10 Movies That Unfold in Just One Night

As we come to the close of a worldwide Internet protest against the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills, we’ve been thinking about the impact that just 24 hours can make. We’re taking a break from politics and making a detour into the cinematic universe to explore stories that use the fleeting nature of time to their advantage. These ten films that take place in just one night sometimes reveal enormous truths for their characters, while others allow strangers to forge fascinating, memorable relationships. There’s an urgency and immediacy to stories that unfold so quickly. With little time to lose, there’s often clarity of dialogue, action, or emotion that arises during dramatic situations. We’ve explored it all past the break. Tell us who you’d add to the list below.


Before Sunrise 

Observations on life, love, and longing abound in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. The movie stars memorable screen couple Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy when they meet as strangers on a train and join together for one night in Vienna. As the evening unfolds, each person lets their guard down, stories are shared, intimacy grows, and we become intoxicated by the promise of their chance meeting. Nothing is certain, and although time is short, we’re invited to grow lost in the subtle details and muse on the transitory nature of relationships and all their complexities.