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Children of Men
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Reviews & Ratings for
Children of Men More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining but ultimately a let down and very thin.

Author: Ross Wilson (rossawilson01) from Southampton, UK
12 November 2006

This is my kind of genre and I love Owen and many of the other actors in this movie, so to watch them read poor dialogue like this and act un-actable scenes was painful. It's really that distracting.

Fortunately a bleak and interesting future makes for some face saving action scenes that are very tense. It must be warned however what passes for the future here is a mishmash of current affairs issues taken to the extreme. There is no insight, no real imagination here either, it's all as if they grabbed someone of the street and asked them what they thought the future would be like.

If you can get past the hammy acting, dialogue and concentrate on the more interesting scary aspects of this future world, I'd like to say you'll find a great story. But you won't. I don't ask for messages in my films, but there was no insight into anything here. Not the characters, not the idea behind it, no story metaphor (although plenty of heavy handed visual metaphor).

As for a thinking persons action movie, sort of an insult to thinking people really. I know a lot of popcorn movie goers who'd be just as happy to see this, though it is a fair bit more interesting than your average Saturday night flick.

To sum up, it should have been a thinking persons movie, and if the dialogue was better it would help. Even so, the story is so flawed, it's like you know something good is there but, it's been in such a horrendous car wreck you barely make it out. What a real pity, but thank god for the cinematographer!

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22 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

I thought i was alone.

Author: daghostryder from United States
13 August 2007

I watched this with a friend who is very into GOOD movies, so suffice to say after he raved about this movie I really thought it would be great. By the end of the movie I had to ask myself if I am a complete idiot for hating this movie, was it so above me that I just did not understand anything that had just taken place. Why was I so angry and sad by the end of the movie. Then I came to my beloved IMDb and realized there are more that half that felt as I did. The senseless gore. The lack of plot line, the lack of development. The shameless play on emotion through visual stimuli, namely violence and gore. From beginning to end you are thrust into violence, death and destruction. I'm a rose colored goggle person so suffice to say I saw this on Friday and am still upset that I sat there and watched that crap I was even depressed yesterday and today, but NOT because of the implied message. It left an indelible mark on me but a mark I could not even explain. It's like you can only remember snippets, but all the snippets involve death. A very dark movie if this is the NEW way to get our message out to people I'll pass. While I think it honorable he never picked up a gun, you are never able to connect with any of the characters. You ended the movie in shock, then baffled, then images of gore flash through the mind (this is done by the color scheme used the dark grays which print best on the brain.) Not a good movie more of a gore get angry and hate the system.

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22 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

As bad as movies get ...

Author: mikezexcel from United States
17 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow. I don't know where to begin. I had high hopes because Cuaron's HARRY POTTER movie was directing perfection. I had heard enough BLADERUNNER comparisons to make me giddy. I was saving this movie as a treat for myself after a year of mostly mediocre films. Cuaron can thank M Night Shyamalan for his atrocious LADY IN THE WATER that his film wasn't the bottom of my list this year.

This hokey, overwrought, noisy, ugly piece of garbage is film-making at its absolute worst.

First off, the BLADERUNNER comparisons are so incredibly superficial and undeserved, that I have to wonder if it isn't the film's PR machine putting out those comments. The one and only similarity is that they take place in the future. BLADERUNNER was a masterful amalgam of mood, music, art direction and story that you will never forget. (If you haven't seen it, go for the director's cut, and try to see it on a big screen revival if possible.)

CHILDREN is bleak, with no artistry or imagery to speak of. All I seem to recall are scenes filled with tenements, chain link fences and rubble. If it's derived from a video game, I wouldn't be at all surprised, with its exaggerated violence and action par for that medium. And the story is just so stupid. No babies have been born anywhere for 20 years, but there just happens to be one pregnant woman somewhere in London? What about New Guinea, or the deepest Amazon? And if the cliché of a newborn-as-hope-for-the-future hasn't been done to death, then I'll be equally willing to buy into the story about the prostitute-with-the-heart-of gold.

If our world is destined to be fraught with problems, let's try solving them now, and forget about placing them on the shoulders of future generations.

Grade: F

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24 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Very Disappointing

Author: Deb from Australia
22 July 2007

The storyline for this movie sounded fascinating; the sort of thing that would keep the viewer gripped to the very end. I was looking forward to seeing it, but unfortunately, the idea of the plot is far more interesting than the plot in reality.

The cinematography is excellent, but that's the only excellent thing. For some, this may seem like a wonderfully artistic, futuristic piece, but I suspect for most viewers, it will be dreary and dull. We survived for a little over an hour and then gave up.

Based on some of the highest rated reviews of this movie, I assume that those who enjoyed it consider it artistic and intelligent cinema. In that case, I guess I must be a really dumb cultural heathen.

Don't say you weren't warned.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: pete from england
27 April 2010

I think that your opinion of this film is going to greatly depend on your expectations beforehand. It seems that a lot of people went to see this film not expecting much and were pleasantly surprised by its intelligence and non-derivative execution.

However, having seen that this film was in the IMDb top 250 I came to it with somewhat higher hopes and came away slightly let down.

The plot is fine in so far as it goes and there are some nicely done set pieces - the giant shoot out among the street ruins is particularly impressive and realistic - but really the only outstanding performance is from Michael Caine. I don't remember a great deal about what the main characters motivations were and that doesn't say much for the strength of either the plot or the cast.

For me the most enjoyable section of the movie was in Jaspar's (Michael Caine's) house - there was some strong acting here and some humorous and effective scenes. But beyond that, I think that people who rate this film highly are doing it because they are impressed by the director's bleak and believable presentation of an anarchic future for mankind.

