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Equilibrium (2002)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 83
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 52

Equilibrium is a reheated mishmash of other sci-fi movies.


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 15

Equilibrium is a reheated mishmash of other sci-fi movies.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 266,113

My Rating

Movie Info

In the nation of Libria, there is always peace among men. The rules of the Librian system are simple. If you are happy, you will be arrested. If you cry, the law will hunt you down. If you read a contraband book or so much as look at a smuggled painting, you've committed a crime. To keep the peace, citizens must take their daily doses Prozium, a powerful designer drug that stops feelings dead and keeps everyone on an even keel. Refuse to take the drug and special police will find you. Up until


Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Kurt Wimmer

May 13, 2003


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (96) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (52) | DVD (35)

Equilibrium is equal parts video game and GQ fashion spread.

December 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper | Comment (1)
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Matrixian, Orwellian, and boneheadian.

December 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Comments (6)
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This inventive, low-budget science-fiction movie stands on its own, from its bracing, ingenious fight sequences to its literate roots in dystopian fiction.

December 6, 2002
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Borrows from so many literary and cinematic sources that this future world feels absolutely deja vu.

December 6, 2002 | Comments (2)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's super- violent, super-serious and super-stupid.

December 6, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comments (7)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dour and charmless.

December 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Violent post-nuclear sci-fi is Orwellian.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Who knew that a reunion of Metroland stars Bale and Watson could yield something so downright nutty?

January 31, 2009 Full Review Source:

An engaging ride, with some quicksilver moves.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source:

It only adds unneeded celluloid to an increasingly tired genre!

January 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (3)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

C'est un film qui rivalise avec les plus gros blockbusters hollywoodiens. Je l'ai trouvé beaucoup plus satisfaisant que The Matrix Reloaded.

December 16, 2004

... Equilibrium is one of the better action/sci-fi movies of the year ...

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

If you were disappointed by recent sci-fi actioners like Terminator 3, then you'd probably be pleasantly surprised by this underappreciated movie . . .

September 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Wimmer delivers the already labored story with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

50% homage to the classic science fiction touchstones and 50% damn solid in its own right.

August 8, 2003 Full Review Source:

Apesar de obviamente inspirado em Matrix (para não citar 1984 e Fahrenheit 451, entre outros), o filme convence graças ao interessante dilema emocional de seu protagonista e às intensas coreografias das seqüências de ação.

June 27, 2003
Cinema em Cena

An entertaining but unspectacular film. Pretty goofy at times - but the slick and gleefully self-indulgent violence will not disappoint the action fan.

May 19, 2003 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Enjoyable hogwash.

April 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

'Equilibrium' succeeds primarily because of Christian Bale's uncanny ability to project the awakening soul of the character he portrays.

April 7, 2003 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

You could rant at me for hours all the reasons it sucks, and I'd probably agree with most of them -- but the point is, I had fun.

April 2, 2003 | Comments (2)

The dumbest view of the future I've seen (and, reader, I survived John Travolta in Battlefield Earth).

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Comments (7)
Daily Mail [UK]

What a dumb, fun, curiously adolescent movie this is.

February 18, 2003 Full Review Source:

Derivative dystopia is a muddled, maudlin and laughable mess with a few nice fight scenes to break up the failure.

February 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Netflix

Hard to take as seriously as its creators clearly intended.

January 8, 2003 Full Review Source: New Times | Comments (2)
New Times

Equilibrium is what George Orwell might have imagined had today's mood-altering drug therapy been envisioned by chemists in 1949.

December 18, 2002 Full Review
Star Newspapers (Chicago, IL)

Cold, Sterile And Lacking Any Color Or Warmth.

December 17, 2002 Full Review | Comments (3)
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Audience Reviews for Equilibrium

A future society that subdues its populace with an emotionally inhibiting drug is enforced by a police force of "clerics" who execute all those accused of "sense crime". Dismissed by most upon its release as just another Matrix clone, there are superficial similarities; stylistically the action choreography and costume design are very similar. There's a lot more going on under the surface however, as it takes cues from the likes of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 in its depiction of a totalitarian, book burning society and message of individuality and what it means to be human. But by far the biggest difference is in its star; Christian Bale's far superior range makes for a performance that's both emotionally engaging and believable in its depiction of a man suddenly in conflict with everything he had been taught and dealing with emotions he has no experience with. Equilibrium is a very under-rated film in my opinion and is everything a sci-fi movie should be about; style, action, strong concepts and a message about the human condition. More V For Vendetta than The Matrix and definitely worth seeking out if you like sci-fi with a political slant.
April 15, 2014
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

It takes itself to seriously but it's an interesting sci-fi flick nevertheless.
February 21, 2014

Super Reviewer

October 13, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

In the late 90's and early 00's, rip-offs and imitators of the instant classic "The Matrix" were being made left and right to try and capture some cash off of the sensation it started. Unfortunately, many of them failed to match even the most modest of standards and never came close to the quality of The Matrix. Equilibrium is one such movie. Despite the presence of a solid Christian Bale in the lead role, Equilibrium suffers from cheesy dialogue and action sequences, mediocre special effects that make the dystopian world look like a video game, and a simplistic story. It has an intriguing premise, like so many other science fiction films do, but that only carries you so far. The direction in this film is just sloppy and a couple of the plot twists are easily predicted. It can be fun to watch, and despite the action sequences being way too over the top and cheesy, they are certainly fun to watch because of their uniqueness. The pacing is actually pretty good too. I was never really bored while watching this, just underwhelmed. A better director and a slightly bigger budget and this would be an acceptable science fiction/action film. As it stands though, I can't recommend it to anyone except the least discriminating action junkie.
June 1, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. John Preston: I pay gladly.
    – Submitted by Jacob M (17 months ago)
    1. Preston's Wife: Remember me...
    – Submitted by Augusta M (19 months ago)
    1. Robbie Preston: Stop that!
    – Submitted by Augusta M (19 months ago)
    1. Dupont: Do you have any family?
    2. John Preston: Yes, a boy and a girl. The boy's in the monastery, who is studying to become a cleric.
    – Submitted by Augusta M (19 months ago)
    1. John Preston: My interval. I put it there before I brush my teeth. I never take it out before I brush my teeth.
    – Submitted by Augusta M (19 months ago)
    1. Dupont: And the disease is human emotion.
    – Submitted by Augusta M (19 months ago)
View all quotes (21)

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