenwich. The Timekeepers are dressed in matrix capes. We see the main Timekeeper, Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) getting time from his car as his partner says “cutting it close again?”
As he is walking into a hotel, a woman sees him running before he looks at his watch and realizes he has enough time to walk. The woman is Amanda Seyfried. Salas eventually ends up playing poker at a casino and is playing a man who has TONS of time. The man bets 2 centuries as Seyfried shows up. Salas is clearly interested in her, and she in him. Salas goes all in, and his watch now says 28 seconds. He wins the hand, gets more time, and wins the respect of the guy he was playing against, Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). Seyfried has stood up with her guards, and Philippe sees Salas checking her out. He says things have become so complicated, and that Salas can’t tell if Seyfried is Philippe's mother, sister, wife, or daughter. He makes a reference to Darwin and talks about survival of the fittest. (Important) Salas looks disgusted, as does his daughter. She introduces herself as Sylvia Weis and invites him to a party.
Salas buys a really cool car, and when the dealer says they can deliver it so Salas can display it, Salas responds, “Display it? I’m going to drive it.”
Salas and Weis flirt and go swimming naked in the ocean after Weis says she never does anything foolish, and return to the party with none the wiser.
The Timekeepers show up, take his time, and Leon makes a reference to Salas' father. Salas looks confused, as he thought his father died in a fight and breaks free, takes Weis as a hostage and flees. They head toward the ghetto where the gang is waiting for him. They had a trap on the road and the car flips. They are both knocked out. They set a trap, and are annoyed that Salas has no time. They start to drain the time from Weis but hear sirens and flee, leaving her with 30 minutes. They awake and she freaks out, he gives her some of his time, and they start running.
The Timekeepers show up, and Leon says that they don’t need to follow Salas now because he will find them.
Salas and Weis run to Borel’s house where his angry wife tells him Borel has drunk himself to death. She shuts the door on him.
Weis is freaking out thinking she is going to die. Salas notices she has earrings. They run to a pawn shop and pawn the earrings for 2 days. Salas takes Weis to his house and calls her father. He gets on the phone with Leon and tells him that he wants 1,000 hours. He tells Leon he wants it distributed to the Mission in the ghetto. Leon tells him that he is starting to sound like his father, and to be careful because it got his father killed. Salas and Weis change, Weis changing into his mother’s clothes. They talk and grow closer. He tells her that his father was a great fighter and explains that he always won because he allowed his watch to drain to almost nothing, and once his opponent started watching his watch, he would take control.
The next morning Salas wakes Weis by loading his gun, and they watch the Mission to see if her father delivers. The “no time” sign is lit. He tells her the Timekeepers would never have allowed it, but Weis is not happy. He tells her that she can go home now. They go into the street to make the call, and he gives her a gun, saying just in case. She kisses him and heads to the phones. He sits on the curb with a gun, watching over her. She calls her dad and yells at him for not sending the money. As she is talking a Timekeeper car pulls up behind Salas and Leon comes out, pointing his gun at him. Philippe Weis tells his daughter that they know where she is and that they are coming for her. She turns around, sees Leon and yells a warning to Salas, simultaneously shooting Leon. Salas runs to Leon, realizes he is almost out of time, and gives him five minutes saying “consider this a gift." They take the Timekeeper car and run. Weis asks why he didn’t take the time and Salas says so he can leave Dalton (the ghetto) before he "clocks out." They steal a car and time from a rich woman, ditch the Timekeeper car and park at the top of a hill where they watch the news talk about them. He tells her that they can still say that he made her do everything, and that she has a choice, and he doesn’t. She tells him that she doesn’t think she has a choice anymore, and they kiss.
They decide to start stealing money to distribute amongst the ghetto. They ram into a Time Bank that her father owns, steal the Time Holders, and tell the people standing around to take as much time as they want.
We pan to Leon saying “Doesn’t he know that he is only making things worse.”
