User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 758 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 89 out of 758

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  1. Aug 9, 2013
    3
    I just got back from the 10 o'clock screening of Elysium, and boy am I disappointed. I mean, talk about underwhelming in pretty much every way possible. There were tons of fairly sizable problems with the film, one of the most damning being the reliance on generic cookie-cutter characters (excluding Kruger, who was kinda awesome) and a convoluted chase-movie plot that lacked real motivation since the audience wasn't brought up to speed on the stakes of the mission or the endgame of the heroes.

    However, I would argue the greatest flaw of the movie is just the fact that it doesn't have a whole lot going for it. Once you get past the clever premise and fantastic world-building, the movie doesn't have a whole lot of originality to spare. Its few creative weapons concepts (like the air-burst gun and shield you see in the trailer) are only used for a few seconds a piece before being traded for something more uninspired. A few characters look promising from the get-go, like the bonkers Kruger and some of Max's gangster buddies, but all these guys end up going the safe and dull route. Even the climax of the film, which I was hoping would do something daring and different to solve the character's predicament, went the trite path of a million different feel-good endings that were nothing but convenient B.S. that wrapped up everything with a nice bow, regardless of how little sense it made.

    TL;DR

    Elysium may have a fantastic setting and some cool ideas, but its let down by blah characters, a messy story, and a lack of creativity
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  2. Aug 9, 2013
    4
    I'm able to suspend my disbelief a fair amount, especially if there's something to be gained from it. But I feel like Neil Blomkamp took the easy way out of every difficult situation during his first draft of the screenplay and then never went back to edit it. Almost nothing interesting happens the entire movie and every difficult situation is resolved the boring, predictable way. The main characters don't act like people, and the minor characters and robots are on screen precisely when it the plot asks for them to be there and no more. Elysium did not surprise me or make me care about anything that was happening, and the times it made me laugh were mostly from the ridiculousness of it. The thing I liked the most about the film was the cinematography, but most of that was reminiscent of District 9. In fact, District 9 was just a better movie in every single way. I recommend watching that again (or for the first time!) instead of watching Elysium. Expand
  3. Aug 9, 2013
    4
    Elysium had a decent enough premise. But the execution falters. Neil Blomkamp should have made District 10 instead. This is almost a two hour movie (two plus with previews and commercials) and it felt like it dragged on. It was a message movie when all I wanted was sci fi, none of the characters were likable and the trailers gave away to much. Visually, just as impressive as District 9. But we can see good effects everywhere now. It is something that used to be special and isn't anymore. Expand
  4. Aug 10, 2013
    1
    I don't know what I was expecting. Walking into the theatre watching a movie with Matt Damon (The Bourne Trilogy) playing the protagonist really is a type of contract. Still, for some reason I was expecting smart sci-fi, because this is after all the guy who made District 9, right? Well, except for the larger frame story (Rich People Escaped the Polluted Earth) there is no trace of what made District 9 good.

    This is a pure action movie, and if that is what you like you'll probably like this movie. For me, it was not what I expected. I did not expect watching Matt Damon running around firing different future-modded rifles for an hour. I did not expect the last half hour of the movie being one of those drawn out sequences where the protagonist is fighting towards the end goal ever so slowly. I did not expect this movie to be so insanely predictable.

    The worst part by far about this movie though is the characters. There is not a single relatable character in this movie, and I found myself several times really not caring what happened even to the cutest token child characters in the story. The most interesting character in this whole movie was the villain, who is a South African (the only similarity to District 9 in the whole movie) mercenary previously convicted of rapes and murders. Someone with a hint of script writing skills would have made this almost interesting character somewhat deeper by rounding off the edges of his "Absolute Bad Guy" persona, but that takes some thought, which is outside the objective of this movie.

