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Children of Men
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Children of Men More at IMDbPro »

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125 out of 222 people found the following review useful:

Garbage of men....

1/10
Author: CineCritic2517 from The Netherlands
5 January 2007

The world's gone mad in this film, the real world's gone mad upon reviewing this movie as well.

The directing is mostly a horrorshow partially due to the total lack of any dimension in the 'story'-line. The camera-work was totally uninspired, done in a hand-held docu-style which hasn't worked since...well that doesn't work period. And the performance of Caine aside, the average beer-commercial makes for a better acting experience. Miss Moore's on-screen time almost made the Guiness Book of Records and Clive Owen mostly looked like he needed a holiday and needed it badly.

People write in their reviews about a highly believable setting of a future world. Believable? 'Just like that' mankind can't bare children anymore without any explanation to why this is? How utterly cheap and annoying. Oh well, how could anyone possibly try and explain such a laughable premise anyway. It is just Mad Max all over again.

Just a meager, flimsy chase-story which makes '16 blocks' look like a Spielberg production. A story without beginning nor end (it really has no ending, what was that?!) in which absolutely nothing is ever explained. An aggravating execution of a laughably unrealistic plot with only unlikable characters you couldn't care less about and who are never truly depicted. Dragged-on scenes stretching what should have been a two second shot of Owen putting on some slippers to a grand 30 seconds ("...And the winner Is:..Clive Owen! in Children of Men, the slipperscene!).

A dismal, plodding movie with no discernible message since its plot is so ridiculous it even makes an invasion of Earth by the inhabitants of Planet KzOrp seem less banal. And with the most impressive amount of plot holes, this movie is Flabbergastingly still rated one of the top films of 2006 > Mankind isn't suffering from fertility problems, it is suffering from bandwagon-syndrome.

What a gyp....

Like someone said: "How many more turkeys like this are going to slip through the net before people choose to ignore film reviews and stop going to the cinema?"

1/10

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46 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Despite Its Strengths And Awards And Critical Praise This Is An Often Mediocre Movie

6/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
7 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was really looking forward to this movie . I do like British dystopian / apocalyptic movies which have been in vogue for the last few years , think 28 DAYS/WEEKS LATER , V FOR VENDETTA etc and CHILDREN OF MEN was very well regarded by the critics even picking up a couple of Bafta awards and three Oscar nominations . Three Oscar nominations for a dystopian apocalyptic movie ! This means it's gotta be a great movie right ? Unfortunately it's not

It did have the potential to be a great movie but what ruins it is the lack of any type of internal or external logic . The human race has been sterile for 20 years so humanity will become extinct . Don't you think the sharpest minds in the world will go out of their way to find a cure for sterility ? They've even found a cure for this in real life and have done so for many years , it's called IVF treatment , something that is conveniently forgotten in this vision of the future

Even worse is the confusing idea that because we're dying out the British government has become fascist and they're stamping down on illegal immigrants . I'm sorry but if Britain is an island why don't the government just block the channel tunnel and search every boat docking in the country ? Surely that's a much better sensible idea than allowing the scenario seen here ? Not allowing illegal immigrants on to an island ( Whilst allowing immigrants with much needed skils to stay ) merely takes some political will combined with some common sense and would be a vote winner with the indigenous electorate regardless of voters ethnicity so why the need of fascism when you can have populist democratic government ?

There's also something else wrong with this premise - why does the slow extinction of mankind lead to so much nihilism ? Put it like this: you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness meaning you have a few years to live so how would you live out your time ? Would you face the future with dignity and calm going about your life as you always have or would you become entirely apathetic about life or would you use the time you have embarking on hedonism ? I think most people would choose one of these options but very few people would genuinely become violent apocalyptic nihilists as seen here

It's been said that Alfonso Cuaron doesn't like to explain narrative turns similar to Michelangelo Antonio and it shows . The characters are often underdeveloped and their motives are often unclear. Like the government we never find out what motivates the terrorists and apart from casting Julianne Moore and Michael Caine in a rather cynical attempt to bump up the box office is their any reason for their characters to exist in the screenplay ? Neither Julian or Jasper contribute anything to the confused plot

Having said all this Cuaron excels in the visuals . The grimy London of the future is certainly memorable while the battle scene towards the end is right there with SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and BLACK HAWK DOWN . Also well done is the ambush in the countryside with the burning car and it's those scenes that will linger long in the memory long after you've forgotten the often risible screenplay

