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The Darkest Hour (2011)

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In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply.


Chris Gorak


Jon Spaihts (screenplay), Leslie Bohem (story) | 2 more credits »
4,214 ( 3)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Emile Hirsch ... Sean
Olivia Thirlby ... Natalie
Max Minghella ... Ben
Rachael Taylor ... Anne
Joel Kinnaman ... Skyler
Veronika Vernadskaya ... Vika
Dato Bakhtadze Dato Bakhtadze ... Sergei
Yuriy Kutsenko ... Matvei (as Gosha Kutsenko)
Nikolay Efremov ... Sasha (as Nikolai Efremov)
Georgiy Gromov ... Boris (as Georgy Gromov)
Artur Smolyaninov Artur Smolyaninov ... Yuri (as Arthur Smoljaninov)
Anna Rudakova Anna Rudakova ... Tess (as Anna Roudakova)
Pyotr Fyodorov ... Anton Batkin (as Petr Fedorov)
Ivan Gromov ... Bartender No. 1
Aleksandr Chernykh Aleksandr Chernykh ... Bartender No. 2 (as Alexsandr Chernyh)


The American software designers Sean and Ben travel to Moscow to sell their software to investors. However, their Swedish partner Skyler pulls a fast one on Sean and Ben, and they are out of the business. They go to a nightclub, where they meet American Natalie and Australian Anne and they flirt with the girls and see Skyler in the club. Out of the blue, the population is surprised by lights, which they mistake for natural phenomena. But soon, they learn that the lights are aliens invading Earth and using power supply to annihilate mankind. Sean, Ben, Natalie, Anne and Skyler hide in the kitchen and when they leave the place, they seek out survivors on the street. Are they the last people on Earth? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Survive The Holidays See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Spain] | See more »


USA | Russia


English | Russian

Release Date:

25 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Darkest Hour 3D See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,000,000, 25 December 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$21,426,805, 26 February 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$64,626,786, 23 June 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella became very good friends on set of this film and are still to this date. See more »


Toward the end of the movie when the main characters are boarding the submarine, there are people walking on the balcony of an apartment highrise in the background. See more »


Ben: Wait, let me put down the only effective weapon to attend to a lady in distress.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All the opening credits briefly appear in Russian before translated into English. See more »


References Rocky IV (1985) See more »


I Don't Really Care
Written by Ali Dee (as Ali Theodore), Rachel Rickert, Michael Klein and Sarai Howard
Performed by Deekompressors (as The DeeKompressors)
Courtesy of DeeTown Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Fun but formulaic sci-fi thriller that should have been more
29 December 2011 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

This is a B-grade movie and you should go in expecting one. Certainly, it won't win over many critics. Still, there are some thrills in this apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. Even though, it leaves a middling aftertaste. Thankfully, it runs at a lean 89 minutes and doesn't waste too much time in exposition, which are sometimes cringe-worthy. For me, it does throw in a few interesting ideas, which prevent it from being just another cookie-cutter entry in the increasingly stale genre.

First, the aliens. Instead of taking on the snarly form we've seen in countless films, they are invisible to the human eye and exist in the form of microwave energy. The only way they can be detected is when they pass through an object powered by electricity. And they kill humans by turning them into ashes. Because the aliens can't be seen, the killings are unpredictable.

Second, I like the idea of transposing the American protagonists and the apocalypse to a foreign city, Moscow, instead of the trite New York City or Los Angeles. The stereotypes of Russian culture are played for laughs, though most of the jokes come across flat. However, you get to relish the many famous sights and landmarks such as The Red Square, in ruins.

In terms of characters, most of them are disposable. Even the leads, Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby and Max Minghella come across as likable at best, but not memorable. It doesn't help that they are given lame one-liners. I wish they had given the eccentric Russian electrician and his cacophony of gadgets more screen time.

The Darkest Hour has a great setup. Pity the makers didn't have the balls to strive beyond formula. Even if the ending sets it up for a sequel, I reckon its box office performance will convince the studio they need one.

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