    If you want to watch a good guy kill a bad guy and save humanity by shooting at stuff for one and a half hour, go watch this movie. If you're expecting anything like District 9, don't.
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  5. Aug 9, 2013
    3
    Neil Blomkamp's sophomore outing slumps along and is easily dwarfed by the far superior District 9. This movie looks and feels like a cutscene from a videogame(but maybe that's an insult to good AAA titles). Claustrophobic action, a bouncy camera, and heavy handed free healthcare for all message left my audience dead quiet and disengaged. The CGI doesn't always look top drawer. The EXO Skeleton concept is completely a waste. Only somewhat amusing is Sharlto Copley's turn as a South African mercenary named Krueger. Expand
  6. Aug 10, 2013
    2
    My son and I were really looking forward to this being a great movie. With all the hype and marketing we thought this would be the best movie of the summer. We both couldn't believe how disappointed we were. I could write a book about why this was the worst movie we have seen this year. I felt bad for Matt Damon being a part of a loser. The premise was great but the execution was terrible. I wish I could get my money back. Expand
  7. Aug 9, 2013
    4
    Where to start? I had high hopes for "Elysium" since I liked Neill Blomkamp's other movie, "District 9" a lot. However, aside from some cool special effects and a great performance by Jodie Foster, I really can't say I recommend seeing it. Some of the stuff that happens during the movie really stretches credulity almost to the breaking point. I mean it's 2154 and people in L.A. are still driving GMC vehicles and riding buses? Yet there are aircraft that can fly from the earth's surface to Elysium in 19 minutes. A lot of discontinuities. The ending is equally predictable and unbelievable. Also it seemed a lot longer than an hour and 49 minutes. Wait to see it at a matinee or on DVD is my advice. Expand
  8. Aug 24, 2013
    2
    So many interesting concepts just wasted for interminable fights you couldn't even see because the camera action was so bad. Jodie Foster should be ashamed of her performance. And the music sucked. What a waste of Matt Damon.
  9. Aug 10, 2013
    4
    Overall, Elysium isn't necessarily a horrible movie, but it's certainly not a very good one either. Individual plot twists were extremely predictable, and the overlaying plot had a few holes that made little sense. The plot itself was very generic and uninspired. There was a political element to the main plot (that I won't specifically explain here for the sake of saving spoilers), but when it's all said and done it did very little for the main plot itself and seemed unnecessary. The quote-unquote "cool" parts of the movie, like Max's super-suit and the advanced weaponry, turn out to play incredibly minuscule roles in the plot, and even the big action scenes were let down by a lack of energy. I haven't seen District 9 so I can't compare the two, but for what it is, Elysium is just O.K., nothing more. Expand
  10. Aug 24, 2013
    0
    I really hated that movie!!! Save your money, spend them somewhere else!!!! That's what we call: A Really Bad Movie!!! I went to the cinema with the hope that I will enjoy a decent film. I left the cinema so disappointed, that I will not forget it until I die!
  11. Aug 11, 2013
    0
    I just got back from the 10 o'clock screening of Elysium, and boy am I disappointed. I mean, talk about underwhelming in pretty much every way possible.
  12. Aug 11, 2013
    0
    I like District 9 so I was looking forward to this movie. However, what a disappointment. The way race is portray in this movie is shameful. Yes, the number of Latinos is growing in the US, in particularly in Los Angeles. This movie portrays Latinos in the negative stereotypical way of being impoverished, unorganized and dirty people. This type of movie just reinforces stereotypes. And how dare they put the one white guy (Matt Damon) as the hero? This movie is a joke and stereotypical. I hope people also notice that there is only one Asian person in the entire movie. He of course in the computer tech guy in Elysium, which just shows the stereotypical position Asian people are placed in our country. This Asian guy is good enough to be in Elysium as a tech guy but not good enough to just have leisure time as all the lazy white non working people in Elysium. Yes I know this is just a movie but the implications of a movie in our society are great. Many people get their "information" and stereotypes about races they don't interact with from movies. Expand
  13. Aug 13, 2013
    0
    Save Your Money! I went to Elysium expecting a decent movie. What I got was a dull witted, trite, stereotyped, and thinly veiled political rant. A rant masquerading as an action film. Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and the rest of the cast were trying their best, but all failed to connect or show a shred of true soul. The many attempts the movie made to state political or historical simile fell abysmally flat.
    First, there was the "evil rich vs the virtuous, enslaved poor." Then the Director plays "Homeland Security as psychotic, rapist, murdering thugs." The plot thins when "withholding medical care from the poor because you're evil," gets launched. Finally there's a Moses or MLK-like "I may not get to the Promised Land with you..." attempt which falls on its face. During all of this, the Director and writers somehow seemed to think blowing everything up and killing anything that moved, covered their own shortcomings. Hardly!
    All of the rants and stereotypes fell horribly short of the mark. The camera work in this sad excuse for a film is nothing short of choppy, atrocious and may well induce motion-sickness in viewers unfortunate enough to be subject to it. The story line is trite, hackneyed illogical and weak. Dialogue is atrocious and subtitles of uninteresting and "non-plot moving" conversation are included for no reason at all!
    The lack of valid material to work with leaves the actors flat and uninteresting. The various scenes are confused and absolutely rancid in set-up and execution.
    I repeat...don't bother. Save your money and watch a kiddie flick. You'll get more out of it and it'll be more substantive than this tripe!
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  14. Aug 14, 2013
    0
    This aside, Blomkamp’s ideas are still deeply rooted in his native South Africa and his Afrikaner heritage, and in Elysium he sticks it hard to his own people. The leading bad-guy, “Kruger”, with his thick Afrikaner accent, is cast as an evil, violent relic of Apartheid. "Kruger" is of course an allusion to Paul Kruger, the father of the nationalist Afrikaner homeland that was eventually brought down by the British in 1902. Similar to the aims of the French FN party, Kruger’s short-lived Transvaal Republic was established with the intent of preserving Afrikaans culture from invading British and native black cultures. Sadly, it failed. (As did eventually Apartheid, nearly 20 years ago- but apparently Apartheid can never really die in the minds of liberals such as Blomkamp, as they always need some kind of white racist whipping boy at their disposal on which to blame the world’s ills, nevermind the profound failures and overt racism found in many black/minority run governments, especially South Africa.)

    Good riddance say the multi-culturalist pot melters. But their own native culture is precisely what nearly every modern nation (rich and poor) is struggling desperately to preserve, as the forces of globalization slowly erase borders, slamming cultures together in unnatural ways. It is mostly among self-righteous progressives in the West that such efforts at cultural preservation are sneeringly viewed as elitism and racism. The actual view on the ground is very different.

    Let’s take modern-day South Africa, which has a very real immigration problem. Because of its relative economic success compared to the rest of Africa, South Africa is viewed as a land of opportunity for other Africans- similar to the USA, except that the unwashed hordes yearning to be free flow in from the north, rather than the south. But legal and illegal immigration into South Africa has caused a very negative reaction among native people in the country- mostly from poorer blacks, who fear that the even poorer blacks from the north, who are willing to work for even lower wages, will take precious jobs away from the natives. There have been gruesome attacks on immigrants by angry black South Africans. Social scientists call this phenomenon “xenophobia”, but Africans know this simply as “tribalism” (which is just hate/racism without the litmus of color) and which has been a long-standing feature on the continent.

