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Children of Men

A movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron

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Realistic dystopian vision, but lacks focus

  • May 4, 2009
Rating:
-1
At first, this film seemed to be a sci-fi film noire in the mold of Blade Runner. It portrays a dystopian society in which women lack fertility. Indeed, unlike a lot of sci-fi films nowadays, "Children of Men" does not shy away from making dystopia realistic and grisly. Key characters are killed suddenly, the color palate is mainly grey, and all of the key characters have traits that make them less than admirable. In one chilling scene, an important character is last shown being taken away by troops with a hood over her head, which is the last we see of her.

The film could have really been a sci-fi hit had it not been so pointless. It lacks focus and the plot never really grabs the viewer's interest. A lot of important relationships and plot twists are left unexplained. We never learn why women become infertile or why immigrants are treated so badly, except perhaps that this is a dystopia. Unlike Blade Runner, the movie had no insightful moment or moral revelation. Rather than provoking thought, the film's end seems too hollywood for the genre.

I like the style of dystopia, the basic idea by P.D. James, and the cinematography, but the plot (which should be the heart of the film) is just not strong enough. I found myself bored during the film and frankly not caring about the characters or the outcome. I would give the director another shot at a sci-fi dystopia, but with a tighter story-line.

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More Children of Men reviews
review by . December 02, 2009
Apparently I love Alfonso Cuaron, who directed both this and Y Tu Mama Tambien (as well as the third Harry Potter film). And, in many ways, I like both films for similar reasons: they work on the superficial genre level as well as on deeper intellectual and symbolic levels. Children of Men is an effective science fiction action movie as well as a stellar vision of dystopia, while also serving as religious metaphor, warning of fascism, and the old adage to beware becoming your enemy in order to defeat …
review by . March 06, 2009
I put this DVD in my home theater with surround-sound and must admit that the last 20 minutes of this movie, I literally felt transported into the screen. The effects are that good as well as frightening. The scene called "ceasefire" was gut-wrenchingly poignant. Now to the movie. It was pretty good though not as great as the critics seemed to say. The plot was a little difficult to understand. It appears that Britain in this wacky future world is the only "intact" country remaining after world-wide …
review by . November 17, 2008
Y2K twenty seven   The world is a mess   How things got this bad   Is anyone's guess     Nations are divided   By fighting and hate   But Britain still stands,   A dystopian state     Women are infertile   No patter of feet   Policemen hunt refugees   Right in the street     Clive Owen is brilliant   Perfect for the role   Entangled …
review by . January 09, 2008
Children of Men is one of those rare apocalyptic movies that stimulates apprehension from the first frame. I can't say that watching it was an enjoyable or entertaining experience for me. It sets up a depressingly filthy, hopeless world that makes you want to drench yourself under a hot shower. Visually stunning, atmospherically bleak, teetering on the edge of terror, Children certainly makes its point with undeniable force and immediacy. It was only a day or so after seeing this film that I felt …
review by . June 13, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Amazing film, wonderful cast, gorgeously depicted from start to finish      Cons: Hopeful yet inconclusive ending, pacing, predictable moments      The Bottom Line: The bottom line is fit for hopscotch. "Children of Men" is an amazing achievement in today's typically shallow spread of films.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. "As the sound of the playgrounds faded, …
review by . June 13, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Film is great at creating a grimy mood      Cons: The story is created of plotholes--it is the afterbirth of a better film      The Bottom Line: It sucks whatever nasty thing you want to think of and it still isn't even bad enough to be a cult film.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.      Ordinarily I stay away from reviewing something that has more than …
review by . May 01, 2007
I wouldn't say this is the best movie I've ever seen, but its close. The enthusiasm of many of the reviews of this picture is entirely justified. Though it is unlikely to make anyone feel 'good', it will offer a thought provoking and chillingly plausible vision of a world sliding into despair. The pseudo-documentary camera work is slightly jarring at times, but lends further weight to the film's sense of being grounded in a realist tradition.    The most outstanding thing in …
review by . April 19, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I put this DVD in my home theater with surround-sound and must admit that the last 20 minutes of this movie, I literally felt transported into the screen. The effects are that good as well as frightening. The scene called "ceasefire" was gut-wrenchingly poignant. Now to the movie. It was pretty good though not as great as the critics seemed to say. The plot was a little difficult to understand. It appears that Britain in this wacky future world is the only "intact" country remaining after world-wide …
review by . March 29, 2007
CHILDREN OF MEN is a masterpiece of cinematic artistry. Director Alfonso Cuarón, using a screenplay he co-wrote with Timothy J. Sexton, has done what few artists have been able to achieve before - create an apocalyptic experience that is almost devoid of extraneous material meant to terrify the audience and focused the worst of unthinkable events into a personal story about a few people. Oh, the global destruction and masses of dead humanity are not kept from our eyes, but instead Cuarón uses these …
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #79
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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Presenting a bleak, harrowing, and yet ultimately hopeful vision of humankind's not-too-distant future,Children of Menis a riveting cautionary tale of potential things to come. Set in the crisis-ravaged future of 2027, and based on the atypical 1993 novel by British mystery writer P.D. James, the anxiety-inducing, action-packed story is set in a dystopian England where humanity has become infertile (the last baby was born in 2009), immigration is a crime, refugees (or "fugees") are caged like animals, and the world has been torn apart by nuclear fallout, rampant terrorism, and political rebellion. In this seemingly hopeless landscape of hardscrabble survival, a jaded bureaucrat named Theo (Clive Owen) is drawn into a desperate struggle to deliver Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), the world's only pregnant woman, to a secret group called the Human Project that hopes to discover a cure for global infertility. As they carefully navigate between the battling forces of military police and a pro-immigration insurgency, Theo, Kee, and their secretive allies endure a death-defying ordeal of urban warfare, and director Alfonso Cuaron (with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki) capture the action with you-are-there intensity. There's just enough humor to balance the film's darker content (much of it coming from Michael Caine, as Theo's aging hippie cohort), and althoughChildren of Menglosses over many of the specifics about its sociopolitical worst-case scenario ...
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Details

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Genre: Action, Adventure
DVD Release Date: May 26, 2009
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Universal Studios
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