All in all CHILDREN OF MEN is a very frustrating , flawed film . It's by no means the masterpiece many claim it is . It's interesting how many American critics enjoyed it . Could it be that America is more religious in its outlook and recognised an ecclesiastical subtext to the story such as having the protagonist called Theodore who sacrifices his life for the future of mankind ? Perhaps , but this screenplay won an Oscar nomination and if anyone thinks is a great screenplay then gawd help us all

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22 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A gut-wrenching look at an all too possible future - but also an immensely entertaining thrill ride featuring some of the best cinematography you'll ever see

10/10
Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
11 January 2017

I first saw 'Children of Men' when it came out, 10 years ago, and while I liked it a lot, I kind of forgot about it soon. At the time, it failed to resonate with me on a deeper level - which in hindsight I find astounding.

Last month, a decade later almost to the day, I suddenly felt the urge to revisit the film (because it was mentioned in an article about "long takes"), and upon re-watching it, it just blew my mind. This film is so, so, good!

It not only manages in many aspects to be the most prophetic - and most shockingly realistic - sci-fi film I have ever seen: it achieves that feat with a level of style and through such an abundance of fantastic creative choices and innovative camera techniques that I was simply left in awe.

I was forced to conclude that this film was a visionary piece of art (and how that fact had eluded me the first time around I couldn't - and still can't - explain). It's a cinéphile's dream come true; it's a masterpiece in the true sense of the word.

'Children of Men' is a gut-wrenching look at an all too possible future, but it also works as a heart-stopping, adrenaline-rush-inducing piece of entertainment featuring some of the most breathtaking camera work you'll ever see.

The performances are flawless. The artwork, the production design, the music; I could go on and on: this is one of those few real masterworks where everything just comes together right. And I believe the final 30 minutes of the film rank among the finest achievements in the history of Cinema. Period.

10 Stars out of 10.

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68 out of 114 people found the following review useful:

A poor man's dystopia action/thriller

1/10
Author: cloakthedagger from Finland
14 December 2007

It's 2027 in Children of Men. Through advertisements, commercials and newscaster innuendo we learn that civilization has broken down on a global level. Only England somehow manages to 'battle on' and is suffering from large streams of illegal immigrants because of this. They the government, deal with it harshly; killing or deporting them as soon as they are rounded up and put in cages. We also learn that the entire world has become infertile; no children have been born in eighteen years. No one seems to know why and the hinted causality of growing pollution, global warming, and food manipulation as a reason for the infertility makes little to no sense.

It is here where the logic in the film is starting to buckle, which is shortly after the opening credits. For the human race to fully stop being fertile all of a sudden, something more catastrophic and acute is needed. Also it would not explain why animals would be able to procreate amidst this eco disaster or why the term 'cloning' somehow seems to have vaporised from the dictionary. Obviously the existence of something acute did not fit writer/director Cuaron's agenda because it would ultimately lose the film's connection with the present world. Of course, if Cuaron had stayed true to the book, the problem would not have been so obvious. Too bad he (admittedly) never even read it.

All this hardly matters because Children of Men comes off the shelf of the so-called thought-provoking movies. Which in this case means that its OK to INvoke some thought, but surely not to get too carried away with it. Judging by the way the script is handled, presenting the scarce plotpoints through ham-fisted explanatory dialog, I don't think this movie was meant to be thought provoking at all. At best it's a silly reminder of things we learn in school at age 10 and up or see in the news every time we turn the telly on.

The film itself plays out like a big formulaic chase in which our protagonists, mainly Theo (Clive Owen) and a black pregnant woman, 'mysteriously' named Kee (Claire Hope Ashity), are chased down by a terrorist group named The Fishes who want the soon to be born child for themselves in order to…cuddle it? Their motivations remain a complete mystery. The quest leads Kee and Theo through England's countryside, which is kind of a plod, also for the viewer. Fortunately we can listen to a jarring and bloated soundtrack that accompanies the bleak and unappealing shaky visuals the viewer is presented. The plot of the movie seems to revolve around getting Kee and her later to be born baby to another group called the Human Project that is not sure to even exist. But if they do exist, we can be sure that the human race, thanks to one little squealing baby human, will be saved….or something.