    Of course, this kind of intra-minority intolerance flies in the face of liberal mythology, and thus does not get any airtime in Elysium. At least in District 9, Blomkamp attempted a more honest rendering of the topic. For example, the Nigerian gangsters in the movie were definitely bad guys, even though they too were illegal immigrants who came to South Africa for opportunity. This is consistent with real life, where native South Africans (black and white) perceive immigrant Nigerians as fly-by-night scammers and drug dealers. And then there’s the character of Wicus, the white Afrikaner who, while having his share of politically incorrect moments, was at least honestly trying to do what he thought was morally right (not unlike the original Afrikaners, who were deeply Christian). And you may have noticed that many of the police who were killing the “Prawns” were in fact black. Again, this measures up against real life, where it is teams of black/colored South African police that have shot and killed striking miners and farm workers in recent months- all of whom are black, and some of whom are immigrants from much poorer countries to the north.

    Thus, the reality of the immigration/class/race debate is complex, and I thank Blomkamp for at least trying to give it fair treatment in District 9. But we got none of this in Elysium, which is 100% in-your-face progressive American propaganda. No balance or subtlety. No attempt at presenting the conservative perspective on illegal immigration and socialized healthcare. No attempt at seeing the owners of industry as anything but detached, selfish slave-drivers. The takeaway from the film is simply that rich people are evil elitists- the “1%”, who are resoundingly white (and racist, naturally)- and that immigration and healthcare should be universal human rights (paid for by rich people, of course), because if they aren’t, poor immigrant children will suffer and die. (Boo hoo. Gosh, if only more white people like Matt Damon would stand up and do the right thing...)
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  15. Sep 10, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I find it rather amusing that Matt Damon, who himself has a net worth of probably 100 million dollars, keeps pushing the socialist agenda. When do people ever learn that there are no evil rich people, and no poor, underprivileged masses Nobody and nothing in the world can keep you from doing what you want. There is no secret or hidden agenda by governments or by wealthy people or large corporations to keep the masses stupid.
    The movie: well, I think pretty much everybody wanted to leave the theatre about halfway through. I wish I had, because the second half of the movie was just awful noise, which went on and on and on. The premise was not all that bad, but they did not show any of the daily life on Elysium, which would have been a nice contrast to life on Earth, which seemed to exist of exclusively Latinos living in the dirt.
    That said, I wish I had been on Elysium instead of the movie theatre.
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  16. Aug 10, 2013
    2
    The first movie in a long time that I actually considered walking out of. Non-existent character development, characters existed simply to move the movie alone... which barely worked, large contradictions to other things that happen in the movie, and things that didn't make sense even for a sci-fi movie. The only thing saving this flick is Matt Damon's acting.
  17. Tac
    Aug 11, 2013
    1
    Dissapointing cliche driven storyline with Matt Damon lunging from scene to scene supposedly dying of radiation poisoning as he manages to punch and fight his way to a world where Jodi Foster spends all of her time sitting in a chair giving orders to a crazy a-- south africaner who is more silly than scary. Too long, too silly a waste of time and money
  18. Aug 11, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A swing and a miss...

    This movie had a ton of potential (social commentary action superawesome!), but it's just a mess from frame one. In trying to be many things, it fails as social commentary (greed is bad I get it), an action movie (terribly boring), and sci-fi (turbulence on a space station? facial re-construction gets the beard right? the entire population of earth can be healed of all sickness with two shuttles and no one crowding a queue? what?).

    The biggest miss here is probably the social commentary. Aside from a few Silkwood-like workers' rights abuses, the portrayal of most Earth citizens is basically drug addicted, cursing, fighting, stealing bums. It's hard to cheer for the whole human race if you don't show their nobility. It's equally hard to cheer against the citizens of Elysium if we don't see any other than the tyrannical defense minister and a calloused (and failed) business owner. All I know is that the rest of the people are in good shape and like to have parties is that evil? Do I hate them for that? I almost think Blomkamp could have lifted some lines from Roger and Me to at least make me dislike the rich folks a little.

    I did not expect this to happen, but I believe both Oblivion and After Earth are better than this movie and neither one of those is special.
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  19. Aug 13, 2013
    3
    Sad to say the extremely thought-provoking premise of this film viz., the ultimate “gated community” hovering over planet Earth and housing the ultimate 1% (presumably celebrating feudalism’s Big Comeback)…. gets lost due to the combination of Neill Blomkamp’s ham-fisted, self-indulgent direction (think Chest-Pounding Self Righteousness) and the film’s surprisingly infantilized, soap opera-ish script (a cross between “The Perils of Pauline” wherein foul villains drool menacingly over helpless maidens and D.W. Griffith‘s “Way Down East”, in which a luckless Lillian Gish very nearly goes over Niagara Falls on an iceberg So “Elysium” ends up seriously TRIVIALIZING its strongest points and shooting-itself-in-the-foot…..in a sense Elysium the movie, becomes little more than an hysterical rant that the residents of Elysium, the space station, could actually welcome, chuckle over and dismiss as a badly bungled “close shave” that paradoxically actually strengthens their hold on power "Look at the loonies we have to deal with !"

