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311 out of 550 people found the following review useful:

a must see= brilliant and fresh

Author: blestang from paris
25 October 2006

this film is one of the best things i have seen this year. It's an improbable cross between "Brazil" "a clockwork orange" and the video game HALF-LIFE2 (from which it borrows it's final sequences and use of on shot action-sequences) it manages to be both entertaining in the Hollywood way (with incredible action sequences and a very clever way of using digital effects) yet very sad and different with a very very dark and realistic overtone. No comic relief, no cartoon character bravery, only human behavior in it's best and most horrible way. This realistic overtone makes the main characters very engaging and moving. CLive owen (whose i have always disliked) is excellent as the man drowned into an adventure too big for him (sorry for my bad English)

It's the same kind of film than V for vendetta (both taking place in a futuristic fascist British society) different from the usual mainstrean studio teenager pleaser crap

GO see it! help intelligent cinema

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228 out of 386 people found the following review useful:

This has to be a joke....(a 5 user resume)

Author: TzoTang from England
5 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Unbelievable what I read about this movie! I don't have one single positive comment to make about it since during the entire movie I only contemplated whether to leave or see it through hoping to see it turn for the better and at least get my money's worth.

What a bore. What a lack of suspense. What an inane script. What a poor plot, it leads nowhere. The story totally fails to unravel, it is poorly acted, especially by Clair Hope Ashity who puts in an abysmal amateur performance and Julianne Moore who is just an add on to attract some viewers but more than clearly fails to impress during her way too brief appearance. The Human Project is mentioned continuously during the movie and comes up as a boat named Tomorrow? Please! Give us a break!

You would think that somewhere in the process of writing, directing, and producing this unmitigated disaster of a film, someone would have paused and said "eh...guys....what 'TF' are we doing here exactly?". The characters have absolutely zero depth, the setting is more artificial than a Borg cube, and the storyline....well, I'm still trying to figure out what the storyline WAS, exactly.

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 youngest person on earth, and I could go on and on and on. If this is the thought-provoking side of this film everyone is talking about then I think I just wet my pants. That's not thought provoking, it's…plain stupidity?

And the lack of logic in the movie is just stupendous.Starting with their "silent" escape from the farm, when they were opening and closing car doors and trunks with enormous noise 5 meters from their captors. And ending with the unreasonably hopeful mood of the terrible 'ending', despite the absolute uselessness of having one accidental baby for the restoration of the world. Sweet lord, some of you reviewers are seriously disparate for a hopeful state of mind, aren't you.

This is the third movie I recently saw based on high ratings and claims of superb acting, story, directing and cinematography and have been utterly disappointed with. We all know that there will be film companies out there writing their own rave reviews, but I'm beginning to question if there are not now rave review factories fixing the movie ratings on IMDb. Just as is done with internet search engines. I simply don't believe that a movie can get such great reviews and then turn out to be so blatantly poor.

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140 out of 211 people found the following review useful:

Not Deserving of its Present Rating

Author: mike-morgan from United States
6 January 2007

After reading various reviews and seeing the previews, I was quite excited to see "Children of Men". Upon viewing the movie, however, I was unable to see why users were rating it so highly. I believe there is a predilection to highly rate any Futuristic Dystopia, as they graphically transport us to a time that we are ever so interested in -- our not-too-distant future. "Children of Men" does this better than most, since -- with the exception of the infertility theme -- it does not highly disconnect us from what our future is likely to be.

Other than that, however, the movie lacks what it was claimed to be; it is not "Bladerunner" Redux -- not even close. The movie does not operate on multiple philosophical levels, and those attempting to dissect it are having difficulty not because it is especially deep, but because it lacks much beyond its initial layer. As a futuristic thriller (and very graphically violent, at that) it works marginally well, as there were a couple of moments when I felt my heart pitter-patter in that movie-theater way. Outside of that, there is not much going on here, besides the obvious: the world is going to hell and there are too many guns. Get on with it.

