Hours is really quite a simple story. Much of its claustrophobic, anxious drama relies upon the fact that the on-going scene barely moves out of a single room.
Nolan accompanies his pregnant wife to a New Orleans hospital, just as Hurricane Katrina is settling overhead. Born two months early, his daughter is placed inside an incubator. A ventilator keeps her breathing, while a drip provides nutrients.
While her father sits with her, it's not lost on him that the rest of the hospital is being evacuated to safety. Assured that a crew will return to collect himself and his baby, Nolan waits.
But the levees break and the crew cannot reach him through the floodwater.
It's up to Nolan to learn quickly how to keep his baby girl alive. A task not made at all easy by the fact that the power is down, and all he has to keep that incubator working is a hand-held crank on a portable generator.
Every second counts, as his tiny daughter could suffocate. But those seconds turn into nightmare hours, in which her father is pushed to the very limits of his own energy. He dare not sleep, nor is there a plentiful supply of food.
But he is stubborn. Everyone always said that. Now it becomes his greatest strength.