    Everything of interest that the movie has to offer gets said in the first 45 minutes (albeit in a garbled and heavy-handed way) and from that point on the audience finds itself locked inside a shrill and very LOUD/noisy video game. Soon those nagging words “DUMBING DOWN” seem to float ominously over every scene and the film speedily wears out it‘s welcome……...I’m a great admirer of Matt Damon’s work (Promised Land, Green Zone, Good Will Hunting, the “Bourne” films) and I was very impressed with Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9” so the bitterness of my comments here is due in large part by the fact that I was really looking forward to this film….only to discover that its director has either “bitten off much more that he can chew” or else has allowed his feelings to run away with him (and needs to re-visit “Yentl” and mull over its quotation from the Talmud “Who is strong “He who controls his passions!”.) Whatever the reason “Elysium” ends up being more of a temper tantrum than a work of art and although director Neill Blomkamp’s heart may be in the right place ……he has bungled this film badly.
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  20. Sep 14, 2013
    1
    One of those movies like Oblivion where you walk out thinking 'why didn't they just... what was that character doing THAT for...' and not really remembering any dialogue or being that interested in any of the characters or events. The mood and tone is summed up in the first ten minutes when Matt Damon strips off and the most painfully obvious charcoal/ash is there rubbed into his stomach to try and make it look like he has a six pack. Expand
  21. Aug 18, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I went into this movie extremely excited especially after loving District 9. I left the movie feeling extremely disappointed. From the very start the similarities between District 9 and Elysium were apparent. From a big space ship/station floating in the sky to the run down desert on Earth. I wouldn't have minded the similarities but it was too close. Then we go to Matt Damon, a character who I couldn't begin to care about. The attempts at reliving moments of his childhood are completely useless. The woman he once loved has a child and continues to now, clearly did not think about him as much as he did her. You'd think it would pull at a soft spot but instead that gets in the way. When Damon sees the child he tells her he wont save her (guess what happens at the end, a change of heart!) The change of heart was not as thought provoking or intense as in District 9. Where you started out hating the character but really begin to root for Wikus. I never had that in Elysium, he was all about saving himself until the last moments of the movie. But when Max died I felt nothing. When Wikus was to remain an alien, that pulled at the heart strings.
    The story focuses needlessly on the political message which you get and understand in the first ten minutes of the film. I felt as though it was constantly trying to ram it into my head and as a viewer I didn't appreciate that. I understood it, just please move on. I just didn't care for the writing or the direction he took it, which was too closely related to District 9 just not executed as well.
    All of the characters were extremely underdeveloped, the one that hurt the most was Kruger. Sharlto Copley did an amazing job, I thought his voice was perfect creating an eerie feeling. His look was awesome, big beard and all. However, I was never truly frightened of him. HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! He had an awesome katana and he only killed ONE person with it. When they got to Elysium and he killed Jodie Foster, it was supposed to go down. All that happened was, his lackeys through grenades at people in the station. I was expecting this moment for Kruger to shine to really go on a killing rampage with that katana. He didn't even attempt to rape the mother (Damon's love interest) which is not something I want to see but after the scene where he talks about it and plays with her hair it was weird that he sent a lackey to do so. Because, meanwhile he wasn't doing anything important. He is later seen walking down a hallway towards Damon where his nipple lights flash for a second. After that, you know exactly what is going to happen. I never got my Kruger rampage, basically, I never got Kruger. What did he do in this movie? Nothing. Just like everyone else. Completely disappointed.
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  22. Aug 17, 2013
    2
    this was so political I wanted to puke..Matt Damon went from star to politician in this movie..never more disappointed in him or the message that was so obvious it hurt to watch.
  23. Aug 17, 2013
    3
    Elysium does well in the visual arena, effects are well conceived and presented. The acting is rather mediocre for the most part. Matt Damon does not give one of his better performances while I felt Jodie Foster performed quite well. The story line, however, is all too predictable, contrived and in my opinion, off the charts on the left side of the political spectrum. To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi: You have to see it to know what's in it. My advice save your money. You'll love it if you are a politically progressive sci-fi fan. Otherwise Elysium presents a great opportunity to catch an expensive nap. Expand
  24. Aug 28, 2013
    1
    Hot damn. Saddest movie I've ever seen; great acting, fantastic CGI, impressive score, great visuals. It's just that the story is completely and utterly flawed. The premise makes no sense, physics doesn't play a role in this alternative universe and we exercise all the tired old TV tropes that'd never work in the real world. Man. I expected more from the man who brought us District 9. Goes to show that if you hero-worship one guy who was in charge of a blockbuster project and give him all the resources he asks for, sometimes, you just figure out that he's a clueless dickhead. Expand
  25. Sep 10, 2013
    3
    Lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, something Elysium reminded me by being so remarkably similar to director Neill Blomkamp's previous feature, the excellent 2009 film District 9. The problem is that Elysium lacks any of the features and story that made District 9 so fantastic. When released convict Max (Matt Damon) is irradiated at work he sets out on a journey to travel to Elysium, a high tech space station made to house the rich and famous while the poor and helpless live on a ruined Earth. To get up to Elysium to find a cure Max must face the brutal defence secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her pitbull agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley). While it does show the inventive and socially dynamic mode of storytelling Blomkamp thrived at with District 9, Elysium doesn't tread as lightly as its predecessor as it plays the 1% card over and over. Blomkamp's attempts to humanise his characters through cliched relationships and convenient bonding moments that feel fake and uninvolving backfires. The action heavy plot is clever and should be a science fiction fans dream plot but when the action actually breaks out the fighting is so frenetic thanks to an overeager editor that all the action becomes blurry and hard to watch. Damon is good but is straddled with a crop of bad performers bringing the proceedings down. Most notably is Jodie Foster who phones it in as a manipulative bureaucrat with her eyes on, surprisingly, more power. Foster always mounts the fence when it comes to overacting but here she leaps over it in a single bound. Copley's villain is a treat and he really is horrible making him shine with an odd sense of wonder but its not enough to fill in the films many plot holes and problems meaning Elysium was not paradise at all. Expand
  26. Aug 18, 2013
    2
    I gave this movie a 2 because of Matt Damon, really this wasn't District 9. The only resemblance to that movie was the authors love of future weaponry. The story seemed rushed with no real plausible plot, *Spoilers* frankly I understand the authors need to put the protagonist in a spot whereby there is no other choice but to go to Elysium, they fail to explain why these special machines (which would have to be manufactured on earth (because lets face it everything else is.. the robots are) are only available on this space station. Another rush job by Sony just trying to make a quick buck and allow their blanket marketing campaign to bring in the audiences. Wish I could have the time and money back. Sorry Neil, I liked your other movie.. this one sucks. Matt you seriously should have passed on this script. Collapse
  27. upi
    Aug 28, 2013
    3
    After the engaging thrill that was District 9 I went to see Elysium with high hopes. Perhaps my disappointment can be largely attributed to my expectations of seeing good direction and insightful social commentary.

