Time (2020)

time poster 2020 movie documentary
8.0 Overall Score

Documentary about the other side of jail

Could have been expanded

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Time

Studio:  Amazon Studios/Concordia Studio/The New York Times

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 25, 2020 (Sundance)/October 9, 2020 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

time sibil richardson prisoner rights


When Rob Richardson commits a robbery, he and his wife Sibil are caught up in the consequences.  Rob receives a harsh sentence while his wife finds herself released on a lighter sentence.  Raising their children, Sibil advocates for prisoner rights as she tries to get free…and time continues to pass.  Children grow and the time for reunion continues to stretch…will Rob ever be freed?

Directed by Garrett Bradley, Time is a prison documentary.  The film was received positive reviews.  The film premiered at Sundance was released on Amazon Prime on October 16, 2020.  The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature and the Criterion Collection released a version of the film (Criterion #1109).

time sibil richardson documentary academy award


Though I see a lot of Oscar nominations, I missed Time.  I started to watch it but didn’t want the heavy nature of the start of the movie.  I wish I had made it past the easy opening.  It turns into a very different movie of hope and the effects the passage of time changes people physically and mentally.

The movie doesn’t play out as you’d expect.  It could have simply been a story about how Sibil worked to get her husband out of jail, but a lot of the movie is simply reflection by Sibil (and some of her family).  The movie also shows time passing for her children.   You see them going from children for adult…and realize that their father missed all of it.

Sibil is the powerhouse of the family.  She maintains the house, fights for her husband, and fights for the rights of prisoners while working a job.  She also does a great job raising kids as essentially a single mother and her sons demonstrate her desire to create change.  She has moments of frustrations and she has moments of regret for her actions.  The movie doesn’t really introduce you to Rob until the end of the film.

time rob richardson released from prison

First taste of freedom

The movie isn’t put together as a traditional documentary (like the narrative it presents).  It kind of jumps around and some of the footage is shot by Sibil and others in her family while adding footage by the filmmakers.  It feels less about the story but more about the emotion.

Time is a solid picture, but it isn’t my favorite picture.  It is well made and presents a different side to the prison system that needs exploration.  The movie is rather short, and it feels like there is room for expansion.  I would have also liked to hear even more from the children and how it affected them to have their father in jail (you hear the mother talk some about it).  The film is worth seeing to give a perspective you don’t always see.

Related Links:

The 93rd Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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