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248 out of 443 people found the following review useful:

Derisory story poorly executed, pretentious rubbish.

Author: Gorgon Zola from Belgium
7 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A good day to all.

Children of Men was not a good movie and although the subject matter logically has a mass appeal which has probably lead to the incredible high rating, I'd really wish people would quit voting purely on the entertainment aspect. Needless to say, a movie should score highly on a variety of aspects if it is to be anywhere near the level of a true top-250 film.

I really enjoyed e.g. Spielberg's War of the worlds, again because of the subject matter. But that is not to say that that is a great movie either. Great it truly is not, even though Spielberg did a much better job directing it and the cinematography and the acting can't even be compared to that of Children of Men.

Children of Men has an absurd premise. In stead of depicting a world where human fertility has dropped significantly resulting in chaos, we are to swallow that 'over night' women stopped giving birth period (did the aliens from Worlds finally get it right this time?) and that the only country which can deal with this is Great Britain partially due to the introduction of a nazi-like regime. Why the rest of the world failed to do so is never explained just like everything else which is thought up as the storyline progressed.

The story which is served is equally as absurd as the premise. In a nutshell we are to believe that the birth of a single baby doesn't sound the dawn of a new age but in stead will lead to scientists implementing what 'naturally' happened to this horribly acted Kee on a global scale? This to further the idea that despite the self-destructive nature of humans we are still in control of our fate? Or the proof of the existence of God since it wouldn't be possible for ordinary people to stroll through a warzone with a freshly born child being shot at with endless rounds of amo and survive? Again, this is not explained in the movie, narratives were absent much like any memorable acting, the cameo of Caine aside.

The baby being born into the childless world has no real enemies, only the opposite. Yet it is being hauled through a warzone on a tip by a stoned and aging hippie whose purpose in life is to have his fart-finger pulled, in order to reach a certain group of people who's intentions remain completely vague throughout the entire film? Sigh, how utterly stupid. In 2027 there are only two boats left? One in a warzone and one owned by the 'Human project'? Sounds more like a video game to me, hardly like the story of top-rated movie.

No plot development, no character depth, serious low-budget-feel cinematography and a script without any poignancy. Nothing in this movie that would make it worthy of its high ranking. Totally out of place action-shooter war-scenes and the cheap Hollywood appeal on the senses which initially seemed to be left out, magically appears (alongside the terrorist cell) during the urban shoot-out and henceforth during the so called ending of this movie. The boat being called 'The Tomorrow' came straight out of the Shallowwood textbook and made me bite my teeth till they finally broke off one by one.

The poorly developed chase story which CoM basically is, is just too one-dimensional and frankly just straight out flimsy and it got boring fast. And it is so filled with implausibilities that even the greatest mathematicians of our present world will not be able to count them all.

This movie could have been much much more if its back-story had been fleshed out to some degree and its storyline aspiring to be more than just covering a bunch of people constantly traveling from one dreary set to the next. Preferably with one or two strong and discerning messages (and not a score of them which are never explored and certainly had nothing to do with the actual storyline, making it the pretentious twaddle it truly became) and performed by actors worthy of playing next to Caine.

An unarguably over-hyped piece of pretentious rubbish. Simply a vehicle for art-director Lubezki to play around with his camera and editing-room and for Cuaron to bludgeon the audience with disjointed references to contemporary issues with no tale to tell. A typical product of the headline-society we've become with on par appreciation.

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168 out of 292 people found the following review useful:

Waiting for a story which is just not there

Author: Vozzywuzzy from Earth
27 June 2007

Watching Children of Men was a really odd experience. Expecting at least something above average, all I got was something almost amateuristic.

I don't know, but I like my movies with something of a story or plot to it. Especially when a premise as in Children of Men provides an abundance of opportunity to do just that. What they did with it, came off slightly B-movie-ish and so did much of the cinematography with that nauseating homevideo-style cameramatics and bits of the acting as well. Why this movie is adored by so many people I cannot begin to fathom. Was the polling rigged in some way?

