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Elysium (2013)


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 229
Fresh: 156
Rotten: 73

Critics Consensus: After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 50
Fresh: 31
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 159,158


Movie Info

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the planet's crime and poverty, and they critically need the state-of-the-art medical care available on Elysium - but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens' luxurious lifestyle. The only man with the chance … More

R (for strong bloody violence and language throughout)
Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Neill Blomkamp
In Theaters:
Dec 17, 2013
Box Office:
TriStar Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Elysium

All Critics (229) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (156) | Rotten (73) | DVD (1)

Any thematic audacity is snuffed out by action sequences that you can now buy at Dollar General.

Full Review… | January 3, 2014
Top Critic

Like Max, the movie has to keep moving, and Mr. Blomkamp lets you fill in the gaps yourself as it progresses. Or not.

Full Review… | August 14, 2013
New York Observer
Top Critic

Though Elysium is a testament to Blomkamp's extraordinary skill as a visual filmmaker, it does not speak nearly so well for his gifts as a writer.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013
The Atlantic
Top Critic

The action is bludgeoning.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

A cautionary tale about the dangers of squandering resources that wastes its own talent.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

If Elysium is an example of how recession-era Hollywood intends to dramatize the rift between the haves and the have-nots, let's hope the studios don't also bring back Smell-O-Rama.

Full Review… | August 9, 2013
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Neill Blomkamp has created a beautifully designed and realized world. If only he'd spent half as much time focusing on the people that inhabit it.

Full Review… | January 22, 2014
The Verge

With "Elysium," Blomkamp not only fills the film with enough exciting action to make it fly by, but he also provides an interesting commentary on the continuing division of classes, turning it into something more than your average monotonous action flick.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013

While not the slam-dunk that his first film was, Neill Blomkamp has created a compelling vision of a wealth-dominated future.

Full Review… | December 15, 2013
Cinema Sight

Blomkamp delivers blockbusters based in empathy and political smarts that actually aspire to be more than insulting filmic pollution.

Full Review… | October 15, 2013
Concrete Playground

After District 9, this is a little bit of a disappointment... but a must-see for fans of the genre.

Full Review… | October 5, 2013
The Aristocrat

Damon once again shows why he is one of the best lead actors we have.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013

[Blomkamp] really needs to learn that too much action blunts his more interesting statements.

Full Review… | September 13, 2013
Mark Leeper's Reviews

Blomkamp has toned down the body horror in favour of more conventional thrills but handles the shootouts and slugfests with panache. His tale of haves and have nots remains a striking and thought-provoking parable, even if it doesn't fully add up.

Full Review… | September 7, 2013
Movie Talk

The occasionally interesting script is bludgeoned by its heavy-handed political pandering.

Full Review… | September 6, 2013
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

The logic in the film's dystopian universe seems flimsy under moderate scrutiny. But at least it's ambitious in its attempt to mix sci-fi conventions with social commentary.

Full Review… | August 30, 2013

The film is to be commended for its thought provoking premise - something we haven't seen in many films over the U.S. summer.

Full Review… | August 27, 2013
ABC Radio Brisbane

A project over-designed yet under-thought.

Full Review… | August 25, 2013
Electric Sheep

Depressingly predictable in its ideas and tedious in its boneheaded brutality.

Full Review… | August 25, 2013
Observer [UK]

The best parts of this 'parallel universe' experience are aesthetic.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013
Birmingham Mail

Neill Blomkamp cements his science-fiction credentials as a filmmaker with a genre vision the likes of which we haven't seen since the socially conscious SF of the 1970s.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013
Flick Filosopher

As he did with District 9, South African filmmaker Blomkamp grounds this sci-fi thriller in present-day society, telling a story that resonates with a strong political kick.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013

It's a long time since any major studio closed the silly season with a $115 million Marxist polemic.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013
Irish Times

Just as the creation of a future nightmare, one that disturbingly resembles the world we already know, Elysium is masterful - definitely worth seeing.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013
This is London

It's great to watch an original blockbuster with some ideas in its head. It's just a pity, and a ironic, that for a film about humanity there's not more human interest.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013
Daily Express

Audience Reviews for Elysium

I love Matt Damon. I love Sci-fi. Not sure I like them together, however. Didn't hate this, but I sure wouldn't recommend it. Not all his fault, though. There were a couple people in this that really brought down the film with their sad acting...Jodie Foster, included.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

