User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 693 Ratings

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  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.
  2. Dec 8, 2010
    1
    I sort of enjoyed the movie for a while until the nonsense about refuge camps and when it started to look like all this film brought up was questions with no cohession. Specifically if you think the characters developed and evolved throughout the movie and that all the different ideas were stuck together well then you are nuts. Yes the music may have been good or the photos, I dont know and dont really care. I disagree that the ending was crap in that if the director was trying to convey how nuts people hand gone by believeing in some mythical humainity project and that it was just an ordinary boat then yes it was actually quite a good ending, if.... I thought thats what it might have been about how he just failed at the finish line and that the woman was saved by fishermen. The camp thing was nuts, if the regime was so oppresive they would have just killed them all and it seemed to morp from an anti fuji thing at start of movie into an anti muslim thing and there were also causcasians in there, very bizare. Plus the fact he was only hit in the arms(v.unlikely) and that being hit in the arms twice killed him(not so likely). Never explaine why infertility was there and what difference one baby could have made. If they had made this about scientists rushing to understand say a cure for a disease and their being a fascist regime only using it on non-illegal immigrants it would have been a much better movie. Or they could have gone down the whole chase route more throughtly and made human project a peacful orginization protecting the baby from the fishies. Or even the "terrorits" could have been **** who created a disease through gene technology by accident, who were hated but were also required to solve the same issue they created, all of these different scenarios would have been much deeper than what was presented -nothing. Expand
  3. Feb 21, 2011
    6
    I think that this movie is pushing things a little to much. I'm not expecting that a SF movie to be realistic, but is neither a SF nor a realistic movie. I consider this the major defect of the movie. The actors are not impressing much. A part of the idea of having the humanity saved by a birth of a child nothing is notable. Is anyone asking how Kee became pregnant in that circumstances?
  4. May 29, 2014
    5
    Children of Men for the most part is extremely boring and only by the end kicks into another gear that started to grab my attention. Barely anything is explained and nothing is answered.
  5. Nov 22, 2012
    5
    There's no "there" there. Some action scenes, some sadness, no moral of the story. Huge plot holes and unrealistic escapes, etc. Doesn't make you think.
  6. Aug 23, 2010
    10
    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
  7. Oct 17, 2010
    9
    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.
  8. Oct 23, 2010
    9
    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.
  9. Oct 15, 2012
    8
    Children of Men is a thunderously exciting film, featuring amazing performances and fantastic action scenes. The sci-fi flavored world the movie creates is also utterly convincing. Children of Men is brilliant from start to finish.
  10. May 6, 2011
    10
    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
  11. Aug 31, 2012
    9
    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.
  12. Jul 2, 2011
    10
    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?
    Expand
  13. Oct 23, 2011
    8
    This was an interesting movie. Don't get me wrong, it was an awesome movie and it had a cool soundtrack and an amazing cast. Alfonso Cuaron did an amazing job of making a fantastic movie out of this shallow story line. It had a good script though, I would have picked it. It was a strange movie but highly reccommend.
  14. Sep 26, 2011
    9
    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.
  15. Sep 15, 2011
    9
    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.
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  16. Sep 27, 2011
    9
    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
  17. Nov 1, 2011
    10
    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.
  18. Dec 14, 2011
    9
    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
  19. Dec 13, 2011
    4
    Why do so many people consider this to be such a great film? I'm not saying it's bad. It's just okay. Not epic or astounding as many critics seem to believe. Clive Owen seems incapable of epic or astounding. I did really like the cinematography, but this movie just lacked in plot design and character development. Plain and simple. And as far as dystopian thrillers go, I would rank it below V for Vendetta and above Judge Dredd, hovering near the level of The Book of Eli. If you wish to see a realistic look into a troubled future, see John Hillcoat's terrific adaptation of The Road instead. Expand
  20. Dec 16, 2011
    10
    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.