The movie is basically a chase-flick in which a woman and her baby are escorted to a safe-haven while everyone helping her get offed during the travel. The whole premise of a barren world was completely wasted when the movie sloppily turns into this chase-vehicle, leaving its original dystopian backstory being merely an afterthought. The way they tried to pull it back in during the chase-sequences (e.g. the abandoned classroom scene) was clumsily forced, as were all the 'references' to: the immigration issue, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, The Bush Empire and what have you more. If you have something to say about these issues then say it, a movie is a great format for that. But surely they deserve much more than just a lazy nod in their general direction in some underdeveloped chase-movie.

What I truly don't understand is why they didn't make the characters more likable. After all, we as onlookers are following their plight and should be concerned with it. When I watched this movie I had no sympathy or empathy for any of the characters or their predicament. This simply because they were either not very well portrayed (The sketchy part of Jullianne Moore), unlikable (Theo, Kee, the 'Fish') or Simpsons-like cartoon-figures (Sid, Jasper, that gypsy woman).

I am a sucker for chase movies and that was the only reason I sat through the entirety of this mess. But even the chase plot didn't work for me at all. So many improbabilities* in the shovel-fed storyline and the pacing was just so off, rendering it ultra boring. A patronizing script making sure that every imbecile and his five brain cells got what was going on and the jarring soundtrack suitably missed the mark completely while multi-featuring the worst Stones-cover to date. Which was rather annoying.

*I mean if Tom Hanks can build a raft from FedEx wrapping paper, I'm sure they could have built something seaworthy from the abundant piles of trash scattered throughout the sets.. did they really have to go to that refugee camp being exposed to all that violence with a baby? I thought they were trying to save it, not getting it killed...

A complete mishap as far as I'm concerned with a most embarrassing 'ending' when almost out of nothing "Children of men" is blazon upon the screen in bold print. My oh my...

Acting: 5 Story: 2 Cinematography:3 Script: 2 Soundtrack: 2

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90 out of 139 people found the following review useful:

Stop the madness..

Author: hermoinois from Springfield, Earth
17 January 2008

It is hard to believe that the movie we saw tonight is the same as the one praised here on this website. Where is the intrigue? Where is the view of a world that is tormented with the knowledge of being barren? Where are the deep insights into a 'very possible future'? All I saw was a simple chase movie that was obviously done differently compared to what we are usually dished by the likes of Hollywood but also one that not for second convinced me. Worse yet, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie this fake and contrived.

Apart from the fact that no reasonable explanation is given for the whole ordeal of getting the child through the violence to a ghostlike organization other than that it provided some sort of subterfuge for shooting the battle-scenes, no credible reasons are ever given for Anything that happened on the screen. The same goes for the motivations of most of the characters in the movie.

Sure, most mainstream productions hit us over the head with exposition making such productions not very challenging to watch, but to simply reverse it and unaffectedly explain nothing is just the opposite side of the coin and equally insipid even if it was shot from a first person perspective. The fact that the audience has to dig with shovels to find a plausible story somewhere is what makes this a masterpiece? By God, I think not.

I think I speak for the four of us who saw this movie tonight that we were all totally underwhelmed considering the acclaim and current ranking of Children of Men. The acting felt labored, especially by Caine whom we adore, the script embarrassingly poor in places, nothing really profound or philosophical to sink your teeth in and the ending, if one could call it that, was unimaginative and completely devoid of any intelligence to it. But frankly, so was the whole movie, so ten stars for coherence.

We remain dumbfounded considering the praise of this clearly overbudgeted but all the same cheap effort and feel totally hoodwinked by the glorifying reviews.