    What I got instead was a typical summer blockbuster with an excuse plot and lots of explosions. The protagonists and villains of a typical action shooter ended up being so
    bland that the CGI androids actually started to feel lifelike in comparison. In the end I started rooting for the androids to shake of the shackles of the boring human cast and start their terminator-style rebellion, just for the sake of a minor plot "twist". Expand
  28. Aug 11, 2013
    3
    I'm a SciFi, Foster, Damon & Blomkamp fan and really, really wanted to like this movie. No go. It's neither entertaining nor thought provoking. The premise, the plot, the characters, the CGI, all of it is shockingly simplistic, shallow and unoriginal (including Elysium itself, which is based on Larry Niven's Ringworld from the 1970 novel of the same name). The only "moral of the story" I could discern was a racist one: dirty dark-skinned people will over-run L.A. and force Anglos to flee to preserve their way of life. For a minute there, I thought I was watching Fox News. Expand
  29. Aug 11, 2013
    4
    An absolute disappointment. The CGI is top-notch BUT nothing new and re-used models from District9.
    The movie political agenda is an overdone overused communist thing that rich hypocrite Left Wing Hollywood people love so much. Boring. Characters and plot are atrocious. The movie doesn't flow at all. It really is a mediocre movie. The editing is bad, the pacing is bad, the score is just
    wrong.
    The director tries so hard with a pretentious political driven movie masked as sci-fi.. it's just plain pathetic.
    Some excellent CGI shots can't save this mess. District9 was a top-notch movie on everything, it worked perfectly, it was clever. Elysium is a mediocre, boring, pathetic movie. After District9 this is a big failure. What a shame!
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  30. Aug 27, 2013
    1
    Eleysium is not a movie, it is a parody. It is a parody of a well-written sci-fi movie about the haves vs. the have-nots. They must have had to give a big payday to extremely talented Jodie Foster, as this film is well beneath her. Also, Foster and Matt Damon do not play characters, they play caricatures. Foster sports a painfully bad accent and might as well have said in the beginning, "I am the villain. I shall do what villains do so you won't like me..."

    Seriously, without the name power of Damon and Foster, this movie would be doomed to the 2am time slot on the SyFy channel. Neither the plot nor the action make any sort of sense, and the characters are cardboard cut outs. Seriously, if Damon and Foster weren't in this, it wouldn't made any sort of difference.
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  31. Dec 26, 2013
    0
    Make no mistake; this is a blatant, in your face, Hollywood leftist propaganda movie dealing with Mexican immigration. If that's your cup of tea, fine. I found it offensive and stopped watching after 15 minutes. It seems they want to force their political views down everyones throat as well as upset the vast majority of Americans who are against illegal immigration by thinly disguising it with Sci Fi special effects. Tinsel town, save your politics for your friends or campaign choices and let me spend my money on less distasteful movies. Expand
  32. Aug 25, 2013
    4
    The film really failed to deliver.
    Now, I was absolutely fascinated with Blomkamp's first issue. It was original it made me think and it wasn't pretentious in my experience everything a good SF should have.
    Maybe my expectations of his 2nd feature film would have been lower if it was a different genre. But the reality is that I expected a movie of (at least) the same quality.

    And
    here is where the problems start. Elysium is lower quality in every respect. The script is full of holes and a lot of the story relies on the fact that the viewer will just believe in what (s)he is seeing. A blatant example without giving too much of the plot a character writes a code that would allow Elysium to reset and it is visually presented as a very complex thing yet every Harry, Dick and Tom gets it immediately after seeing it for maybe 2 seconds. Now, either everyone is super intelligent or the code is too simple, and if the latter is the case it makes you wonder how no one made it earlier.

    As for the cast, Jodie Fosters starts fabulously but then she becomes too wooden and slight out of sync. Matt Damon does what he can but he is more believable as a selfish human trying to save himself then the accidental hero he becomes at the end of the film. Diego Luna really masters his minute role. And that's another thing, none of the characters has been fully developed. They are just sketches and as the film is almost 120 minutes long one would hope that that is enough time to provide us with a full picture. Unfortunately not so.

