Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. It is that rare futuristic thriller: grim in its scenario, yet exhilarating in its technique.
  2. 100
    The performances are crucial, because all of these characters have so completely internalized their world that they make it palpable, and themselves utterly convincing.
  3. Children of Men is a nativity story for the ages, this or any other.
  4. 100
    Made with palpable energy, intensity and excitement, it compellingly creates a world gone mad that is uncomfortably close to the one we live in. It is a "Blade Runner" for the 21st century, a worthy successor to that epic of dystopian decay
  5. 100
    It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
  6. Children of Men is Cuarón's run for freedom, with a riveting story, fantastic action scenes and acting so universally solid that even the dogs perform masterfully under his direction.
  7. 100
    This is an extraordinary artistic breakthrough from a Mexican director who was already fearlessly good to begin with.
  8. 88
    Cuarón has a gift only the greatest filmmakers share: He makes you believe.
  9. 88
    Children of Men is thrilling, both for its groundbreaking style (there are action sequences here unlike any filmed before) and its complex, vividly realized ideas.
  10. A chase movie, a spy movie, a futuristic thriller full of colorfully bizarre characters and deftly choreographed stunt work, Children of Men works on multiple levels - as action and allegory.
  11. Reviewed by: Stephen Saito
    88
    It's the rare sci-fi film that transcends its genre with its ideas, able to sweep one up in its not-too-distant future and yet remain remarkably prescient about the present day.
  12. It depicts a world close enough to our own to be terrifying, yet different enough to rouse curiosity.
  13. It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.
  14. At times the film is so supercharged that it glosses over the story's thematic richness and turns into a very high-grade action picture. But if that's the worst thing you can say about a movie, you're doing all right. The best thing to be said about Children of Men is that it's a fully imagined vision of dystopia.
  15. Children of Men may be something of a bummer, but it’s the kind of glorious bummer that lifts you to the rafters, transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking.
  16. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    100
    I don't just mean it's one of the best movies of the past six years. Children of Men, based on the 1992 novel by P.D. James, is the movie of the millennium because it's about our millennium, with its fractured, fearful politics and random bursts of violence and terror.
  17. 100
    Working with his longtime cinematographer Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Cuaron creates the most deeply imagined and fully realized world to be seen on screen this year, not to mention bravura sequences that bring to mind names like Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick.
  18. 90
    One of the year's most imaginative and uniquely exciting pieces of cinema.
  19. 90
    It's a measure of Cuarón's directorial chops that Children of Men functions equally well as fantasy and thriller. Like Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and the Wachowski Brothers' "V for Vendetta" (and more consistently than either), the movie attempts to fuse contemporary life with pulp mythology.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 679 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 331
  1. Aug 14, 2010
    9
    Although it leaves you wondering what happened, this is a movie that sticks in your brain. Like a good meal, you will think about it afterward. Disturbing and entertaining. Full Review »
  2. Feb 18, 2014
    7
    Children of Men is a beautiful movie, from the first 10 minutes you can notice that it's class A movie with every element, i was astounded by the first explosion because it was so realistic, then i began to notice the environment and i was so impressed by it, it's like they created an entire city to shoot the movie in, that's reminded me of the importance of Cinematography.
    and this movie gotta be the most realistic expectation of reality i have ever seen, we all seen movies that pushed as 20 or more years, and it's all about technology, but this movie takes a different direction,
    the last 30 minutes for me was a blast, because i haven't seen a realistic representation of a street conflict since Black Hawk Down and that movie was beautiful.
    Alfonso Cuarón should be praised for his astonishing director skills and the movie is enjoyable to the max.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 14, 2013
    10
    What an absolute gem of a movie. Overall, the movie was brilliantly conceptualized and executed. The world the movie paints seems like a world inhabited by actual people. The grim London streets inhabited by street toughs and desperate, hungry immigrants, the prison camps in which immigrants are herded like cattle by the watchful eyes of sadistic military-police, the bombed out, Balkan-like war shelters all serve to transport the viewer into the dystopian future in which the movie is set in, as well as the desperation its inhabitants face. The stunning, visually arresting cinema verite cinematography also serves to heighten the sense of realism of the film. The jaw dropping camera work made me feel the chaos, fear, paranoia and confusion the characters felt in the brilliant conceived and executed action scenes. What a rush! While the bravura visual effects are worth the price of admission on its own, Cuaron does not skimp out on content. The film is a heady brew of ideas that riffs on everything from the nature of the police state, the widening economic disparity between the rich and the poor, immigrant rights to the vapidity of our tabloid-driven culture. However, Cuaron manages to convey these heady ideas without being preachy or overtly political. Cuaron seems to trust that the viewer is intelligent enough to draw his or her conclusions. However, the one aspect that ties it all together is the human element. The characters are well fleshed out and the actors brought brought incredible performances that bring the characters to life. Clive Owen brings a Humphrey Bogardian performance as the protagonist, Theo Farron, a world-weary cynic whose cynicism is rooted in pain. As Farron, Owen displays fear, paranoia, anguish (and even the vacant stare of a mindless office drone beat down by the daily grind of the 9-5). Yet Owen's Farron also displays humor, warmth, bravery and resiliency. In short, Owen's Farron is a complete human being, not the stock action hero caricature that is so prevalent in big budget Hollywood thrillers. Chiwetel Efiojor is at times both warm, but chilling and manic as the rebel leader Luke. Clare-Hope is a revelation as Kee. ****'s Kee displays the vulnerability of a teen in need of guidance, but also a fierce innate resolve and a sense of humor. The plot moves along at a brisk pace, until it ends in an ambiguous ending that leaves as much questions as answers. Indeed, that aspect bothers viewers who disliked the film. A minor quibble if you ask me. If you are an OCD afflicted math nerd who needs every plot strand to be bow-tied neatly, or a small-minded nitwit who needs to be shown everything, then you will probably dislike the movie. If, however, you enjoy well shot films that are not only entertaining on a visceral level but also have something to say, you will most definitely enjoy this film. One of my favorite movies for sure. Full Review »