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Children of Men (2006)

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In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

Director:

Alfonso Cuarón

Writers:

Alfonso Cuarón (screenplay), Timothy J. Sexton (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Popularity
1,090 ( 254)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 79 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clive Owen ... Theo Faron
Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi ... Baby Diego (as Juan Yacuzzi)
Michael Caine ... Jasper
Mishal Husain Mishal Husain ... Newsreader
Rob Curling Rob Curling ... Newsreader
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Luke
Jon Chevalier Jon Chevalier ... Café Customer
Julianne Moore ... Julian
Rita Davies ... Café Customer
Charlie Hunnam ... Patric
Kim Fenton Kim Fenton ... Café Customer
Chris Gilbert Chris Gilbert ... Café Customer
Phoebe Hawthorne Phoebe Hawthorne ... Café Customer
Rebecca Howard Rebecca Howard ... Café Customer
Atalanta White Atalanta White ... Café Customer (as Atlanta White)
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Storyline

London, 2027. In this dystopian world, humans have been incapable of reproducing for eighteen years for an unknown reason, meaning the imminent extinction of the species. Britain is the one remaining civilized society on the planet, which has resulted in people wanting to immigrate there. As such, it has become a police state in order to handle the immigrants, who are placed into refugee camps. Lowly government bureaucrat Theo Faron, once an activist, is approached by the Fishes, deemed a terrorist group, led by his ex-wife Julian Taylor, who he has not seen in close to twenty years, their marriage which disintegrated following the death of their infant son Dylan during the 2008 flu pandemic. Although the Fishes did use terrorist means in their on-going revolution against the state in the fight for immigrant rights, Julian vows that they now garner support solely by speaking to the people. What she wants is for Theo to use his connections to get transit papers for a young immigrant ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The last one to die please turn out the light. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Japan

Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Children of Men See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$76,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$179,268, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$35,552,383

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,959,751
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie and its source novel are full of religious imagery. Befitting a story about a baby with the potential to save all of humanity, there are several parallels drawn between Kee and Mary, the mother of Jesus. When Theo first sees that Kee is pregnant, she is in a stable (as Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger); in his shock and surprise, he swears, "Jesus Christ!" When Theo asks who the father is, Kee at first jokes that she is a virgin, another nod to Mary. The rebel group that Julian works with is called "The Fishes"; the fish has been a symbol of Christianity since the second century A.D. The name of the main character, Theo, is derived form the Greek word for "god". The title "Children of Men" is from a quotation from Psalm 90. See more »

Goofs

When Theo has agreed to help the Fishes by getting transit papers for Kee and follows an agent to what turns out to be a meeting with Julian on a Double Decker Bus, the bus he chases and presumably boards is a thinly disguised MCW Metrobus, dating from circa 1982, with characteristic boxy, old-fashioned appearance. However, when we cut to the bus interior, it is that of a Wrightbus Gemini model, dating from 2003 or later - this model is much curvier in shape than the Metrobus. Once Julian and Theo leave the bus, it passes by, and we see that it is indeed now the modern vehicle from which they have alighted, carrying the manufacturer's stylised 'W' moulding on the rear panel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Newsreader: Day 1,000 of the Siege of Seattle.
Newsreader: The Muslim community demands an end to the Army's occupation of mosques.
Newsreader: The Homeland Security bill is ratified. After eight years, British borders will remain closed. The deportation of illegal immigrants will continue. Good morning. Our lead story.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end, one can read "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti" with children shouting and laughing on the soundtrack, which can be heard repeatedly throughout the end credits. This is the last line of T.S. Eliot's 1922 poem "The Wasteland." "Shanti" means "peace" in Sanskrit. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dream House (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

There Is an Ocean
Written and Performed by Donovan (as Donovan Leitch)
(c) 1974 Donovan (Music) Ltd
Master courtesy of Donovan Discs
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A thinking person's thriller
6 November 2006 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Alfonso Cuaron has given us a very clever rendering of a very English dystopian novel. P D James, the "Baroness of Bad" is famous for her well-written and absorbing police procedural novels ("Inspector Dalgliesh") but in the early 90s she produced a vision of a world only 20 years into the future in which for unspecified reasons all the women on earth have become infertile and no babies have been born for the last 18 years.

The rest of the world has lapsed into chaos but the British, stoically, have put the remainder of their civil liberties into the fire and have settled down under an oppressive dictatorship to ward off foreign boarders and await inevitable extinction, though there are some violent dissidents called the fish.

Theo (Clive Owen), a journalist with connections to the top, is "persuaded" by his ex-wife and fish member Julian (Julianne Moore) to obtain some exit papers for Kee (Claire Hope Ashity) a young black woman, who, it turns out, is pregnant. Theo is swept up in Kee's escape across a grim decaying landscape. Not only are there the security forces to contend with, but some equally ruthless insurgents. Cuaron builds the tension exquisitely, interspersing the adrenaline fueled bits with quieter bits.

Kee' projected saviors are a mysterious group called the Human Project who conveniently sail their well-maintained Greenpeace style ex-North Sea fishing trawler past offshore light buoys in the hope of rescuing the human race. But the improbability of this doesn't matter much because by the end of the movie Cuaron has effectively demonstrated what the world would be like if humankind suddenly stopped reproducing. Having children is our way of cheating death, without them there is nothing but death, and in this future there are none about but the living dead.

The casting is pretty well perfect. Clive Owen as Theo puts his haunted good looks to good use as he turns from cynical reporter to a hunted enemy of the state. The motley characters he meets along the way – his ex-wife, the fish rebels, the refugees who help him, the "fascist pig" border guard and above all Michael Caine's aging hippie are all wonderfully realized.

It has been suggested that Cuaron has really made a film about today, not 20 years into the future. The rampaging security forces we see might as well be in Bosnia or Iraq, or even Northern Ireland. In an age of terrorism, order without law very quickly becomes tyranny, which has never been the answer to terrorism. What he and PD James do demonstrate is just how fragile our civil society is.

As a film this is a very fine piece of work. The sets exude grimy Britain, the battles are hair-raising, the quieter moments intense. Cuaron would do a great James Bond movie. He has turned a rather rarefied novel into an exiting and engrossing thriller without obscuring the original message. He is a very versatile and enterprising film-maker and I'm sure he's going to do lots more good stuff.


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