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84

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 704 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Children of Men envisages a world one generation from now that has fallen into anarchy on the heels of an infertility defect in the population. The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set against the backdrop of London torn apart by violence and nationalistic sects, the film follows disillusioned bureaucrat Theo (Owen) as he becomes an unlikely champion of Earth's survival. (Universal Pictures) Expand
  • Director: Alfonso CuarĂ³n
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 109 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 75
    The screenplay, which differs significantly from the novel, is uneven, but the distorted mirror it holds up to the present is disturbingly clear.
  7. Bloated adaptation of P.D. James's thoughtful, compact novel.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 71 out of 337
  1. StephenV.
    Jan 30, 2007
    10
    Departing from the trend in recent movie-making history, Cuarón crafts a movie that doesn't have to spell everything out, because the story isn't about the tragedy of infertility, but the tragedy of apathy in a society facing its own demise. Well thought-out, and stunning in presentation and value. Expand
  2. RussellJ.
    Jul 21, 2007
    10
    This has gone into my top five movies along with requiem for a dream, dead man's shoes, eternal sunshine and sideways. It is a unique vision of the future that actually feels like it could happen. The acts of terrorism and social disorder are quite prevalent in todays society now so if a situation where infertility arose then the dystopian society depicted in this movie is well realized. One of the criticisms of this movie i have come across is that the cause of the infertility is never explained, why is this a problem? We live in a world where there are no easy answers. It also leads us to the ambiguity of this society who are thinking that they are let down by science or religion. One of the most interesting points of this film is the importance of children to our future and is beautifully illustrated in the exquisite scene when Clive Owen walks through the battle zone with a new-born and everything goes quiet until a shell goes off and the fighting continues. This enforces the fragility of our existence and the improbability of the human race getting this far. Is it evolution last attempt to carry on the human race encapsulated in this child or is it divine intervention?. When i was watching this film i was hoping it wouldn't end in a typically Hollywood ending where there is closure. Luckily the film ends in a downbeat but also in a fashion an optimistic way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel albeit a pinprick of light. This film blew me away. The action was tense and well thought out and believable. The cinematography was bleak but beautiful. Clive Owen is tremendous in a subtle and nuanced role which made you feel for him and believe in the arc his character goes through. Expand
  3. DarcieK
    Dec 26, 2009
    10
    This movie is brilliant and the cinematography is astounding!
  4. FrankA.
    May 7, 2007
    9
    If you keep the politics out as requested one would not accuse the movie of being liberal fear mongering. It may be exactly what you say it is, but your demons are your own. I saw a great movie with actors I like and enjoyed the storyline and action. After I saw the movie I read why people dislike it, mostly, they hate it for political reasons. Nice. Expand
  5. AramisG.
    Feb 12, 2007
    8
    Who exactly does the politics of this film offend? And since when is it off limits to put a political statement in a film? Unless you sat through this movie with political tunnel vision, I think you would notice they do a convincing job of show the evils of extremism left or right. This film has some of the most intense war zone scenes I've seen since Saving Private Ryan. It does an outstanding job of balancing the frailties of life against the harsh brutalities of war. If it does have an overt political message, it is that war is hell on Earth. I think both sides can agree on that. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Jan 2, 2007
    5
    It seemed to me as if this movie was one large indecision. It couldn't decide what movie it wanted to be because sometimes it felt like it was an action-thriller and then it throws in waaaay to much unbelievable humor followed by a hint of a biblical allusion and then a political jab all suggesting that I shouldnt have bothered. Rent it. Expand
  7. JacobR.
    Jan 7, 2007
    0
    This movie was completely pointless. the premise is that people can't have kids, yet one DOES WHILE WE'RE WATCHING THE MOVIE! what the hell was the point? there obviously was never a problem, apparently outside of england people CAN have babies. Expand

See all 337 User Reviews

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