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Generally favorable reviews- based on 727 Ratings

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  1. Aug 14, 2010
    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.
  2. Aug 23, 2010
    Alright, I thought the film pushed too hard on immigration politics as a couple of critics noted but aside from that I don't have a problem with it, at all. The charachters are superb and in the beginning and middle we're given a chance to know about them, but then at the end the film literally explodes and throws you in the middle of a war with the most intense action scenes since saving private ryan. It does this very smoothly aswell to the point where you don't mind that it's really become a different film. I don't really use this word a lot because I think it's shamefully overused in the metacritic user reviews and critics themselves overuse it, but this film is quite simply a Masterpiece. Expand
  3. Oct 17, 2010
    The one long, one-shot scene alone was enough to make anyone realize that the cinematography is above the rest. The plot is interesting, and I do like where the director goes with it. I liked this movie, and was under the impression that most thought it was just okay, until I saw this page. I'm glad more people agree with me, because this one was impressive.
  4. Oct 23, 2010
    I feel that Children of Men is an electric motion picture that is both original and evocative of early cinema, where the skilled manipulation of the viewer is carried out to evoke raw, visceral feelings that are primeval within us.
  5. May 6, 2011
    I'd have to say this is one of the best science fiction movies ever made. The cinematography, the performances, the music, the story, everything about it excels. The director convincingly presents a bleak near-future where humanity has gone infertile and is slowly dying out. Add in gut-wrenching action scenes, a particularly wonderful performance by Michael Caine, and an anti-fascist subtext, and you have a brilliant humanistic tale. Expand
  6. Aug 31, 2012
    The film succeeds because of it's dramatic power. this is a result of the great camera work and great acting. However I found the films themes to be a bit week but this is a really weak criticism.
  7. Jul 2, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It honestly seems like a lot of the negative reviewers don't look at the aching humanity that basically pours out of this film. The reason I felt it was great is because, while the plot may be simple, the emotion and, more importantly, the reaction of the characters, is incredibly well acted and scripted.
    The film also seems to ask a lot of questions, most of which are terrifying in their implications, and that is exactly what kept me watching until the end.
    For those of you who don't see character development: Do you honestly think the man Clive Owen portrayed in the beginning would be sitting in the boat with the baby at the end of the movie?
    And we all know that even though it is only one baby, what would be the point in waving an endeavor to possibly save all of humanity as futility?
  8. Sep 26, 2011
    Forget about zombie-apocalypse. "Children of Men" shows we don't need monsters to make our society collapses. The dark creatures responsible for our doom live inside the humans themselves.
  9. Sep 15, 2011
    As it has been said, you'll either love or hate this movie. Personally, as I enjoyed it, it's hard to understand why others dislike it. There's talk of poor character development, unanswered questions, etc. The problem is, with character development, if the protagonist goes on the traditional route (naive to weary to underdog to champion to victim etc.) it's completely cliche and it has been done thousands of times. You can go into a movie and you already know exactly how the character is going to react to every plot twist and curve that comes along, and it's boring! You know "well obviously, this every day regular guy is clearly going to reject the ludicrous things he is being told. Then slowly he is going to accept them, then embrace them, then champion them, and then get burned by them, and then redeem them".

    So I'm happy when there's this character who comes along, and we don't need to spend an hour watching him reject the plot of the film, only to then embrace it. Not to mention, actually, there is quite a good amount of character development in this movie. I can't be bothered to explain it all, and if you missed it, obviously you weren't paying close enough attention, and that's not the directors or actors fault.