I'm not sure how much longer Neill Blomkamp can deny that his films aren't about segregation but I'm not sure why he has to answer anyway, as it's seems perfectly obvious that District 9 and Elysium are and what is wrong with that? The sad truth is that any film maker who makes political statements in their work will come under pressure of scrutiny and judged on a level that is often unfair. I wonder whether it is this political talk that was responsible for the fact Elysium was critically panned on release or because it is essentially the same story as District 9 albeit without the cool looking Aliens. It's not perfect and no, it's not as good as District 9 but when reviewing it purely on its own merit I can't really knock it. The idea is sound and the effects are amazing, the sudo-science let it down as do some of the performances but on the whole I think it has been unfairly overlooked as one of 2013's better films.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

A tremendously entertaining and spectacular masterpiece. Director, Neil Blomkamp follows up his triumphant, District 9 with this scorching and head-spinning new breed of science fiction movie that's bold, stylish and wickedly original. An utterly satisfying, groundbreaking and gorgeously crafted movie. A mind-blowing and explosive action-packed thrill-machine that does not let up for a minute. An extraordinary and visually dazzling piece of work that's a captivating for the eyes and ears and is loaded with pulse-pounding action and outstanding special effects from start to finish. An exhilarating and heart-pounding movie that grabs you and sucks you in and thrills you with its imagination and story. It has a grit and style that's all its own. It's one of the most exciting and breathtaking action films of 2013. The cast is truly remarkable. Matt Damon is at his best, he digs deep into his action hero roots mixing it up with the every-man and succeeds in it wonderfully. Jodie Foster is terrific. Sharlto Copley is fantastic, he delivers big with his performance playing a psychotic terminator type of character that is just a total badass. Wagner Moura is excellent.

Al S

Super Reviewer


After the wildly refreshing "District 9", Neil Blomkamp's back to bring yet another gritty vision of a dystopian future ala "Elysium".

"Elysium" consists of the same bread and butter formula of "District 9": Cathartic, entertaining action coupled with a cautionary tale that's relevant with today's world issues. And what breathtaking action it is; it's quick, blunt, and visceral. Where action flicks like the James Bond films entertain audiences by harmoniously balancing the fisticuffs action, gunplay, and the cunning use of environmental dangers, "Elysium"'s action is best when it displays the imaginative weaponry of its universe -- it's that simple. Of course, it wouldn't be as entertaining as it is if it weren't for its dazzling special effects.

But what helps "Elysium" stand on its own amongst its competition within the action/sci-fi genre is its message -- a message that's relevant to contemporary times. The future, much like "District 9", is dark, dreary, and left with even more problems than we have it in 2014. Despite the rawness and dizzying violence that Blomkamp portrays, the cathartic action and ingeniously crafted weaponry envisioned by the crafty mind of Blomkamp interestingly shows Blomkamp's inner child -- a sucker for cool guns and awesome exploding bodies which helps tone down the dreariness of its narrative. For the most part, the message is clear and direct, easy enough for the average joe to spot, but this message and the cathartic action is all "Elysium" devotes to. Audiences soon realize that the characters are crafted as mere cogs in a machine, all in the name conveying a message relevant to contemporary times. Yes, the characters undergo the same emotional tropes a real person may feel, but their side of the story gets lost in the dust.

Where "District 9" had an incredibly captivating universe, a relevant message, and character development that was truly commanding, "Elysium" has all but the latter. Thus, "Elysium"'s lasting effect is a bludgeoning one -- one that will be quickly forgotten especially when Oscar season hits. Don't get me wrong: "Elysium" was fantastic fun, but even though the message had good intentions and may be relevant with our times, it's simply not relevant on a personal level.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Elysium Quotes

I always wanted a wife. I could never get around to settling down. But I'd settle down for you. You make me want to settle down.
– Submitted by In Your D (11 months ago)
Secretary Delacourt:
Have you completely lost your mind?
Secretary Delacourt:
You're useless to me.
– Submitted by Alex B (12 months ago)
I'm sorry that we crashed the vehicle and ruined someone's lawn.
But nobody is gonna hang us for treason.
We do the hanging!
– Submitted by Alex B (12 months ago)
Secretary Delacourt:
Command: Cancel!
– Submitted by Alex B (12 months ago)
Are you nervous?
Max Da Costa:
Max Da Costa:
Me estoy cagando de miedo.
– Submitted by Alex B (12 months ago)
I m Just getting started.
– Submitted by Anderson W (13 months ago)

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