Milo Paulus’s review published on Letterboxd:
A tremendous film using all of cinema's resources to full extent, to tell a not-so-interesting story in an utterly fascinating way about the female experience and struggle throughout 3 distinct periods in time, cleverly interlinking it all.
What is life made of? Meaningless routines? Regrets? Happiness? Quietness? Peace? The Hours is based on the lives of three women of three different generations. What they all have in common is despair. Hopelessness. Desperate need to find a meaning to their lives and hence happiness. The novel "Mrs Dalloway", written by pioneer Virginia Woolf (Masterfully played by Kidman), connects all these three women. One woman the author, one woman who reads this novel and reflects on her own way of living, one woman who is actually living the novel. What a brilliant concept, culminating towards a devastating final act.
This is a movie based on a book that is based on a book, and the result is fascinatingly literary, as expected, resulting in a a layered, vivid, ambitious movie with literary and emotional strains that weave through an eighty year sandwich of parallel stories. Not just the three central women are stellar, with a supporting cast of Ed Harris, Jeff Daniels, John C. Reilly, Toni Collette, and Clair Danes you're bound to be riveted by it all, even if you don't care much about what's transpiring on screen. Which I doubt.