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Overall Rating
4.05

Awesome54.26%
Worth A Look: 21.71%
Average: 6.2%
Pretty Bad: 10.08%
Total Crap: 7.75%

10 reviews, 69 user ratings


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Children of Men
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by the Grinch

"It's the thinking man's 'V for Vendetta'...."
5 stars

Whereas last year's V for Vendetta was visually stunning, its makers couldn't help but poke their dick in your face every five minutes. Children of Men doesn't resort to any such lower common denominators. Its power is knowing when to hammer and when to use a rubber mallet.

It's been years since I've seen a movie that managed to put the proverbial hush on a packed Saturday night theatre. The last time this happened to me might've been 'Saving Private Ryan', or the brilliant character study 'In the Bedroom'. 'Children of Men' shares both of those films' emotional honesty and relentless brutality.

If I might be so bold, Alfonso Cuaron is the Luis Bunuel of our generation. Cuaron even resorts to a Bunuel technique that I always found fascinating - that of terrorist groups with ridiculous names that are never really explained, because, well, they don't really NEED to be explained. That's the genius of the screenplay written by Cuaron and his associates. Nothing need be explained as this is the human condition in its purest form.

I recommend seeing the film before reading P.D. James' book of the same name. If you actually find yourself wanting more character depth, then read the book. 'Children of Men' is free of any glut or padding...it's as well constructed as Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai'. Rarely do you find a tighter package...maybe Carla Cugino's derriere, I don't know. A word of warning: none of blurbs you'll see in the trailers will prepare you for it. "Bladerunner for the new decade" this ain't, this is something entirely different and nowhere near as fantastical as Ridley Scotts sci-fi noir classic. This film scared my companion and I sober. The magic movie hangover cure.

A brief synpopsis: 20 years from now, western civilization has all but crumbled. The last bastion of western culture with a government and some form of "order" is Great Britain. For inexplicable reasons all women have become infertile, which isn't a stretch really if you've taken a look at fertility and impotence statistics lately. The youngest man is 18 years old and a bigger celebrity than Tom Cruise (or the guy who invented Ramen noodles, take your pick). Just being 18 years of age makes you semi-famous. People are glued to their TVs and things that don't really matter while the world falls apart around them. Sound familiar? Amidst this, Theodore Faron (Clive Owen) tries to get by, though he often wonders why.
His estranged wife Julian (Julianne Moore) re-connects with Theodore to enlist his help in transporting an illegal immigrant who has found herself to be the most precious cargo in this brave new world. Theodore's spirits are kept up by his very libertarian and spirited friend Jasper (Michael Caine)...to call Jasper an "aging hippy" does not do the character justice, he is the C3P0 of this movie, the Falstaff of 'Children of Men'. Without his comic relief the film would just fall to pieces.

The casting of this movie is some of the best I've seen. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, Tsunami: the Aftermath) is amazing at giving depth to what would otherwise be a two dimensional role. Pam Ferris is excellent as the flakey, hippy-dippy nursemaid Miriam. There are no bit players or small parts in this film, you feel you know alot about a character whether they're on the screen for the duration of the film or 10 seconds.

I strongly suggest seeing this movie in a theatre that has a good sound system (read: not AMC). The sound effects and foley work deserve an oscar, and I would be suprised if this film gets any less than two or three awards come academy time.

