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A love story set in an eerily possible near-future where entry to cities is heavily controlled and they’re accessible only through checkpoints. People cannot travel unless they have “papelles,” a special travel insurance. Outside these cities, the desert has taken over and shanty towns are jammed with non-citizens – people without papelles whose lives are severely restricted.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Below Average I left the theater shellshocked, unable to comprehend that director Winterbottom could make something so awful. The movie is flat, boring, pointless, and nonsensical. It features two of the most lifeless performances in recent memory.. Even a full cup of coffee is unlikely to keep the average viewer awake or interested.
USA TodayFull Review Above Average ...the plot unfolds in an intentionally confusing style often more annoying than arresting. Too many events are left up to the audience to figure out and too many motives left maddeningly unclear. Although excessive exposition can bog a movie down, leaving things purposely vague offers its own frustrations. ...the combination of herky-jerky editing and sometimes inexplicably long shots, with the camera lingering almost haphazardly on a random object or body part, can be unsettling.
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William (Tim Robbins) is a family man who works as an insurance investigator. When his company sends him to another city to solve a case of fake papelles, he meets a woman named Maria (Samantha Morton). Although he suspects she's the one creating the forgeries, he falls completely in love with her. He hides her crime and they have a wild, passionate affair that can only last as long as his papelles: 24 hours. Back home, William is obsessed with the memory of Maria. He tries to see her but is refused the necessary papers to travel. Desperate, he uses one of the fake papelles he kept from his investigation. He eventually tracks her down, only to discover she has been accused of a Code 46 violation.