    Finally it seems to me that if they invested a little bit more time and attention to the story, regarding both the details and the background, the film would have been a solid piece of entertainment.
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  33. Aug 28, 2013
    4
    After seeing all the mediocre reviews, I still decided to go watch Elysium, since I liked Blomkamp's District 9 very much, and trailers promised a similar experience. And the result is, sadly, a disappointment. While having the same visual style as District 9, thrilling action sequences and outstanding psycho villain performance by Sharlto Copley, Elysium IS a mediocre movie, even almost a bad one. It tries to present some kind of drama and morality, but fails due to its plot. The thing is, the protagonists are not likeable, you can't really empathize them, and their goals are naive and just plain unachievable. Not to mention some inconsistencies with the technology, like the space station not having its own rocket batteries. District 9 was filmed for 30 million dollars and it looked great, and had a gripping plot. Elysium was filmed for 115, and is far worse than its predecessor, it's unclear where the money went to (except for famous actors' salary) Sadly, my trust in the director Neil Blomkamp is undermined. Expand
  34. Aug 11, 2013
    4
    I found myself looking at ceiling of the theater, 20 mins into the film. Why didn't the writers put more work into the back story of the characters and situation like they did in district 9? The difference between this movie and district 9 is that I still remember the sense of urgency and investment i had in the characters of district 9. However with his movie, I had cashed out long before the movie ended. Sad experience, but the movie had nice cgi of course. Expand
  35. Sep 7, 2013
    4
    The movie has an interesting setting, as most dystopian films do. WHat it lacks, however, is interesting characters, factions and dilemmas. Instead of being some sort of moral or ethical engagement, it just ends up being a platform for action-man Matt Damon to beat things up and cause explosions. Some people might like that. I personally wanted something a bit more thought provoking. Even a battle between different politically orientated faction would have sufficed, but all we got was what amounted to a cartel vs the World government, which was never named and was just shown to be run by the rich, end of story. What I am trying to say is that the movie lacked any kind of depth, I guess it was fine as some sort of dumb summer action flick, but it was just so average in it's delivery, I could see what it provided in any other movie at almost any other time. The film was not emotionally investing. Below average, but not specifically bad. Expand
  36. Aug 16, 2013
    2
    Few good things can be said about this movie, one being the setting. Besides that, the entire story was choppy and fast paced. The director leaves everyone stranded half way through the movie, not knowing what is and isn't important. He starts too many concepts and ideas to simply end them in a very unprofessional way. Still though, some of the futuristic technology and action scenes slightly made up for the ruined theme. Expand
  37. Aug 17, 2013
    2
    I was expecting much more from this movie since I love District 9. This time Neill Blomkamp fails in every aspect of the film. Action scenes are not special at all, the plot is full of stupid things and the story gets boring. The only thing I really enjoy was matt daemon and Sharlto Copley in their roles.
  38. Aug 31, 2013
    3
    I can't believe all the positive reviews for this movie. People obviously haven't taken the time to see other great movies or are just political hacks that will give this movie great review so people will fall for this garbage. Anyways to the review.

    Graphics:
    The graphics were done quite terribly. For those that were watching you could see the motion blur was frequent and extended and
    that your eye could pick up on it repeatedly. This is a product of poor graphics and not being able to properly transition an action. It’s the year 2013 and they can't fix this before release? Laziness.

    Acting/Directing:
    The acting was pretty bad. Matt Damon over did it and being a huge fan of the Borne series he just felt really out of place. I couldn't relate to him. Also some things just didn’t make sense. Take Max pointing Spider and his followers ahead, yet they go backwards…..wow that was a blooper. Then add in the fact that the antagonist got his suit in the armory, yet that is exactly where Max is heading to save his friends…..fire drill anyone? Terrible. Jodi however I think did a great job in this movie. As far as the other characters acting I thought it was pretty well done considering the horrendous writing/setting this movie takes place in.

    Setting:
    This movie is drawing its setting from Ayn Rand's "Galt's Gulch". It was an interesting and wildly politically motivated setting. Honestly, politics are starting to ruin the whole movie experience, especially when it is done so poorly. I can’t believe how bad they played on stereotypes in this movie. Not going to even mention them, their pretty simple to point out. All this crap does is divide people by race.