  21. Oct 2, 2012
    10
    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
  22. Feb 23, 2012
    8
    I read a review saying the premise of this movie was unrealistic, most of the issues raised in this movie are happening today! It has left me thinking, and I'm glad i decided to watch it.
  23. Apr 21, 2012
    9
    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.
  24. Jul 3, 2014
    3
    This one was a major disappointment for me. I will start off with the few positives before moving into the negatives. Firstly, the acting was good, especially from Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and then Chiwetel Ejiofor and Charlie Hunnam is smaller roles. In addition, the cinematography here is great, especially during action sequences. The whole film has this really cool video game esque feel to what unfolds that is just missing the prompts for what you are supposed to do next. In addition, the colors here are great, as the gray everywhere really sums up the despair. Now, for the negatives. There are not a ton, but they are big enough to really hamper this one. Firstly, the story sucks. In premise, it sounds good, but in practice it is boring and uninteresting. In addition, there needs to be some kind of introduction to this world. Many things are occuring in this film and it never really explains why. I know that Cuaron hates backstory, but it is needed in this type of film to allow the audience to understand this futuristic setting. Without it, the audience is left guessing as to why the events are happening. Another major issue surrounds one of the deaths in this film, as it is hinted that it was a specific reason, but the reason is murky at best and really needed better explaining. It is a very important sequence, yet the reasoning behind is left largely unanswered. The script is also pretty bad in most parts as the dialogue had me cringing quite frequently. It all felt very unnatural and poorly worded. Finally, Clara-Hope **** is quite annoying and since she had a large role, it really subtracted from the overall film. Many find this film to be thought-provoking and cautionary. I cannot help but agree, as it left me wondering how it got so much praise and a warning to not trust the general consensus all the time. Expand
  25. Aug 29, 2012
    9
    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
  26. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Alfonso Cuaron's "Children Of Men" takes place in the not-too-distant-future where every woman is infertile and world order is on the brink of collapse. Theo Faron (Owen), a conflicted diplomat, is kidnapped by his ex-wife and revolutionary (Moore) to escort a refugee to freedom. However, what Theo doesn't know is that this refugee is in fact a pregnant woman. Thus, a epic and provocative quest ensues. In this world nearly every country's government has fallen. Therefore, as the only nation left standing, the U.K. must deal with millions of illegal immigrants trying to take refuge within their country. This prompts the U.K. drop into a militarized police state where violence and death are commonplace. Interesting enough, what I enjoyed most about this movie was the atmosphere. The world in "Children Of Men" is so disquieting, and so scary. You can tell that the art directors really took an extensive amount of time to make this setting look as dreary as it's supposed to be. The setting's bleakness is accentuated with really appropriate lighting. However, the cinematography also offers some really beautiful shots of the ravaged U.K. The screenplay is really well written, and it is performed equally as well. Clive Owen really shines in this roles, and Michael Caine plays a character that has a bundle of hilarious lines. Another aspect of this film that I admired is the fact that Cuaron utilized single-shot. This means that when the crap hits the fan for Clive Owen and Co. the cameras never stop rolling and the whole sequence is filmed in one single take. Which brings me to another aspect of "Children Of Men" that I enjoyed - the final sequence of the film. This film's final sequence used the aforementioned action scene technique and it also features a really interesting yet spoilerish dynamic that I can't share. You'll just have to watch it yourself. Overall I felt that "Children Of Men" was an awesome piece of speculative fiction that effectively serves as a cautionary tale for everyone to take seriously. Expand
  27. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    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.
  28. Mar 23, 2013
    8
    Awesome film. The idea is very interesting and you are in from minute one. Every character is there for a reason you keep finding as the movie goes on. Great cinematography. There is an action sequence towads the end that it is a 10 out of 10. Actors do their job nicely. So well done you feel the characters. Entertaiment plus quality. If only most successful films could be like this...
  29. Oct 6, 2013
    10
    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
  30. 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 CuarĂ³n should be praised for his astonishing director skills and the movie is enjoyable to the max.
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  31. 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. Expand
Metascore
84

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
    70
    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
    80
    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.