Ann, Kate, Deirdre and Cathy

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111 out of 183 people found the following review useful:

Betrayal of Men

Author: evycomelately from Grenoble, Australia
4 January 2008

This film seems to have received incredible high praise and is currently listed in the Top250 of this website. I hate to fly in the face of such adoration, but this film left me completely indifferent and rather irritated if not highly annoyed. Sure, there are a few nice setpieces, but it's all set against a hack-handed background rendering them only a mild distraction from the otherwise continuous amazement at the film's triteness and mindboggling illogical plotpoints. The film is poorly structured and almost entirely if not completely un-engaging with the most lame and sappy ending I have ever seen to a film.

This film is supposed to be full of big ideas on Britain's dystopian future and the reactions of the public to an infertility plagued society. Angry youth throwing rocks at trains, the rails to Auschwitz have been reopened and are deporting the fugees (not the band) back to where they came from (hell) and even the spectrum of light is somehow compromised*. With this kind of background, you'd expect the movie to actually focus on any of it, something which this movie is acclaimed for. But apart from the main characters being in a bad mood for 90 brief minutes, there is surprisingly little this movie reflects on. The exposition on these theme's was simply replaced by endless shots of people being deported Nazi-style, the English countryside and mind-numbing dialog that was doing little else than driving the weary plot onward. The whole infertility and the world-gone-to-hell themes could just as well have been left out entirely and it wouldn't have made any difference to the actual storyline of two people on the run.

*Truly Amazing that someone would spent enormous amounts of money on expensive filming equipment only to make the actual picture look like it was shot by my Uncle Fred (who has Parkinson's) who just got his Handicam yesterday for Christmas and is still working his way through the manual which is written in Chinese and which apparently only describes how to deprive the picture of colour.

In Children of men subtlety was not allowed. Everything is as bad as bad comes and even good is apparently bad. The sets look over the top sleazy, our main characters are anything but likable, a pasture of grazing cows has been replaced by a smouldering pile of meat and bones, the rebels simply kill their leader over a dispute or kill policemen when they turn up at the wrong place at the wrong time. The overemphasized way of portraying such a dull and drab doomsday landscape as was done in Children of Men, surely would bother anyone who is not into cartoonistic film-making but in stead likes some subtlety on any subject matter if indeed this is presented in a serious movie. Maybe I misunderstood, but I believed that's what this movie was.

Meanwhile in the film, the script is pretty awful. Caine certainly tries his utmost with it, but his lines are one-note and much too viewer-informative only to result in a feeling of 'we get it already, move on please..". Owen is his usual wooden self and thus type-casted perfectly in the role of Theo Faron, a morose lower government official who couldn't give a fart about anything. Although I really liked his performance, his character is screenplayed terribly and I couldn't give an equal fart about his fate in the movie. Next up a utterly forgettable cameo by Julianne Moore, some B-actors to play the bad guys lead by Chiwetel Ejiofor who since his performance in Serenity for me lost all credibility as an actor. And newcomer Claire Hope Ashity as the Black Virgin Mary who does little more than swear a lot, which by modern standards, is apparently good enough for a 'solid performance' in the books of the critics. Frankly, her performance wouldn't even cut it on Eastenders.

The story in Children of Men is practically non-existent and covered not much more than an action packed chase from the old peril to the land of deliverance. But this was done on purpose to not loose focus on the sublime messages it miserably failed to communicate because they forgot to include them. As a result many of the scenes drag relentlessly while jarring opera music and a hate-crime of a muzak cover-version of 'Ruby Tuesday' plundered that what was left of the viewer's will to live. Indeed, it's really all that bleak and pointless. But intentionally so! The end result of all this is an aesthetic crime against the art-loving moviegoer or the one with more than 2 brain cells to rub together.

The end result is also one that is critically acclaimed by nothing less than the entire society of professional movie critics minus one or two who probably didn't receive the letter which stated they would get a nice percentage of the movie's revenues when their review would be kind. Seriously, you'd think all these glowing reviews and those on this website, were written by people who had somehow managed to miss the entirety of Western cinema.