Children of Men is a clumsy experiment gone terribly wrong. Director Alfonso Cuaron is know to despise too much exposition in films and if he is referring to the 'Hollywood way' of telling stories, I would somewhat agree with him. But Cuaron fails to properly compensate for the lack of exposition in the way the story is unfolding and scenes are constructed. He compensates by making the dialog throughout the entire movie so unnaturally explanatory that it is far too obvious that he is just informing the viewer. Being taken by the hand through every reason and meaning of the plotpoints like a little kid is pretty infuriating. And this doesn't just hamper the acting by otherwise capable actors, it also ruins any character development in the movie which in turn is not compensated for. Furthermore the movie is pompous and monotonous with its one-sided political overtone. It is all the same evasive when it comes to answering, or even questioning the issues it nonetheless throws up. The symbolism and churlish nods to contemporary issues is far too conspicuous and highly annoying as such (The one captured immigrant they allow to be heared, speaks German!, yeah, let's deport a former Nazi...seriously people, who writes this stuff?) And the logic of the plot that a single baby/person will be able to save the world in a movie that is supposed to have a serious message, is, to put it kindly, ludicrous, puerile and as original as a beer commercial.

Although there is some fancy camera-work and editing in especially the last segment of the movie (a Kubrick homage?), I would not go as far as recommending this movie for just that bit alone as others have suggested. I think it is tragic that the talents of an artdirector like Lubezki were wasted on a bleak, rather predictable and messy film with zero likable characters, a questionable script and a too obvious political viewpoint which is shoved up the arse of the viewer over and over again. The film leaves out so much backstory and tries to compensate for this with so many minuscule silly details that even a second or third watch will not help to really put all the pieces together because too many important and interesting ones were simply left in the box.

Although the attempt is somewhat admirable and despite the absurd high rating, not recommended at all.

3/10

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138 out of 255 people found the following review useful:

Horrible film, a travesty to the book

1/10
Author: hombre_de_bicycle from United States
6 January 2007

This film is appalling. I simply cannot believe the reviews I have read in the press and the incredibly inflated polling numbers on this website. Seriously, it makes me wonder about the veracity of the postings. Is it possible that film studios flood these sites. Please note the very very low ratings that have come out most recently since the release in the U.S.

In sequence: No, this is not a good action film.

Worse yet, it completely distorts the wonderful work of P.D.James whose original is profoundly religious, not a violent action thriller. There is little to no dialogue, no acting except everyone walks around looking depressed for ninety brief minutes, a lot of chasing and shooting, and a muddled action and sequence to the film. There is no humor or poignancy or relief to the dreary action of cinematography. What was the director thinking? What are the reviewers thinking who voted this as a good film? The film is relentlessly dark, unimaginative, and depressing, but without a point.

Why did the director change the sterility of men in the book, to women being unable to have children in the film? The title is, after all, Children of Men. There are many other gratuitous changes and distortions of the original that don't bear noting. But even standing on its own, the film is simply unbearable. ANd incomprehensible.

I heard no positive comments in the packed theater where I saw it tonight. And many many complaints, along the lines of "I will never again believe a movie reviewer."

And by the way, since the sequence and plot are rushed and over-edited, why such a short film for the eleven bucks I paid per ticket tonight. If you are gonna take on P.D. James, why not do a two and a half hour movie and do justice to the book or the ideas of the book.

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

What's all the fuss about?

5/10
Author: richard-1967 from United States
8 January 2008

I have to say I was shocked to find how mediocre I thought this film was. I mean people who I trust about movies loved it -- the people who raved about Million Dollar Baby, or Eastern Promises, or Amores Perros.

But this one I just don't get. Trite plot, obvious twists, trite AND obvious ending, superficial characters, and even Clive Owen wasn't as good as his usual terrific, intense performance. Compared to Inside Man, the role, the character, and the actor were nothing much at all.

Was it awful? No. I remained mildly interested though increasingly disappointed. But a great movie? Not a chance.

It's interesting that a comment has to run to ten lines when there's not much more to say here. But here goes: A good cast (Julianne Moore, Chewy Ejiofer, the wonderful Michael Caine) was wasted playing characters that were more caricatures: the faithful radical, the bad radical, the aging hippie. With the exception of Caine, they (incluidng Owen) sleepwalked through their parts -- and these are actors I love to watch.

That's ten lines, and enough said about this flic.