They continue stealing, distributing, and running from Leon. Eventually Fortis finds them again, and tells Salas that he will be killed, and that after he takes Weis, he’ll drain her of her money. Salas is PISSED, but he has a good poker face, so he says nothing. Fortis says he will fight for the money. Salas says either way he loses. Weis is shaking her head no but watches the fight closely. She remembers what Salas told her about fighting. Salas allows his time to go very low, and then makes a move to take control. Fortis quickly takes control, and they stare at each other as Salas’s time is drained. When there are only about 10 seconds left on Salas's watch, the leader starts watching it closely, waiting for it to drain completely. Salas makes his move. He takes the upper hand and the time drains swiftly from Fortis. The gang members all move closer to watch their leader's watch, and as they do so Salas reaches into his boot, pulls out a gun and shoots all the gang members, just as Fortis's time runs out. Fortis slumps to the ground, and Salas and Weis flee.
Leon arrives and comments about how much time Salas and Weis have stolen. His partner comments that it is time that is given away, even to the Timekeeper. Leon is pissed and tells the crowd that tomorrow they won’t have time to stand around.
Salas and Weis have fled to the top of a building, and watch in dread as the cost of living skyrockets. Salas is dispirited, realizing that the more money they give, the more the cost of living will go up. There isn’t enough room for everyone to live forever, even though there is more than enough time to go around. Weis looks at him and asks what they would need to make a difference. He tells her a million years. She tells him that they should give themselves up.
She walks in alone to her father’s work carrying a gun. He is surrounded by guards. She says she wants to surrender only to him. She comments on the amount of new guards he has hired, and he says she has made it necessary to do so. She says “You hired one too many." Salas appears with a gun to her father’s head. They head upstairs, and he asks for the number to the safe. Weis tells him to use Darwin’s B-day, since her father quotes him all the time. It works. They get a million years. Daddy Weis says that no matter what they do, they won’t break the system. He says it might be hurt for a generation or two, but that it will come back. He says “For a few to live forever, many must die." Salas says “No one should live forever if even one must die.”
Leon is in the Timekeeper station when the alarms go off. It is reported that 1 million years has been stolen. He gets into his car and starts chasing, giving the order to fire on sight. He asks for a transfer of time, but before he gets it, he sees Salas and Weis driving towards the border. He says never mind and starts chasing them. A blockade is set up, and as they drive towards the border, the Timekeepers begin to fire. They are in a bullet proof car though and manage to make it. They are driving to the center of town where the Mission is when Leon hits them with his car. Salas staggers out and hands the Time Holder to a little girl and tells her to go. She runs. Weis comes towards him and asks where their Time Holder is. She looks up and says it is too late. Leon has a gun pointed at him. You see his time, and there is like 4 minutes or something on it. Just as he is about to apprehend them, the light goes on at the Mission, declaring there is time to give out. The crowd surges towards the mission, providing cover for Salas and Weis to run. They realize that they are almost out of time, but he tells her that they can make it.
Leon has gotten back into his car and drives ahead of them. He gets out of the car and runs towards them, cutting them off. Salas realizes that Leon was once in the ghetto. He asks for time, showing that he and Weis are almost out. Leon freezes and looks at his watch just as it times out. He dies. Salas and Weis look at their watches; they each have just under a minute. He tells her to take his time, and that she can make it to their hideaway where they store extra time. She refuses, saying she wouldn’t make it but that he can. They each refuse to leave the other and embrace. This is when Salas notices the Timekeeper car. He says they can make it and takes off. He tells her to run and he pulls ahead. He reaches the car with barely any seconds to spare, gets some time, and starts running back towards Weis. Her seconds are counting down. She leaps for him just like his mother does, and they both collapse onto the ground. They are both still for a moment, before she moves and asks how much time they have. He tells her a day, but that they can get a lot done in a day.
Meanwhile, back at the Timekeeper station Leon's partner sees that they have lost the 8th, 11th and some other time zone. He is apparently now in charge because someone asks him what they should do. He puts down his gun and tells everyone to go home.
The movie ends with Salas and Weis preparing to rob another bank. Salas jokes that Weis almost missed her calling, cocks his gun, and together they turn to take on the bank.
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Will Salas and Sylvia Weiss manage to break the system.
The movie ends with them preparing to rob another bank, showing that they will continue to do all in their power to destroy the system.