The gourmet-fare that is Children of men is actually a night out at the McDonald's of film-making where the second bite of your food is already spoiling the experience of the first. Let us all gather in prayer and hope that there won't be a sequel. Unless the sequel was already made when they created 'Shoot Em Up'. Another highly creative movie in which mr. Owen is once again protecting a baby that people are trying to kill.


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127 out of 218 people found the following review useful:

A Wonderful Surprise

Author: DansLaLuna from Los Angeles, CA
5 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this movie at a screening a few months ago. I admit I wouldn't normally buy a ticket based on the premise, but I love Alfonso Cuarons work and I covet Clive Owen. Here was a review I posted at the time.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a screening of "Children of Men" which I jumped at. Although I love Alfonso Cuaron's work, the driving force in getting me to see this film is Clive Owen. I didn't read the book, but I knew a little going in. It is a Sci-fi piece that takes place in the near future, and the world is infertile. This is not something that I would normally buy a ticket for but again, my boyfriend was in it, so I was there. Firstly I can say that though this piece is touted as Sci-fi, it is a far cry from it. The whole movie had a very realistic feel to it. The time is 2027 and the settings are almost post-apocalyptic. There is a huge crack down on immigrants, who at this day and age, are treated with disdain, hatred and violence. There are key scenes in the movie that are reminiscent of Nazi Germany. The movie takes place between London and the English countryside. There is filth, trash, rot, decay and death everywhere. The attention to detail in this stark life is prominent in every scene, it's brilliant. I loved this movie!

The movie opens with the death of the worlds youngest citizen, who was just 18. This kid was a celebrity simply for being the last human being ever born, and the world goes into mourning, the inevitability of becoming extinct has just become even more apparent to all. Clive Owen's reluctant Theo is pulled into a plot by his activist Ex-wife, Julianne Moore, to save a girl who has a little secret. This girl, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey) is pregnant and an immigrant. Theo is pulled in different directions, not knowing whom to trust in a world which would embrace having a baby, but wouldn't acknowledge (and probably kill) the baby's mother because of her immigrant status. Theo is not a hero type, and would rather just take slugs off his Scotch Whiskey than save the world. He never even picks up a gun. Theo is aided by his friend Jasper, the Patriarch of pot, played to the hilt by Michael Caine. I couldn't help but smile every time Caine was on the screen, he was such a pleasure to watch, and you could tell he was having a hell of a good time with this part. Jasper lives in a house out in the woods with his sick wife and his pot plants. This house is the only place in the movie that translates to any type of peace or light, as are the scenes between Owen & Caine. Theo's ultimate plan is to get Kee and her baby to a boat that will lead them to safety and freedom. Along the way they learn that the people they should be able to trust, can't be trusted, and the ones who look a bit on the dicey side turn out to be OK, just a bit insane.

I don't want to go much more into the storyline, having been abused here before for including too much of the story. One thing I did notice early on, which became a main stay in the movie, was the presence of animals. Having not read the book, I am guessing that animals are more prevalent in families, to take the place of children. There are very few scenes in this movie where you won't see or hear a dog or cat. Also, this movie is a very visual one. I didn't expect as much violence as there was and some of it sneaks up on you and hits you on the head. There is a lot of hand held camera action, which can tend to get kinda shaky. And the use of sound in this movie is key. There is a scene towards the end of the movie done in long-shot where one sound literally stops the world, for a minute, it's literally breathtaking. It was also interesting to see how the immigrants were set-up in the camps. There was some segregation, but for the most part you had all different types of people from all over the world living together in these hovels; in the halls, on the stairs, every race and religion, crammed together, for survival sake. I guess some people might say the movie is slow, but Owen was on the screen the whole time and I AM biased, so I think at about 1 hour 35 minutes, it moved fine and overall I think it was a great film. I don't know how Universal is going to market this, but I think if they do it right they could have a sleeper hit on their hands.