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91 out of 164 people found the following review useful:

Supremely awful!

1/10
Author: mtwashingtonpa from United States
16 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is my first review on IMDb and I came here specifically because this movie has been so highly rated here. Sorry to all who have rated this movie above 5 stars, but have you ever seen The Godfather? If you gave Children of Men 8 or 9 stars, what do you give to the really great movies?

Things not explained in this movie include: the title, The Human Project, the infertility, the reason for the treatment of the immigrants, what happened to the rest of the world, why Julianne Moore is offed by the Fishes, what the Fishes actually DO to help immigrants (other than kill every native they encounter???), how the Fishes believe that having the baby will save THEM (not just provide hope for humanity), why the army wouldn't immediately take the mother and child into custody rather than letting them stroll through a gun battle, why they wouldn't have gone worldwide public with the news of a pregnancy or birth to begin with given the celebrity of the last youngest person on earth, and I could go on. Michael Caine is a complete sidebar with no real purpose to the story line with holes that you can already drive a tractor trailer through.

Things explained in this movie: One fertile woman (and presumably, at least one fertile man) left on earth.

I want my two hours and my $8.50 back.

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36 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Average and Unsuccessful Film Becomes IMDb's #147!

6/10
Author: vitaleralphlouis from United States
8 April 2007

CHILDREN OF MEN is a fairly good futuristic drama --- with holes in its story a mile wide --- most of the premise unexplained and unresolved --- relatively unsuccessful at the box office; yet it becomes one of IMDb's All Time 250 --- and with a number of votes out-of-proportion to the number of people who have seen the picture.

When I rented the DVD last night, they had over 20 copies of this film whereas most other new releases were all checked out.

Results on IMDb will always be biased, as are the box office figures that reflect huge success of recent films with their $10 admissions mixed in with older films when admissions were 50 cents or less --- with no adjustment to constant dollars. But I suspect that Universal Pictures might have corrupted the vote on this picture and several other of their recent "hits". Universal is now just a shadow of the huge success they were in the 1970's and 1980's.

We enjoyed CHILDREN OF MEN, a good film but nothing special. Sadly, I have no idea how IMDb could control dishonest or paid-for input.

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42 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Fast food sci-fi dressed as gourmet fare but more TV dinner than fresh steak

5/10
Author: burrobaggy from Newcastle, home of footie
17 December 2006

Children of Men starts off looking like it'll be a rarity, a good Clive Owen film. It's not that he's suddenly learned to act, just that he's cast as a lifeless drone and that's about within his range. The premise is a bit been there, done that, with another future Britain that's sunk into the twin evils of repressive right wing xenophobia and terrorism, with infertility added into the mix as the raison d'etre. The lack of originality doesn't matter so much since like all "serious" sci-fi it's meant to be a mirror into our own times. What does matter is that the film becomes so predictable around the halfway point. Yes, it's another journey through a not-quite-post-apocalyptic landscape hitting every cliché from the Lazy Screenwriter's Book of Plot Points. Look, here's the ex-girlfriend to remind us of the hero's old idealism. Look, here's the aging hippy to show us how much things have changed. Look, here's the mad army officer to provide some threat. It feels too much like it's ordered from a menu and relies too much on the production design and fake documentary camera-work to sell a TV dinner as a fresh steak.

The film really falls apart in the end because no matter how right Owen is at the start of the film he's every bit as lifeless by the end because displaying emotions or growth just isn't what he does. You don't care about his character, the few amusing star turns get killed off early and you're just left with a big series of explosions and riots and shootings to wake up the audience who've switched off their emotions by then. And that end looks weirdly like a setup for Owen's next movie where he once again plays bodyguard to a baby people want to kill. At least that one looks like it knows what it wants to be, which Children of Men never quite does. Okay, but you've already seen it.

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56 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

did i buy the wrong movie???

1/10
Author: necoman520 from United States
25 April 2007

this was by far one of the most horrific movies iv seen in a long time. i thought it was going to put me on the edge of my seat when all it did was force me to break it in half when it was over. the plot was dull and confusing, never explaining anything and assuming you know everything. meanwhile they make references to things that are completely irrelevant to the story. they never really explained why everyone was infertile. even the slightest bits of info like how people knew each other was left out. i couldn't believe i wasted my money on this. was this supposed to be one of the greatest movies of the year? well i hope my garbage likes it.

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