    Regarding "unanswered questions". That was one of the themes of the entire movie (besides "hope"). No one knows what's going on. No one knows what the next day will bring. The rest of the civilised world has collapsed. What, did you want some scientist in a doctors coat and big classes, while holding some test tubes, to explain in the last 30 seconds of the movie what caused the sterility of the world, and what caused the female protagonist to become pregnant? These questions were left unanswered because, as is the theme of the movie, no one knows why. Basically, if you go into a movie wanting it to do something, you will always be disappointed, because it won't do what you want. If you go into a movie and strap yourself in and enjoy the ride, you're going to enjoy it. You can't blame a movie for not doing something you want it to do, especially if doing such a thing would destroy the entire theme of the movie. Great movie, 9/10, the cinematography was beautiful, some really professional and inspired work there.
  10. Sep 27, 2011
    Alfonso Cuarón is simply the best in the art of camera, this movie is brilliant the message that leaves you is incredible and show us that no matter how dark is the sky we can always find hope
  11. Nov 1, 2011
    this movie could really predict the future,'cause the issues such as old age crisis and war which stated in this movie are happening in almost every country now.(2011) this movie's right, the old age crisis could really bring a plague upon the earth.
  12. Dec 14, 2011
    Children of Men is a film that becomes something more than itself. It is political. It is intelligent. It is emotional. And most importantly it speaks into the lives of people in this day and age teaching us about our own humanity. Aside from minor faults including one of the worst birthing scenes in modern cinematic history, the film truly makes the viewers a part of the action. During the climactic final battle, the camera moves in such a way that the viewer feels himself being a part of the scene. Violence may be present, but never is it used for the sake of violence. Rather it is always used as a tool to further explore the thematic elements of morality, humanity, and the politics that get in the way of both. The dystopian future is perhaps the greatest since A Clockwork Orange and in many ways may even be better. The use of varied cinematographic elements and the musical accompaniment to the film add wonders in bringing the vision of Alfonso Cuarón to life. Editing then weaves together the brilliant performances from Clive Owen and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This is not a movie to be watched for cheap thrills or laughs, but a film that must be taken seriously. And when that is done, truth will be spoken into the lives of all who witness it. A tear or two may come as well. Expand
  13. Dec 16, 2011
    Another apocalyptic, eerie film that I could watch on repeat. A thrilling ride that didn't even need to incorporate astounding effects due to the intricate plot. Bravo.
  14. Oct 2, 2012
    Easily one of my favorite movies from a cinematographic point of view. There are at least two scenes in "Children of Men" that make the film as great as it is. Without trying to give away too much, there is an action scene near the end that is shot in one take, lasting about 10 minutes, and is just an amazing feat of accomplishment. The story is also very well played out, but don't expect to understand every aspect and angle as they are not all fully developed (an aspect I actually liked considering most stories spoon feed you explanations that sometimes should not be included in the natural flow of events). Expand
  15. Aug 25, 2014
    Extraordinarily terrifying, Children of Men serves as a disturbing warning of what may become of Men and our world. Alfonso Cuaron and his cast prevent the audience from ever questioning the reality of this apocalyptic version of our world... quite simply because they are too damn convincing. One of the best films of the decade for its look ahead and futuristic thrills.
  16. Apr 21, 2012
    Children of Men is a sci-fi thriller that not only brings about new ideas for the future, but also has much contemporary impact mostly because it intelligently and insightfully places contemporary issues into a futuristic context.
  17. Aug 29, 2012
    Children for Men is an astonishing movie for taking an idea most people haven't ever thought off what if people have kids no more ho would that effect the world.This movie is dark gritty movie about how a normal avergae guy gets caught up in some mess and is linked up with the only pregnant womam in the whole world.Alfonso Cuaron's direction is amazingly portrayed into the storyline.A near perfect film I sggest you watch it even if you already have. Expand
  18. Apr 11, 2013
    One of my all time favorites and one of those rare occurrences where movie is way better then a book it is based on. I watched it a dozen times and i will watch a dozen more time in the future.
  19. Oct 6, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Children Of Men is a unique, breathtaking and fresh film that is director Alfonso Curaon's best film yet. Yes, I have watched Gravity but this film is sad, scary and brilliant. Clive Owen gives a great performance as Theo Faron- a normal officeman who lives in a future world of Britain of 2027. The country raged with war and no democracy and a rule of having no children or fertility tests. The tables pound when Theo's ex girlfriend Julian played by Julianne Moore finds a 17 year old girl named Kee who is an illegal immigrant and needs help to get off coast and join the Human Project. Theo was suspicious but moved along with the plan. Luke played by Chiwetel Ejiofor a man who works with Julian is extremely raged and rushed about the pregnancy to come. When Mariam the caretaker of Kee takes the newly with Theo to thier safe house on a farm, Julian gets shot by some random raged teenagers who are part of the Anti Social Human Society. When Theo and Luke try to run they get stamped by police who Luke shoots later on. Theo gets more suspicious when Luke shoots the officer and asks him why. Luke stays quiet about the inquiry. Theo finds out on the farm that Kee is pregnant and can change the world with the last baby on earth. Theo overhears Luke talking to his gang members to kill Theo and snatch the baby from Kee to make him a part of the society. Theo informs Mariam and Kee when the others chase them. Theo takes them to his friend Jasper played by Micheal Caine. But they don't last long and Luke finds Jasper and kills him in his house in front of his handicapped wife. Theo and Kee escape and Theo swears that he will fulfill his promise. When Jasper's friend Syd helps them get a boat he also betrays them for money and the baby. Mariam gets taken by the border patrol camp. Now the question wrapped around the film is that will Kee and Theo escape the horror of war and the violence of sadness and get to their goal? Children of men is beautiful and very sad to watch but it is a wonder of cinema. Expand
  20. Oct 14, 2013
    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. Expand
  21. Sep 4, 2014
    You probably won't like this movie unless you are experienced at life. Regardless of what any one has told you you ought to give it a chance. Pay attention to details and try to feel it.

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Children of Men leaves too many questions unanswered, yet it has a stunning visceral impact. You can forgive a lot in the face of filmmaking this dazzling.
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Picture more than delivers on the action front -- not in bang-for-your-buck spectacle but in the kind of gritty, doculike sequences that haul viewers out of their seats and alongside the main protags.
  3. Owen carries the film more in the tradition of a Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda than a Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford. He has to wear flip-flops for part of the time without losing his dignity, and he never reaches for a weapon or guns anyone down. Cuaron and Owen may have created the first believable 21st-century movie hero.