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In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

Director:

Neill Blomkamp

Writer:

Neill Blomkamp
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1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Max
Jodie Foster ... Delacourt
Sharlto Copley ... Kruger
Alice Braga ... Frey
Diego Luna ... Julio
Wagner Moura ... Spider
William Fichtner ... John Carlyle
Brandon Auret ... Drake
Josh Blacker ... Crowe
Emma Tremblay ... Matilda
Jose Pablo Cantillo ... Sandro
Maxwell Perry Cotton ... Young Max
Faran Tahir ... President Patel
Adrian Holmes ... Manuel
Jared Keeso ... Rico
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Storyline

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn't stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life but could bring equality to these polarized worlds. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

9 August 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eliziejus See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,807,393, 11 August 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$93,050,117

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$286,140,700
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color (ACES)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sharlto Copley presented an American, an Eastern European, and a British "version" of Kruger to Neill Blomkamp before they agreed that Kruger would be from their home country, South Africa, and speak with the accent of "a very specific area in Johannesburg". See more »

Goofs

The craft shown flying from Earth to Elysium appear to be solely air-breathing vehicles and could not possibly reach orbit. Even if they had some rocket propulsion that was not obviously visible, they are not large enough to provide sufficient power for a journey to Elysium. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: In the late 21st century Earth was diseased, polluted and vastly overpopulated.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the soundtrack part of the end titles it says:

"Piano Concerto No. 8 in C minor 'Pathetique' - Adagio Cantabile Written by Ludwig van Beethoven"

L. v. Beethoven wrote only five piano concertos (his eighth piano sonata is titled "Pathetique" however). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Home Bound (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

New World Disorder
Written by Yoann Hebert
Performed by Arkasia
Courtesy of Heavy Artillery Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Elysium is visually gorgeous but its story and characters left me cold and disappointed
9 August 2013 | by lornloxorSee all my reviews

After director Neill Blomkamp's fantastic debut film District 9 I was understandably eager to see his new sci-fi film Elysium. Unfortunately his second feature doesn't quite match up with the greatness that was District 9.

Visually the film is quite stunning and it has some great cinematography when it comes to the larger shots. The CGI effects are excellent and blend in well with the environment. The Earth of the film looks very gritty, believable and lived-in and the space station Elysium has this very sterile and futuristic look to it. You could really buy it that Earth could look like this with many decades of neglect and poverty. Everything's in disrepair and in decline. The rich on the other hand have every resource available to them in their own little paradise in space. The set and production designers truly did a great job with the locations.

Matt Damon is decent as the film's protagonist Max who is an ex-con now working on assembling the droids which keep order on the now overpopulated Earth. His role and the writing of his character isn't anything too special or memorable but he does what he can with it. He's just a no nonsense guy who is thrown into a difficult situation. He was also quite sarcastic and funny when he was dealing with the droids in the earlier part of the film but we didn't see this side of him at all after that. Alice Braga plays Max's childhood friend Frey with whom Max meets up again when he's an adult. I didn't feel much of an emotional connection or chemistry between them though and that hampered the film a bit. Their back story is told almost completely in sentimental flashback sequences which I didn't care for. The antagonists in this film were very one-dimensional and over the top. Jodie Foster plays Elysium's defense minister Delacourt and Sharlto Copley (who was also in District 9) plays an undercover agent named Kruger who is positioned on Earth. They're both very cliché and uninteresting. The writing of all the characters wasn't very good at all in this film and I didn't get emotionally invested in any of them.

The story isn't that great either and this then also takes away from the film's many action sequences because we don't have that big a stake in them. The film starts quite strongly as it juxtaposes the situation on Earth and on Elysium to highlight the problems of social and economic inequality. Then suddenly when the action starts, these issues fade far in to the background in favor of more and more action. From the trailers and the hype I really got this impression that the film would deal with these issues in a thoughtful manner. Regrettably this is not the case with this film. A big problem with the film is also that none of the characters seems to learn anything new or change their beliefs or anything like that. A huge part of the success of District 9 was in seeing how the main character evolved after spending some time with the aliens. In Elysium the good guys are the good guys and bad guys are the bad guys. There's no complexity, nuance or subtlety in any of them. We also don't get to meet any other citizens of Elysium beside the higher up leaders like defense minister Delacourt and president Patel. It would've been interesting to see the common people of Elysium and how they react to the situation, what their beliefs are and what drives them. The writing is also a little too pointed out and heavy-handed. Some of it just made me think "Wow, really?". For example, at one point the CEO of the droid production company literally tells some mid-level manager not to breathe at his direction. Things also seem to happen way too conveniently to push the plot along. Then again you could say this about many films but you really start to pay attention to these things when you're not completely engrossed in the film. This film surely would've benefited from a more subtle approach. The ending was also way too simplistic for my taste.

The action in this film is quite intense and it looks very impressive at times. The exoskeletons were fun and looked convincing. Then comes the shaky cam. Oh boy. It's really quite annoying and very often it's hard to see what's going on. They should've really taken a page from the Bourne movies on how to shoot action scenes. Luckily the shaky cam isn't there all the time but the action could've definitely been improved with a clearer shooting style.

All in all, the film has decent action with absolutely gorgeous visuals and it moves along at a good pace. Sadly the writing, the plot and the characters aren't that interesting and it's hard to get emotionally invested in this film. It's watchable and probably quite entertaining if you're in the proper mood for it. For me, the film ultimately left me a bit cold and disappointed.


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