127 Hours Movie Poster Illusion

Last year I saw this Hollywood movie starring James Franco, called “127 Hours“. It goes about a mountain climber who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone somewhere in Utah. In order to survive, he then resorts to desperate measures. It was an ok time-waster for me as I appreciate Franco’s talent, but there was this subtle optical illusion on the cover, one you could easily overlook if you don’t pay close attention. Thanks goes to Allan Russell, who pointed this out to me. Let me share the original poster (lacking promotional text and labels) which helps the illusion stand out more. Can you see it? Smart one, ayeh?

The poster for the film “127 hours” has a huge hour glass on it. The rock his hand is trapped under, possibly being a grain of sand, shows that his timing is ticking away – Allan

41 Replies to “127 Hours Movie Poster Illusion”

  1. Hated the movie, but I have to admit that is a very fitting optical illusion metaphor. I can’t really think of a fitting metaphor for “thinning of the herd” that would work in such an artistic display. Oh, oh, I know. The outline could be the shape of a phone for which he could have used to call someone and tell them where he was going, thus negating the need to ever tell his story in the first place.

  2. if you think it looks like an hourglass your reading too much into it – how else could you make a tapering point as in the movie
    its been done a million times in road runner – its a coincidence not an illusion

  3. good time-waster? talent? you do know this was a true story right? the guy had to (unsuccessfully) cut his arm off to escape.

  4. Too subtle, because you may see it and think “well, why would they put that there?”, until you read the text under the picture, then you’d see why. But just seeing it, it seems out of place.

  5. This film is based on a true story absolutely horrendous I cant even begin to imagine how he did it, nice subtle illusion I was looking for faces or boobies till I saw the blurb at the bottom

  6. Like sand through an hourglass this is 94 minutes of your life you will never get back if you choose to watch the movie.

  7. I think its wrong to say that its a Hollywood movie, its actually a British film co written, produced and directed by Danny Boyle. The studios that made it are also all British: Film4,
    Darlow Smithson Productions and HandMade Films. Yes and its also the true story of American rock climber Aron Ralston. Hope this can correct any mistakes a the matter.

  8. 127 hours was a great film……but i dont see the illusion?? or maybe i am but just not getting it?? someone point it for me?? please?? lol

  9. cool, but i don’t see where his hand got trapped under the rock. All i see is him sitting above a boulder, and an hourglass. I’m just so confused. :-/

  10. The hourglass is completely obvious and hardly worth mentioning. Please tell me there’s something else… and pleast tell me what it is. I can’t see it.

  11. OK, I’ve been looking since it was posted, but, other than the obvious hourglass and the rock in the middle as a grain of sand?, what amd I missing?

  12. it is even more than that–
    the movie was about someone being caught in time–there is a “grain of sand” caught in the hourglass, freezing time for the proponent in the movie–while it adds to the illusion, it may be more symbolic.

  13. Is that the film where the guy get’s wedged in a rock and cuts off his arm in order to survive? (with this sequence part of the film?) That doesn’t really sell a film for me.

  14. I’ve got to admit it…after years of stunning, even spectacular illusions — I am surprised that you decided to put this one in. Sure I can see what appears to be an empty and rugged hourglass, yet, the “tell” in this art is not an illusion at all. It could just as well be said that there’s an arm less dude trying to cross a deep crevice in Canyon Country.

    I find it more interesting to focus on his right foot and all of the artists’ action there.


    1. actually, this the part in the movie where he checks if the rock is loose, jumps, slips and then the rock falls on his arm idiot

  15. i think it was a very interesting movie, i enjoyed watching something different.
    i gotta admit, cool hourglass!!

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