I concede that it is well done - but I don't believe that the plot or the acting match the strength of the visuals.

I don't think that this is a film I would watch again and that tells me that it is not deserving of its current ranking as a classic. I would rate it as above average - an interesting concept, nicely brought to the screen but with not enough depth to really draw me in.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not enchanted at all.

Author: manendra-lodhi ( from India
12 June 2012

I knew a little about the film before watching it. Like in some time humans will not be able to produce children. I must say I do not know if I should say that the film is bad or not. But the fact is that I did not like it finally. OK I do feel that the character of the protagonist was impressive and was looking nice in the character. Well but the whole rescuing of the girl and saving her did not gripped me properly. I tries to like the film but then truth is it did not appeal me. I have no particular technical or full proof reason as to why I didn't like the film. Also I cannot say what all the improvements can be made.

"Watch only if you want to rely on the critic ratings."

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Visually stunning, emotionally sterile

Author: Jonny_Numb from Hellfudge, Pennsylvania
17 April 2008

One of the arguments (in my mind, anyway) against "A.I." was that the project, long-gestating with Stanley Kubrick prior to his death, and taken over by Steven Spielberg after, was at odds with the former's emotionally sterile obsession with style, and the latter's fixation with sentimentality and family values. And in a sense, that film-making dichotomy is just as much on display in "Children of Men," only instead of Spielbergian emotion, director Alfonso Cuaron opts for the frustrating detachment of Kubrick, to the point where no matter what fantastic visual is being displayed on-screen, it's hard to care all that much because the characters--no matter how well-played--are little more than genre ciphers. The film forgoes whatever literary quality P.D. James' source material possessed, instead going for gritty, in-the-moment documentary realism; and while Cuaron shows impressive skill with long, complex takes and CGI, the film feels shallow (and sometimes shrill) in its overall narrative. What we have is essentially the tale of mankind's death knell due to women becoming infertile (it's none-too-subtly implied that this is the source of terrorism, death, and destruction the world over), until an immigrant girl (running afoul of some eco-terrorist types) turns up pregnant, resulting in an unbroken chase to get her to the "Human Project," a fabled safe haven that may not exist. The performances are excellent if not truly transcendent--Clive Owen as the reluctant protector; Julianne Moore as his radical ex-wife; and Michael Caine as the cerebral, aging hippie who clings to hope--perhaps because the characters don't get the faithful fleshing-out they deserve (some only get a few minutes of screen time before making their exit--is this a comment on the film's own "time is fleeting" theme?), leading to an experience that kept me at a distance. Don't get me wrong--"Children of Men" is a well-done film, albeit sometimes a bit thick with its philosophy, but a step away from Kubrick would have been a step in the right direction.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Cool visual technique & sound design, mediocre story & acting

Author: John Fix from United States
12 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you're looking for a stylish and technically interesting film then Children of Men is worth your time. The cinematography, editing, sound design, art design, and other technical visual and audio elements of this movie are outstanding. There are a two amazing extended scenes shot as one continuous take, although my guess (haven't watched supplemental materials) is that the scenes were digitally stitched together. No matter how it was done, what matters is how it looks on the screen and IMHO they look amazing.

However, that's really all the film has. The plot is simplistic and the acting mediocre. Michael Caine brings the screen to life a bit when he's on screen, but the rest of the cast phones it in. Regarding the plot, here are two examples of laughable elements (and I haven't read the book so maybe I should blame the author):

- We learn that the main character's son died....from pandemic flu! So 1/3 of the way into a film about how humanity is dying out due to worldwide sterility the writers feel the need to heap another catastrophe into the mix. I laughed when it was revealed the son died from pandemic flu.

- There's a "bad guy" henchman right out of James Bond films. He guns down a character in one scene (amazing long scene #1), shows up a few scenes later at a hideout, and then shows up again to try and kill the main character in the second amazing long scene. He's almost a caricature of screen villains...evil yet mildly incompetent.

I must admit that I'm a film geek when it comes to technical style elements, so the long steadicam shots were a bit distracting to me. However, they were amazing to watch, and the film was entertaining in an escapist sort of way.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Slow and little payoff

Author: michaelgs from Dallas, TX
7 September 2010

It is difficult to let people know the problems I have with this movie without giving a bunch away, but let me just say that it takes a highly improbable and unexplained event (all mothers on earth somehow stop having babies at the same time), adds some vivid imagery and a few half-baked ideas, and caps it off with a set of characters that we have little or no investment with at the end. There is little sense of jeopardy here; at one point a character turns up shot, but it doesn't seem integral to the story. This is the kind of movie that would be more interesting if it was either more believable or more thrilling. Taking a far-out concept and wrapping it in a plodding mess of a plot is a recipe for disaster.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

children of men

Author: rinkedo from United States
9 July 2007

I have to mark this movie for science fiction. No matter how bad the world situation is, societies do not collapse because of illegal immigration. Come on-the world's youngest person is beaten to death? When Kee has her baby in that filthy room, and they go on the run again, everybody who hears the baby cry acts like it's music to their ears, then they go right on fighting as soon as they are past. There's no reverence for life. I thought it was a bit scary to find white supremacists directly in charge of caged immigrants. Or crazed evangelicals loaded down with assault weapons. No wonder the society broke down. Those people rendered the government troops mostly ineffective. When a country can no longer provide security and basic services, the stage is set for anarchy. The movie reminded me of 1984. Regardless of the quality acting, the plot was sketchy and the story line was uneven. Even the chaos of war has a certain amount of organization to it.

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