Children of Men - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Children of Men Reviews

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May 26, 2016
Amazingly awesome, a perfectly made film. The single shot battle sequences are jaw-dropping, and after the first 20 minutes you're completely hooked on the story.
½ May 23, 2016
3.5/5 Children of Men is technically wondrous with great cinematography and superb world-building. The action is exciting and the story is fairly interesting. However, some performances are lacking and the script could use some work. I was also left very unsatisfied by the ending and felt a but underwhelmed by the expectations the film had set up. It's a good film but I feel like Children of Men has some excellent pieces that were unable to form an equally excellent whole.
May 20, 2016
In my nearly 50 years, this is definitely one of the top 10 movies I have seen. I did not see it until 9 years after it came out. It seems now quite prescient.
½ May 15, 2016
I have to admit, I was highly suspicious of the potential of this film when I first heard about it. I have grown tired of Moore's endless Oscar bait appearances in recent years and was having a tough time connecting her to this film in a positive way. Nevertheless, I sat down and watched and boy was I stunned. Children of Men has a few flaws, namely some awkward opera bumps in the score where an abstract instrumental approach would have been better along with some really interesting exposition type questions that remain unanswered (likely for the better but I am a curious filmgoer, especially when it comes to science-fiction/post-apocalyptic stuff). Other than that however, Children of Men is a surprising, multi-faceted, well cast and extremely thoughtful thriller that is very likely the current pinnacle of Cuaron's career (Gravity doesn't even register on the radar). Despite the fact that he always gives the same performance, I have always appreciated Clive Owen for his consistently excellent composure and he doesn't disappoint here. Moore is used sparingly, which works perfectly for the film. The supporting cast is strong as well but the emotion of Owen drives this movie to the finish, although nothing could have been accomplished without the fantastic adapted screenplay and incredible world-building. In addition to a scathing and timely critique of America's arcane immigration systems and conservative party policies, the film is clearly targeting some broader human concepts as well, addressing ideas such as human rights and the importance of hope in emotional stability. On the way to this goal, the movie manages to surprise again with one of the most impressive urban warfare scenes of the 21st century along with particularly detailed post-apocalyptic Briton landscaping that really took the cake. The result is a well done film that hits in all the right places and surprises in a number of others. Well worth repeated watches.
May 15, 2016
Grim, well acted and with thought provoking ideas on the future of human society, "Children Of Men" earns its place among this century's top tier science fiction films.
½ May 13, 2016
This was an awful movie. Does a horrible job of explaining the plot. I was confused most of the way through. At some point it starts making sense, but still way too gloomy and uninteresting. Can not overstate how bad this movie was. Only watched it because it got good ratings on here. Thanks a lot people!
May 13, 2016
Post apocalyptic childless world. Down to earth realism, with its tight and frustrated economy and military police-state. Tumbling onto a quest of life. Entertaining and sharp, with some lunacy.
½ May 3, 2016
This movie is boring and full of nonsense talking. Stopped movie after 40 mins watching both me and my sister think it's bad. I don't know who can like this stupid movie
½ April 26, 2016
Children of Men (2006) ??? 1/2
Riveting thriller about 2027 chaotic future in which women have been unable to produce offspring until a small girl proves otherwise; she's escorted by Owen to reach sanction. Alternately powerful and engrossing, anchored by a great performance by Clive Owen and unrelenting final thirty minutes. An audacious feature from the always dependable Alfonso Cuarón and a top film of the decade.
April 21, 2016
Excellent story telling - science fiction as it should be told: relevant, thought provoking, engaging.
April 18, 2016
The one shot takes are breathe taking. The acting is great. The whole movie itself is just a master piece. With amazing cinematography by Emanuel Lubezki.
½ April 10, 2016
Children of Men is as real as it gets. Clive Owen does a fantastic job in this movie as well as many of his fellow cast members. The cinematography is phenomenal and features some pretty awesome long takes. Alfonso Cuaron again shows off his confident and tight direction in an overall thrilling drama.
April 8, 2016
This movie defines the word masterpiece.
April 7, 2016
Masterful filmmaking. Period. This is one of the true classics of our time.
April 5, 2016
Emotional, tense, and spectacularly filmed by director Alfonso Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men is an edgy, fantastic, and beautiful sci-fi thriller.
March 26, 2016
Another movie that can never get enough praise, It works on so many levels and has something for most people, It's very violent, Very realistic, Very moving, Brilliantly acted by a strong cast, The camera work was incredible, With some fantastic single shot scenes and a fantastic ending, If you don't like this movie then I'm afraid you don't know what true cinema is.
