Armageddon Time

Armageddon Time

A deeply personal story about the strength of family, the complexity of friendship, and the generational pursuit of the American Dream.

  • Released: 2022-10-28
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Stars: Banks Repeta, Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins, Jaylin Webb, Ryan Sell, Teddy Coluca, Tovah Feldshuh, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Andrew Polk, Lauren Yaffe, Dane West, Dupree Francois Porter, Griffin Wallace Henkel, Jessica Chastain, Stephanie Groves, Marcia Haufrecht, Oona Girton-Marshall, Ian Hernandez-Oropeza, Aidan Christman, Eva Jette Putrello, Landon James Forlenza, John Dinello, Jacob Mackinnon, Jude Washock, Skyler Wenger, Psalm Mitchell, Jack Parrish, Stephanie Aguinaldo, Diamond Washington, Lauren Sharpe, Lizbeth MacKay, Domenick Lombardozzi, John Diehl, Richard Bekins
  • Director: James Gray
  • goshamorrell - 5 January 2023
    A coming of Age film that every generation needs too see and understand
    In "Armageddon Time," people keep trying to wake up 11-year-old Paul Graff (a sensitive performance by Michael Banks Repeta). Paul is a slight, dreamy sixth grader in 1980 Queens, New York. Over the span of two months, from the first day of school until the family watches the returns of the Presidential election in November, we repeatedly see Paul in a deep sleep as various family members try to get him out of bed. His father, Irving (Jeremy Strong), dances in Paul's bedroom. His older brother Ted (Ryan Sell), jumps on his chest. His mother (Anne Hathaway) tells him to get ready for school. The sincerity and good intentions of the movie are palpable, as are its ambitions in bringing in the election of Ronald Reagan and the future prospect of Donald Trump as connected to the difficulties faced by Johnny and the challenges of being a mensch. The film creates a vivid and evocative sense of its time and place and many scenes, especially those with Repeta and Hopkins, are touching. Hathaway as the mother is affectionate, amused, and sometimes indulgent with Paul. The shift as she defends him to the principal and then once they are out of his office, when she can say what she really thinks, is one of the movie's best scenes. And she is deeply affecting when it is clear to us, if not to Paul, that she has had some very sad news. Most troubling is the script's failure to give us a fully realized, authentic character for Johnny. The movie is in large part an apology to Johnny and to all of the other kids like him who were not adequately cared for at home and who were constantly mistreated by all of the people and structures that should have been supporting them. It is heartbreaking to see Johnny insulted by his teacher and by older Black kids who scoff at him for dreaming of working for NASA. Why wouldn't he want to get as far away from this planet as he could? Webb is an affecting young performer, and he says a lot just with his eyes. His face lights up in those few moments when Johnny has a sense of hope and connection. But Johnny's character is underwritten, a collection of attributes more than a personality. He is not given the same interiority we see in other characters and that feels like just another way of letting him down.
  • saolivaresm - 8 December 2022
    The magic of having a good cast

    A deeply personal coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American dream.

    James Gray's cinema still does not fully convince me. He is an interesting filmmaker, but I always end up wanting him to finish what he is presenting to me soon. He is a quite intense and very dedicated director, I have always given him that, which is why I am still hopeful that he will give me the definitive film as a director.

    In what perhaps seems to be his most personal work, we delve into an interesting drama that as it passes turns into something rather bland that unfortunately when it reaches its highest point does not finish delivering the final blow, leaving us with the feeling that we needed to climb the last step to have a completely satisfactory film.

    It is well directed again by a director who knows a lot behind the scenes, but it doesn't end up being all round thanks to the fact that the script written by himself lacks a bit of leaving his comfort zone. At first glance it seems that the film would give us something different from the director, but it remains in the good intentions and not much more than that where it falls into certain contradictions about what he wants to tell us with all this. It is graphed in large part in one of the final scenes where he ends up succumbing to the complete opposite of what he intelligently considers to be the main character of him.

    With the excellent cast that Gray has at his disposal. They are the ones that allow the film to have a little more soul. Wonderful once again Anthony Hopkins giving a great performance with perhaps the most human character the movie has to offer. Along with him we can highlight Michael Banks Repeat, the young actor is capable of carrying the story of the film on his shoulders and at certain moments he manages to captivate in a great way with his interpretation.

    In a cast in which Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and Jessica Chastain also share the screen, it is a guarantee of what good performances we will have, however small they may be.

    An interesting drama about racism, social classes, immigration and the general concept of family. It is a film in which he knows how to make the time in which it is set his own and take advantage of it to validate what he wants to tell you, that is a great point that Gray has. Now we can discuss the final result if it leaves pleasant sensations or little taste.

    Beyond the fact that I am still not entirely convinced by the director, it is undeniable to highlight that he is one of the directors who always promises to have something interesting on his hands.