    Story-line:
    Terrible. The idea that the world was absolutely ravaged by all of these conditions is a bit overdone. Also this idea that the wealthy would just watch people die when they have machines capable of healing the world is ridiculous. If people would actually read some books and analysis of the plutocracy they would understand that the rich are crazy philanthropist trying to put their foundations stamp on everything. A more believable plot line would be earth worshiping the plutocracy on the Elysium and having Elysium bureaucrats fighting over the worshipers of earth. Also the idea of robots having such range of motion to fight and to serve drinks, but don’t work in factories is unrealistic.
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  39. Sep 2, 2013
    3
    Just saw this yesterday and feel like I really wasted my $17.00 for this. The message of the film could have been delivered with a little more imagination--the downtrodden non-citizens even spoke spanish and looked hispanic. There was nothing new except for extreme parallels set in a futuristic setting that's been done before. The fight scenes were overdone and boring. The end was completely predictable. The only good thing was Matt Damon and Jodi Foster. Expand
  40. Sep 2, 2013
    3
    If you like Sci-Fi, then this is a great story.
    Enough money to make a good film and perfect actors.
    The prblem is the redicoulus hand shaked camera as soon there are some action and there are lot's of it. Sometimes they are in picture, but of the time not. It is really bad that it is a trend to destroy good movies by shaking the camera so much that you get car sick watching.
    I will not
    see any more movie with that director. Expand
  41. Dec 17, 2013
    0
    This movie criticises current world politics and society on such blatant level that it makes me puke. Like I am some kind of ignorant retard who doesnt know that children in Africa don't receive the same medical treatments as in western world...Oh well, besides, the director still lives mentally in the pre Nelson Mandela and never learned that medics have improved on a huge scale the last years in Africa. Expand
  42. Dec 20, 2013
    0
    I give this movie a big ZERO, it's pure garbage, I saw a trailer for this movie and thought it was right up my alley, a good sci fi flick to get lost in for a little while, paid over 20 dollars for it on DVD, now I'll be bummed for the week, once again this movie is crap
  43. Feb 15, 2014
    4
    What a disappointing movie Elysium turned out to be. Let's start with the one positive. The concept for the film is fantastic. The idea for an elitist group of society to be separated like that isn't necessarily original but there's a lot of potential there. Matt Damon and the rest of the cast is also pretty solid (other than Jodie Foster who sucks at life). The special effects and CGI are also pretty top notch but that's about the end of the positives. All of the other features combine to create an almost suckfest of a movie. The most glaring is the identity crisis suffered throughout the almost 2 hours. There are certain technologies in the film that would make Avatar jealous and on the other hand, there are things that we have right now. There doesn't appear to be any sense or logic to it, it's just variable and irregular and it kills the suspension of disbelief, which let's face it, this movie hinges desperately on. The plot is also ridiculously predictable and none of the characters are developed well. Overall, should've and could've been better with a quality director. Expand
  44. May 28, 2014
    3
    This is a social commentary wrapped up as a sci-fi movie. First world whities = bad. Illegal immigrants = good. Such innocence. Such horror. Such BS. I especially like the ending where the medi-planes land and the thousands, if not millions, of health-care deprived and starving people have the discipline enough not to swamp, ransack, and riot the medi-planes. As if. Social lefties Foster and Damon put together stale performances, at best. You will leave not feeling anything for either character. Nonetheless, they made their millions to take back to them to their private, gated Elysium of their own. There’s your social justice.

    The special effects were the only good part of the movie, to be honest. Other than that, the plot and story was stale, under-developed, and unsatisfying.
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  45. Nov 27, 2013
    4
    Despite a very interesting plot premise, Elysium is a very disappointing and unsatisfying film in every way possible. Weak plot ruined even more so by the unlikeable characters and uninteresting action scenes that fail to entertain. Would not recommend.
  46. Jan 5, 2014
    4
    A bland story with some messy action sequences. It is all fluff and doesn't try to dig a little deeper into its shallow script. Jodie Foster was a mess in this movie and Matt Damon's character was so generic is could have been played by anybody.
  47. Dec 21, 2013
    2
    This movie is piece of crap. I want the bandwidth I spent torrenting it back.

    -Absolute cringe worth moments with dialogs written by, apparently, 15 years olds; I feel bad for Jodie Foster, having to act such flat, unidimensional and purposeless characters
    -Propose interesting topics such as social inequality, healthcare and immigration, without ever discussing or developing them, they
    are just left like uneswered questions, like aborted kids
    -Characters as flat and retarded as shonen villains and heroes... "Huuur hear my boer accent", action scenes are interesting but irrelevant to the story as a whole
    -Plotholes and asspulls
    -Presents no real ending, no "story lesson", no moral message
    -Borders on propaganda, for example it's obvious the association of the elysian secretary of defence with french polician Marie Le Pen and similar stuff, but it's all presented in an overly simplistic, predictable, cliché way, and as I said before, it ends with no moral, it doesn't go into any depth

    I only give 2 because of the visuals and the concept art.
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  48. Apr 6, 2014
    1
    Welcome to Planet Mexico!!! That would've been a better title for this movie than Elysium. This movie does the overpopulated Earth thing and does it in a fashion that would make Captain Planet blush. The hero doesn't do anything to adhere us to him, the villains are so over the top they come off as just cartoonish. The concept of Elysium itself is just odd, if going into space and building colonies is easy why isn't there more of them. Also the going into space part seems as easy as driving down the street all they have to do is wait for the colony's defense grid to go down to make a heavenly run for the border. It's also maddening not to at least see how the rest of the world is fairing in this overpopulated mess. What about countries that are already overpopulated today such as China or India? Frankly showing us L.A. as a brown dirty stain on the California coast is nothing new and it would've been better to at least get a glance at the rest of the country. This visuals are crisp, I'll give them that, although they just remind me of a dozen boring first person shooters I've played. This movie seemed to have a cool premise but when you see it you'll just come away confused or confused and laughing. Expand
  49. Dec 30, 2013
    3
    Nothing worse than going to the theater to be preached to and this is a bleeding heart socialists wet dream cheering on the premise of saving humanity by making the rich minority share their finite resources. Are you kidding me?
  50. Nov 22, 2013
    4
    The movie has an intriguing main idea, some nice visual effects (Elysium looks fine), a prophetic scene (when Max tries to communicate with the robot in vain) and a good performance by Matt Damon. However there are serious plot holes (e.g. Elysium has no air defense and depends on a mad man who fires rockets from the surface of the Earth), the villain is a ridiculous lunatic, shaky camera ruins the action scenes and the political message is socially dangerous: besides its racism (there are no poor white people in the future) it disconnects citizenship from nationality, presenting a world with no national states, and proposes that the poor should simply start consuming the resources of the rest of the people (as if they are infinite). It's no coincidence that whenever an illegal immigrant breaks into someone's house to use its medical facilities no one happens to be inside at that moment. The creators of the movie were smart enough not to show us how someone feels when his property and personal space are violated.
    argonautis.eu
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  51. Aug 12, 2013
    3
    Was a huge fan of District 9 and came away very disappointed by Elysium. District 9 was charming, intense and beautifully shot. It had characters we cared about and every character seemed to have reasonable motivations and arcs. The world that Blomkamp created for District 9 made sense and seemed real.