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103 out of 174 people found the following review useful:

Doesn't cut it

Author: Bryan B from St. Louis, Missouri
29 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After reading endless amounts of praising reviews I thought I was walking into the theater to see Shakespeare. Instead, I received a lot of special effects (poorly placed in some cases) and a story left open-ended. It's as if this movie and story was built around the three main action scenes and the storyline was just given a good once over.

It's quite strange that many professional critics found this movie to be worthy, at all. Some of the effects were really nice in this movie. The birth giving scene was done really well and I was impressed in how much effort they put into it. The shootout scenes were somewhat realistic in my opinion. But unfortunately, that doesn't make a movie for me. The story itself is the most important.

Clive Owen is one of my favorite British actors. He really didn't do too bad in this movie. But what was the deal with the middle aged white lady with dreadlocks? Was that really needed? I guess it was an attempt to look more futuristic but really, come on. I kept picturing the Queen of England with dreadlocks and wearing a wrinkled t-shirt.

I'd recommend checking it out when it comes to DVD simply for the action scenes and special effects but I'm still kicking myself and feel hoodwinked by the good reviews. This movie is a pork chop labeled as a steak.

Voted 3 for the 3 good action scenes.

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113 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

Just ranks with any shooter action game

Author: Slim Jack Rabbit from Planet KzOrp
10 January 2007

How utterly bizarre to see a movie like this getting so much credits. I tried to understand it from the reviewers point of view here on this site and found nothing comprehensible.

Realistic plot. Where? If it's likely that women will stop giving birth all of a sudden, then we can toss aside everything we know about biological science. 'The convincing future world' which results from the premise as being a totally chaotic world, almost reads as wishful thinking on the part of the reviewer. 18 years go by with no women getting pregnant and without any known cause, one suddenly gets pregnant? And this obvious fluke is supposed to be interesting enough to carry a whole movie and provide a feeling of hope in such a desperate world? And besides, surely any type of future world with this kind of scenario going on, has got some more interesting to tell than what is shown in this movie. And surely Great Britain wouldn't be the only country to be able to sustain that premise. Rubbish, fairytalestuff, unmitigated Hollywood bull-crap.

Excellent acting. Where? Owen certainly didn't impress, hes just doing his zombie-thing once again. The support cast and especially Ashity (Kee) made me laugh and being annoyed at the same time throughout the entire film. This movie certainly did not impress acting-wise, surely for everyone to see. Caine's cameo was the odd one out and made me feel like watching a completely different movie every time he's making an appearance.

Good story/complex story. Excuse me? It's just a plodding chase-story with zero depth, nothing realistic and about as complex as the basis of your average video game. One doesn't bring a child to a war-zone just because some drugged out old fart suggests that, especially when it's presumably the only one alive in the world. What made the story 'complex' was that nothing was explained about any of it (writers cramp?). Yet, this is considered one of the film's best traits!

Great cinematography. The natural look of the film, the documentary style if u will, was ultimately not what made the feel of this movie a positive or convincing one. It made me feel distracted from the events that were displayed and made me be aware of camera's and actors. They should have used that in portions of the film, but not in the whole of it. All the chase sequences seemed overpractised and what was up with the 'run after the car and get smashed by the door'-gimmick?

Comment on the world we live in today. Well, this movie didn't point out anything that can't be seen in any Newsprogram or documentary on the subject. Most of the theme's we saw, like the Islam-protest, seemed hopelessly and needlessly dragged in.

Dramatic ending. Yeah sure, if you consider vapid and cliché open endings which didn't give the film some sort of closure it desperately needed a dramatic ending, then by all means people...

The movie seems to want us to see a possible world future, and that's all fine. But why would I want to look at that grim and dismal future for two hours following a story-line with absolutely zero plot, no humor, no sfx, no build up of tension nor a decent soundtrack.


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