If you want a see a movie that takes the best aspects of films like 'Gattica', 'Saving Private Ryan', and Bunuel's filmography, you are doing yourself a disservice by not seeing this on the big screen. I hate to risk overhyping, but I'm just being honest. This film made me nauseous, and I mean that in the best possible way.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15254&reviewer=156
originally posted: 01/10/07 01:37:54
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Boston SciFi Film Festival For more in the 2014 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/24/14 dr.lao I'm just glad I wasn't depressed when I watched it 5 stars
5/26/14 Richard Brandt Cuaron's nervously roaming camera lends credence to this bleak, bleak world 4 stars
11/19/12 Sean Harrison A great beginning and a great ending, terrible otherwise. 2 stars
10/02/10 bored mom This rips off American Cyborg: Steel Warrior, except it won't give you a brain hemorrhage. 3 stars
6/17/09 Bonny Javo An interesting idea about the future reduced to a pretentious and plodding chase venue. 2 stars
4/25/09 TheGoc Dark but spectaular story of our near possible future if we continue in the wrong direction 5 stars
4/03/09 Pete Snot A technical marvel bereft of any intelligence, useful plot or characters you'd care about. 1 stars
4/03/09 Gorgon Zola A movie that makes it a point to be pointless. A partonizing script and no ending. Awful. 1 stars
1/11/09 Sully I still find it tough to understand what those crazy Brits are saying! 4 stars
11/19/08 David Newell Filmview Magazine says that this has the "stupidest title in motion picture history" 1 stars
10/08/08 Shaun Wallner I did'nt get it. Very Confusing. 2 stars
9/21/08 mr.mike It was....fair. 3 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT SCI-FI FANS WILL FIND THE ENDEAVOR A BIT UNDERWHELMING 1 stars
4/21/08 Vineet Doshi Not exactly superb, but a good movie nonethelss. 4 stars
3/22/08 Matt awesome movie, eerily realistic, 1& 2 star raters-you guys are fuckin retarted 5 stars
1/28/08 R.W.Welch Done with great expertise, tho premise is hard to buy. 4 stars
11/01/07 Wake up, people! This is really, sad.. My first serious movie and liek omg it's liek so 'heavy' and 'deep'. i'm smart now, kthxbye 2 stars
10/24/07 Clarence Anyone who gives this film less than five stars is obviously braindead. 5 stars
10/24/07 William Goss A viscerally impressive rendering of an all-too-feasible future. 5 stars
9/13/07 I-K Visually and stylistically gob-smacking, woven through with references subtle and overt. 5 stars
8/28/07 kris A great film, obviously too smart for many here. 5 stars
8/22/07 Double M Technicaly great but flat characters, uninvolving, not THAT deep; didn't make me care. 3 stars
7/08/07 Tom Servo Finally a serious and deep sci-fi film-people with short attention spans beware 5 stars
7/07/07 K. Sear Meandered aimlessly and gave no incentive to care about the outcome. 1 stars
6/27/07 rw this movie blew. not worth the money to rent it. too many unanswered questions. 1 stars
5/30/07 Piz As you can see you'll either love it or hate it. Engaging movie with a flat ending. 4 stars
5/28/07 mb Dark 4 stars
5/26/07 Dan Pointless and confused. 1 stars
5/14/07 Elisa This film sucked 1 stars
5/07/07 Indrid Cold Yet another film enormously influenced by the cinematography of Saving Private Ryan. 4 stars
5/07/07 Tracey Chambers great movie, enuff said 5 stars
5/06/07 Todd Don't let the name fool you, this movie kicks ass. 5 stars
5/06/07 AJ Muller SciFi yes, but the dramatic weight is what gives this movie its power. Astounding. 5 stars
4/29/07 Geraldine Riveting, indeed. I loved this movie. 5 stars
4/23/07 matthew Uninvolving, terrible performances but good cinematography. Not as good as it thinks it is 3 stars
4/17/07 Stevo UK Its not us and our machines that are damaging the planet, its God-awful films like these. 1 stars
4/17/07 Jefenator Best I've seen in years. Pushes the envellope and doesn't mush out like most thrillers do. 5 stars
4/03/07 Monday Morning Better for humans to disappear, the way we're screwing up the planet. 2 stars
3/29/07 Luke My fave of 06 and well on it's way into my personal top movies of all time "pull my finger" 5 stars
3/28/07 action movie fan potetniaaly good, but way too avant garde-often confusing 3 stars
3/21/07 James Dunn Bleak, yes, but ultimately uplifting speculative fiction. Loved it! 5 stars
2/18/07 dmitry Good for the first hour before devolving into ridiculous schmaltz 2 stars
2/15/07 Bruce H An astounding, amazing, thinking persons movie, with a frighteningly real sequence 5 stars
2/09/07 mckrob definitely worth seeing !! 5 stars
2/05/07 Bert Kaplan lots of violence, great if you love blood and guts; a few interesting ideas 2 stars
1/26/07 kris Bitchflaps: what pretentious or derivative about it? Flap your bitch less. 5 stars
1/22/07 drtednelson the action sequences were almost good enough to make me forget that this movie had no "why" 3 stars
1/20/07 Dan F Background was the new of the world we live in - everyman/woman solidly placed at the core 5 stars
1/18/07 jcjs always nice to see Clive...excellent message which will happen if we don't straighten up... 5 stars
1/17/07 daveyt thought ending should've been darker, excellent film anyway. Will watch again for subplot 5 stars
1/15/07 Ben(jo) de Cinema An accomplishment of craft in every aspect. The ambiguity of its end is necessary to theme 4 stars
1/14/07 Tanya Excellent, full of action makes you think about the future 5 stars
1/14/07 Simon Beautifullly, stunningly, gorgeously directed. Sometimes hollow, but still impressive x10. 5 stars
1/13/07 Bitchflaps Horrendously pretentious, derivative and overlong, I almost walked out. 1 stars
1/11/07 biskitboy Masterful execution of a C-grade script. Half-baked. 4 stars
1/10/07 shaun lawton Nothing silly about it. Gripping, realistic, funny, tragic. Best futurist movie I've seen 5 stars
1/10/07 kris A marvel, should be seen in a good cinema. Saw it 3 times. 5 stars
1/09/07 del You're all just repeating one another because someone told you to. Sheep. 3 stars
1/09/07 Gerhard Maier Amazing movie that proves the genius of Cuaron. Watch it on a big screen 5 stars
1/08/07 Jill A really great story just doesn't end like that, Cuaron didn't have the guts to see it thru 3 stars
1/08/07 Todd Wallace Visionary, excellent film. Masterpiece. Politically relevant to today's war crimes. 5 stars
1/08/07 Zee Ryder See it. Then read the book and see it again. Science is dead, what's left? 5 stars
1/07/07 Christine Loved it. But cried a lot. Disgusted by the similarities to the US(what we're doing now) 5 stars
1/07/07 Jeffrey Fantastic, thought provoking and at times touching 5 stars
1/07/07 Dark Enchantress Great movie, very interesting and i could not look away 5 stars
1/07/07 Geoff Best action sequences I have ever seen in film, the theater I was in gave standing ovation 5 stars
1/06/07 Jeramie Clark Good call on the second viewing, every frame provides more depth to the story..AMAZING 5 stars
12/28/06 Tony Jovevski Magnificent, bravura film making. Best sci-fi in two decades. A privelege to sit and watc 5 stars
12/27/06 Ole Man Bourbon Pretty silly plotline, but an involving, active movie. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007

UK
  22-Sep-2006

Australia
  19-Oct-2006



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