(I) (2013)

Critic Reviews

61

Metascore

Based on 47 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
Damon's everyman workhorse is tragically sympathetic, plodding ahead against all odds. Copley is brilliant as the sadistic villain. Foster is ... well, you gotta see it to believe it. In the meantime, you'll be treated to one of the most entertaining action films of the year.
83
With Elysium, Blomkamp has made good on the promise of "District 9" and proven that working on a bigger canvas doesn't mean compromising on smarts or aspirations to deliver tentpole sized stories with a thoughtful backbone.
80
Even working within a more conventional framework, Blomkamp again proves to be a superb storyteller. He has a master's sense of pacing, slowly immersing us into his future world rather than assailing us with nonstop action, and envisioning that world with an architect's eye for the smallest details.
80
At last, a good big film. The legacy of the summer, thus far, has been jetsam: moribund movies that lie there, bloated and beached, gasping to break even. But here is something angry and alive: Elysium.
80
Not perfect, but a much more satisfying Earth-in-ruins film than Oblivion or After Earth. It is a little more conventional than District 9 (what isn't?), but confirms Blomkamp as one of the potential science-fiction greats of this decade.
75
If Elysium is the brainiest Hollywood movie of the summer, it's also the most conflicted one.
75
Appreciate Elysium for what it is, sci-fi that's smarter, more topical and more invigorating than most of what passes through that genre these days, and another sign that its director is the most promising chap to enter the field since the inception of Christopher Nolan.
75
Elysium, the second movie from writer-director Neill Blomkamp, isn't quite as inventive or fresh as his knockout debut, 2009's "District 9." But the new picture is cut from the same cloth - furiously exciting sci-fi, carefully considered and loaded with allegories and social commentary.
75
San Francisco Chronicle
The film provides an intelligently imagined future world.
75
With most films, that'd be enough to cut out half the potential American audience. But effective, evocative science fiction, which Elysium is, has a way of getting by with an ILA (Insidious Liberal Agenda) in the guise of worst-case dystopia.
75
Among the slew of recent futuristic hell-in-a-handbasket spectacles, Elysium takes the cake.
75
Like District 9, an allegory of apartheid that took four Oscar nods and put Blomkamp on the map, Elysium delivers sci-fi without dumbing it down. It's a hell-raiser with a social conscience.
75
Decidedly more thought-provoking than most big-studio summer fare.
70
Mr. Damon brings both a weary optimism and convincing physicality to Max, who is no revolutionary. He just wants to live, and is willing to don an exoskeletal combat suit and fight robots to do it.
63
A cheekily gruesome and genuinely urgent entertainment, Blomkamp's latest nevertheless can't help but beg the question: Where's Snake Plissken when you need him?
60
Hollywood loves these apocalypse-soon stories, however, because they function as blank canvases for ruin porn, and if nothing else, Neill Blomkamp's Elysium gives us the realistically trashed tomorrow we suspect we deserve.
60
Granted, Elysium could be more clever as it goes about its business. This is smart sci-fi, but it's not as smart as it could have been -- or as many "District 9" fans were probably hoping it would be.
60
This perfectly alright actioner will entertain newcomers, while leaving Blomkamp fans in a holding pattern until his next project.
60
Unfortunately, Elysium devolves. It doesn't address the ramifications of making everyone healthy for eternity, or what it is on Earth they're making or digging up that fuels whatever economy is left on the space station. For such a well thought-out premise, there's not a mention of how capitalism works in this futureworld.
59
Frankly, Elysium is a bit of a liberal's wet dream: the good guys want accessible healthcare, while the bad guys want to do away with undocumented immigrants.
50
While the movie may not, in the end, be so effective in tapping into our current class anxieties, that hardly seems to matter. Like a trip to Elysium, it's a wild ride.
40
All the interest and good will built up by the sharply conceived preliminaries is washed away in a succession of scenes that feel crushingly routine and generic, not to mentioned guided by ideological urges.
40
Damon is as buff as ever, maybe even more so... But watching him lumber through Elysium's bramble of lofty ideals is no damn fun.
38
For a 99 percenter movie, then, Elysium is kind of a head-scratcher. It throws away its best opportunity for drama. It's as if Han and Leia parked on the Death Star and started asking, “How much is a two-bedroom around here?”

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