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Equilibrium (2002)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi  |  6 December 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 245,239 users   Metascore: 33/100
Reviews: 1,126 user | 144 critic | 22 from

In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dupont (as Angus MacFadyen)
David Barrash ...
Matthew Harbour ...
Emily Siewert ...


In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dystopia | art | law | cleric | fascist | See All (297) »


In a future where freedom is outlawed outlaws will become heroes. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Librium  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$541,512 (USA) (6 December 2002)


$104,843 (South Africa) (19 September 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The pistol-whip fight between John Preston and the officers took only 30 minutes to film. See more »


The blood on Preston's suit and right hand in the final scenes disappears and reappears between shots. See more »


[first lines]
DuPont: In the first years of the 21st century, a third World War broke out. Those of us who survived knew mankind could never survive a fourth; that our own volatile natures could simply no longer be risked. So we have created a new arm of the law: The Grammaton Cleric, whose sole task it is to seek out and eradicate the true source of man's inhumanity to man - his ability to feel.
See more »


References The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of my favorite imperfect films.
26 August 2004 | by (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

I know it's stupid to believe that a futuristic society is dumb enough to believe that the mere existence paintings, poems and sculptures can somehow lead to WW4.

I know there's a statue as well as stylish architecture in the headquarters of the people who ban artwork.

I know it's stupid to assume that a culture based on taking a drug every morning is not a very secure or feasible idea.

I know it makes no sense for a culture with no emotions to still be able to fall in love, choose a spouse and desire sex to create children.

I know half the people that Preston attacks are just standing there doing nothing while they wait to get their ass kicked.

I know the sets look cheap.

I know it's stupid that the "police" seem to die because their helmet glass breaks, when they'd probably be smart enough to have shatter-proof, if not bullet-proof plexiglass in the first place.

I know there's no reason random citizens would sit in a square to watch a guy on a big screen giving a speech, re-enforcing what the characters already know.

I know it paints a stupid picture of characters with emotion as looking like long-haired Gothic slobs who do nothing but sit in rooms with paintings and LP records and poetry books all day.

I know the emotionless characters express emotions and crack facial expressions when they're probably not supposed to.

I know Gun-Fu doesn't make much sense as to its practicality.

I know this film is an inspired rip-off of "Fahrenheit 451", "1984", "THX-1138", "Brazil", and "Blade Runner".

................But I love it.

Although it's a mish mash of every "man vs. futuristic oppressive society" film ever made, it manages to pull it off as good as some of its inspirations.

The film's story and message is clear.

The action is fresh, original, readable and gets the adrenaline flowing.

The atmosphere is clearly defined.

The production design is inspired.

Christian Bale and Emily Watson are superb.

The ending is satisfying.


*More power to Wimmer and Bale! I look forward to "Ultraviolet" and "Batman Begins".

728 of 921 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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