March 24, 2016
one film that, despite it's grisly subject matter, i love almost every aspect of. the direction, the cinemotography, the acting, the story and script, the symbolism and production design, everything is phenomenal, everything was thought out, there wasn't any big exposition dumps, it was just you're thrown into this world, and it's bleak and foul, but there is always this underlying glimmer of hope shining through. it's a film about human nature, and it's very good.
March 21, 2016
Dark hopeless dystopia in the search of hope. Cuarón and Lubezki's first masterpiece.
March 6, 2016
How it took me so long to watch this one I don't know, Clive Owen is working his way up to being one of my favourite actors, and this one now one of my favourite movies. It's a great idea, one of the best plots in a very long time, and it is incredibly well done. From the get go, the acting is fantastic, the script is great, the cinematography is great, the sets look perfect, everything is just done so well. From the first bombing to the final escape, it's non stop, has our attention, doesn't let up or slow down. It's simply one of those great movies where everything is done right. And personally for me I think one that doesn't shy away from anything, and this one doesn't. The last battle is something is didn't expect at all to be as well done as it was, the gunshots, blood, sound effects, explosions, it was done in equal to many of the great war movies. The less I write about a movie, means the less there's to complain about, and this one has nothing.
March 3, 2016
What if in a mere eleven years, mankind was on the edge of dying out, with no hope in sight? This is the world Alfonso Cuarón explores in Children of Men. Starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine, the film portrays Britain in a dystopian future during the year 2027. Women have been infertile for nearly twenty years, and nobody knows why. Theo (Clive Own) is thrust into action by his ex wife Julian (Julianne Moore), who needs his help in aiding a young African woman named Kee. A mashup of Sci-Fi, action, and drama, Children of Men asks it audience to never surrender hope, no matter what the obstacles are.
Interestingly, Cuarón delays in developing the idea of holding onto hope, not even showing a glimpse of anything redeeming in nearly the first forty minutes. Britain is the last country with a somewhat stable government, but it's beginning to lose control. Its citizens live aimlessly, knowing their generation will be the last of humanity. Theo is one of these citizens, and like the rest of society, he's given up on life.
The films opening shot features Theo walking into a coffee shop one morning. No one is in line, however, as everyone is watching the TV announce that the youngest person in the world, Diego, had just died. While everyone is shocked, with some even crying, Theo seems completely indifferent. He quickly navigates through the crowd, taking advantage of the distracted customers. Right away, the audience gets a glimpse into how little hope Theo has. The youngest person in the world dying has no impact on him, even though other people are clearly in mourning. At one point, he even seems annoyed by coworkers grieving, and ends up using Diego's death as a means to get out of work for the day. Later on, Theo tells his friend Jasper (Michael Caine) that most days he feels like "shit" and has lost all feelings, even giving a small hint at the consideration of suicide. At the beginning of the scene, you also hear a portion of Ruby Tuesday by Franco Battiato. Besides "Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday", the lyrics "Dying all the time. Lose your dreams and you, will lose your mind. Ain't life unkind" are also heard; a small subtle nod by Cuarón to humanities impending extinction. Not even a minute later, the audience is introduced to a horrifying machine. Called Quietus, once it's consumed the user quickly passes out, and then proceeds to die in their sleep. The fact that the government provides suicide kits for their citizens goes to show just how grim the situation is. With the next few scenes, though, a small glimmer of hope resurfaces.
A little while after the scene with Jasper, Theo finds himself in his cousins house. When entering, he walks down a hall with the statue David at the end of it. One of Cuaróns possible reasons for including this here has to do with the creation of David. The statue was created during the renaissance, and one of its recurring themes centered on people doing the most with their lives and overcoming any tests. This is a bit of foreshadowing on Cuarón's part, giving a hint of what kind of journey Theo is about to embark on. Theo spends some of the next scenes with Julian, and in the process meets Kee. He also hints to Julian how money may not have been the only reason for helping her, and he's curious about whether or not they'll have a future together, once the job is done. They exchange in some playful banner, and even play an old game for Kee, showing there is still clearly affection between the two of them. Unfortunately for Theo, any hope he has in reconciling with Julian quickly evaporates in the next couple scenes.
Within a few seconds, the group is suddenly ambushed by a massive mob. In the ensuing pandemonium, Theo, Kee, Kee's caretaker (Miriam) and Julian's friend Luke are able to drive away. Julian, though, is shot and dies a few moments later. This absolutely devastates Theo. Confused and upset, he breaks down sobbing a short while later. This is where Theo hits rock bottom; any hope he had left in the world died with Julian. Once the group arrives at their safe house, Theo is eager to depart. Unbeknownst to him, Julian's death is one of three major twists that occur over the next couple scenes. One of which fundamentally changes Theo.
