There aren’t a lot of sure things in life, but finding entertainment in a movie where an impassioned protagonist works against the clock to execute a high-stakes task is one of them. We experienced this in Buried, as a flustered Ryan Reynolds tried to escape a coffin while his phone battery dwindled and his oxygen evaporated; in Run Lola Run, while our protagonist sprinted through Berlin in a 20-minute life-or-death bid for $100K; and in The Guilty, where we witnessed a 911 dispatcher attempt to save a kidnapped woman’s life over the phone.
Director Phillip Noyce’s The Desperate Hour dutifully adheres to this high-stakes, high-risk, task-oriented single-day format. The film follows selfless mama-bear Amy Carr (Naomi Watts) who is struggling to navigate her and her children’s grief on the precipice of the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death. Amy’s son Noah (Colton Gobbo) is particularly despondent, which is tough for Amy because all she wants is to have a good relationship with him again.
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