Soylent Green


Soylent Green

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 23,714
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Movie Info

This 1973 film, based on the novel by Harry Harrison, won a Nebula Award for "Best Science Fiction Film" and marks the final screen appearance of Edward G. Robinson. It predicts a Malthusian future for the human race; overpopulation has overstressed the food-production capacity of the planet, resulting in desperation at all levels. Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) shares an extremely tiny "apartment" with retired researcher Soi Roth (Edward G. Robinson). In the overpopulation depicted here, it is impossible to get anywhere without walking over, under, or around someone. Thorn has been hired to investigate the murder of a top industrialist (Joseph Cotton), the man whose company manufactures the life-sustaining wafers called Soylent Green, the only means of survival for the swarming hordes of poor people.


Charlton Heston
as Det. Thorn
Chuck Connors
as Tab Fielding
Joseph Cotten
as William Simonson
Brock Peters
as Hatcher
Roy Jenson
as Donovan
Whit Bissell
as Santini
Celia Lovsky
as Exchange Leader
Jane Dulo
as Mrs. Santini
Jan Bradley
as Bandana Woman
Carlos Romero
as New tenant
Pat Houtchens
as Fat Guard
Forrest G. Wood
as Attendant
Faith Quabius
as Attendant
Joyce Williams
as Furniture Girl
Beverly Gill
as Furniture Girl
Cheri Howell
as Furniture Girl
Jennifer King
as Furniture Girl
Erica Hagen
as Furniture Girl
Suesie Eejima
as Furniture Girl
Kathy Silva
as Furniture Girl
Marion Charles
as Furniture Girl
View All

News & Interviews for Soylent Green

Critic Reviews for Soylent Green

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (11)

  • Soylent Green is Edward G. Robinson's movie. As a man who remembers the wonders of civilization before it died, he is witty, cultivated and endlessly appealing.

    Apr 22, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The somewhat plausible and proximate horrors in the story of Soylent Green carry the production over its awkward spots to the status of a good futuristic exploitation film.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Uneven and slightly muddled futuristic horror story -- not really science fiction, more like an antipollution PSA gone berserk.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Good, solid stuff, assembled efficiently enough to be pretty persuasive.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Their 21st-century New York occasionally is frightening but it is rarely convincingly real.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It seems, for all its futuristic malarkey, as contrived and antiquated a melodrama as may be seen any night on the Late Show.

    Jul 15, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Soylent Green

  • May 05, 2017
    Chuck Heston as a very nearly corrupt cop in a messed up future New York peeling back one helluva ugly scab on societal expediencies. Still vibrant, still timely, still effectively told and loaded with a top notch cast. Yet it gets no respect. So wrong!
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2015
    The greenish cinematography and '70s visuals for a futurist dystopia look terribly dated today, and even if the film has an interesting idea and a beautiful death scene, Fleischer's direction (more focused on the procedural and the action) makes it look silly and unimaginative.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2011
    Let me start of the bat by saying that "Soylent Green" is certainly a film of it's time and obviously is way out of date by today's standards. This being said, the film is also still quite relevant in today's world and the uncertain future mankind faces as a race together. The film's secret is known to most, even if you haven't watched it, but I will not state it here in case. "Soylent Green" is one of the later films featuring the legendary Charlton Heston in one of his lesser roles, but Heston still gives a good performance as a detective in the future New York City in 2022. The over population of the planet has caused massive food shortages and many people literally lay on the streets, steps of apartment buildings and anywhere else they can. It's a terrifying and realistic portrayal of mankind when our resources begin to run out and alternative methods of food creation are employed. Just yesterday in the news I was reading about the first synthetic meats being created and maybe appearing as soon as a year from now. If you are looking for a disturbing and maybe all too realistic science fiction film, look past the age of the film and give "Soylent Green" a watch.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2011
    A dark and disturbing look at a future that may surface, though hopefully not in the next 11 years as the film suggests. Heston is a police officer in an overcrowded world. Food is but a luxury as people are fed Soylent products. There's a wonderful scene in which Heston steals a number of items from the home of a murder victim. They are common everyday things, but the film creates such an emotional intensity about them, Robinson breaks down into tears at the thought of meat. Taylor-Young plays one of the most tragic love interests in cinematic history. She's referred to as "furniture" as she comes with the apartment, a choice of living for many attractive women, as they get to live with the wealthy and experience rare items. Looking through time, this is something that rings true on a terrifying scale. Like many of Heston's pieces, it mixes B-Movie charm with social commentary. Many will know the twist, as did I, but when the final line of dialog rings out it really shocks.
    Luke B Super Reviewer

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