The next twist in the story has the most profound impact on Theo. Kee speaks to Theo alone, and reveals that she is pregnant. Dumbstruck, Theo is left in awe as he finally realizes what is at stake. It is also briefly inferred before this scene that most animals seem to like Theo, even hostile ones. This shows Cuarón's intentions of Theo playing a shepherd like role, meant to guide and help Kee. Further adding to this is the fact that Kee revels her pregnancy to Theo in a stable surrounded by animals, which is similar to the birth of Jesus. Jesus's birth was viewed by many as a miracle, and a sign of a new age. This gives the impression that Kee's child could have the same impact that Jesus did on the world. This is also where Cuarón first introduces the idea of never losing faith. Even when humans are faced with insurmountable odds, they can still find a way to defy them.
Theo's renewed sense of hope is yet again dealt another blow, when he learns that Luke and the rest of Julian's organization coordinated her death. His newfound faith gives him the drive to help Kee and Miriam escape. The trio finds refuge at Jaspers house, who's overcome with joy at the sight of a pregnant woman, showing how much hope Kee's pregnancy inspires in people. Luke is able to track down the group though, and Jasper distracts him while the trio sneaks away. Theo's faith is again tested as he watches Luke gun down Jasper. However, it was Jasper's newfound belief in hope that aided him in keeping the trio's location secret from Luke.
A few scenes later though, Kee begins to go into labor, and Miriam gives herself up to a soldier in the hope of protecting Kee. Following that, Theo and Kee are able to rent a hotel room, where Kee proceeds to give birth to a baby girl. However, Luke quickly resurfaces and is able to steal Kee and the child from Theo. He pursues them to a nearby building where a firefight is ensuing between rebels and the British government.
Over the next six minutes, the camera follows Theo's breathtaking entrance and subsequent search for Kee into the building in a single shot. Cuarón wanted the audience to feel a sense of realism, like they are there with Theo. The use of shooting in a single take also helps ramp up the suspense and intensity of the scene. Theo successfully finds Kee and the baby, and they begin to exit the building, narrowly avoiding a tank blast that results Lukes death.
Their departure from the building is where Cuarón decides to bring to center the theme of never losing hope. As Theo and Kee slowly walk through the building, its' inhabitants are overcome with shock and joy at the sight of a child. Many of them begin to weep, and are left speechless by the miracle. Others begin to sing, reaching their hands out to touch what represents humanities new future. Rebel soldiers immediately stop firing upon sight of the child, and they whisper small blessings while passing by. British soldiers order an immediate cease-fire, and begin bowing and kneeling to the child and her mother. This brings back the reference to Jesus, as people are inspired and ecstatic about the sight of the child, ass they see hope. For just a few minutes, all the chaos in the scene stops. Everyone is fixated on the baby, and how the once bleak future, is not so bleak anymore. Cuarón brings the audience rushing back to reality though, as an RPG blast punctuates the peacefulness. For a few brief minutes, the audience is able to witness the potential miracles the baby can have for the human race. Even though just for a short time, the fact that everyone stopped fighting in respect of the child shows how humanity still has hope as a species.
Theo, Kee, and the child safely make it to nearby boat, which they then use to await the arrival of an even bigger cargo ship, which will provide protection and care for the group. While awaiting the arrival of the cargo ship, Theo revels he's been shot, and passes unconscious a few moments later. For just a few moments, with Theo incapacitated, the cargo ship nowhere in sight, and Kee being all alone, that lingering sense of hopelessness creeps back into the audiences mind. Cuarón is testing the audience, to see whether or not they will lose hope again. Fortunately, the ship emerges from the mists.
One of the final shots of the film shows the ships name, Tomorrow. I think this is an obvious node by Cuarón to look forward to the next day, to have hope. The final words of dialogue, spoken by Kee to her child, "we're safe now, we're safe" finally allows the audience to rest. They can have faith knowing that Kee will be safe.
Humanity is facing a somber future, Women are infertile, and have been for almost twenty years. Britain is one of the last stable governments, although it's beginning to show signs of collapse. Alfonso Cuarón delves into this country and its citizens, many of who are on the brink of an uprising. Cuarón makes use of many different characters, certain shots, bits of dialogue and alive background to help explore his ideals about never relinquishing hope, no matter how dire the situation is.
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