    Elysium, on the other hand, shares only the interesting visuals of District 9.
    Everything in this movie feels half baked and honestly, pretty dumb. The characters, the world and the themes could have used so much more attention to flesh out what was actually going on in this movie. The world has the potential to be interesting but we ended up getting such a small glimpse of a hellish Earth and a idealistic Elysium. We have such a superficial and narrow view on both worlds, that I don't care about either.

    The characters in this movie are so one note to the point that they're comical or boring. You have your villains who are so uninteresting and show no real threat to our heroes. You just cringe whenever they're on screen. Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley seem like they've just been woefully miscast in this movie. The dialogue that both of them have is painful and immersion breaking.

    Matt Damon and the visuals save this movie from being an outright train wreck. The fight scenes suffer from what all fight scenes suffer from now. Way too many cuts, I couldn't see what was actually happening in the action. The ending absolutely makes no sense, and just to avoid spoilers, it's just dumb.

    Overall, a very disappointing second effort from Blomkamp. There are a lot of things here that have potential but none of them get even close to meeting them.
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  52. Oct 11, 2013
    4
    I had been wanting to see this movie for a while, but when I finally saw it I was disappointed. I didn't really enjoy this movie. I usually don't care much about whether or not a film is generic, as long as it entertains; yet I have to say the film relies too heavily on it's unrealistic (and generic) plot and futuristic setting. And while human beings can be extremely cruel, I doubt they'd leave the poor behind on a ruined earth. (They obviously have the means to help the citizens of Earth, but they don't. Why not? It's illogical. They're just making the citizens of Earth angry.) Sure, it has good special effects, but virtually all movies have that nowadays. Nothing truly breathtaking. I felt the movie was rushed, and looking back their's almost nothing in the movie you didn't see in the trailer. Also--in the movie someone said Kruger had broken several "human rights" laws or something. If there are laws like that, why are most people still on a ruined Earth?

    If you liked this review, read my other ones on a wide variety of movies and TV shows and mark this as helpful.
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  53. Mar 24, 2014
    2
    This film is bad. Really bad. The set up is a little interesting, but aside from the first five minutes it fails to deliver. Its not that I dont like action films, or sci-fi films, because I do, its just that this is not a good film. Poorly written, boring and incredibly unoriginal with a score of 6.7 this film is far overrated.
  54. Dec 25, 2013
    2
    This movie had some entertaining moments but it's basically another propaganda film from the left. If you like Matt Damon and an action-filled movie, it might be worth 2 hours of your life but you can probably do better than this.
  55. Dec 26, 2013
    1
    this movie it is disappointing a lot of bad words and cruel situations didn't like it at all, i was expecting more from Damon why they have to use the f word all the time.
  56. Dec 27, 2013
    1
    Really disappointing to see 2 of my favorite actors (matt and jodie) bomb it with this one. Basically, Occupy Wall Street with space ships. My kids and I sat around all-too-accurately predicting the plot and even dialogue. I love the part where a bunch of random numbers flash on the screen and the character recognizes it as reboot code right.
  57. Dec 27, 2013
    3
    I didn't really care for the movie. It's one of those movies where I kept looking at my watch to estimate how much longer the movie has. The acting was ok, but that's no surprise. It just didn't live up to the hype.
  58. Dec 28, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A film I very much looked forward to after really liking district 9. D9 had so much leaning towards apartheid in South Africa and Jodie Foster used the accent rather poorly I might add and this one basically used spanish speaking and Los Angeles as the poor area. Elysium is much like Newport Beach in "The OC" is treated and Malibu in Los Angeles. There are many other opportunities to venture on ideas and they were overlooked. This was free from Redbox so the price was right. The worst part was having to waste the time and gas to return the disc. Expand
  59. Jan 31, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I would like to point out that, Damon's posture was very similar with his Bourne role. Like the way he carries his backpack. That's bad. And the way the villain died, really that easy? The worst thing was the last part. The characters just do not fit. Expand
  60. Jun 20, 2014
    3
    So I was hyped when I heard the director of District 9 (which in my opinion was a little flawed, but overall a solid 7/10 film) was coming out with a new blockbuster sci-fi film starring Matt Damon. I missed it when it was in Cinemas and watched it recently when it popped up on Sky On Demand.... aaaannnd BOOOY was I surprised. I mean, there was exactly zero chance that I expected it to be as bad as it is. Now I realize that I'm either in the minority or the angry half, so let me give evidence and thus reason for my argument against this abominable waste of time.

    First off, the main character is dull, cliche and not a singe bit spectacular in the least! He's a downright **** hole at times and entirely unrelatable, making decisions no one ever in the history of forever would ever EVER make, and the exo-skeleton thing? Boring. The film shoots itself in the foot by never going into the abilities, or even the importance or point of the damned thing. So he rips a car door off and he punched someone really hard that one time... great, spectacular, real memorable stuff guys.

    The story and narrative is an absolute mess and is rushed beyond belief. For a film that's an hour and forty minutes it flew by. It's such a scrambled disaster that I cannot decide if it just skips from Beginning to End with no Middle, or whether or not it has a Beginning in the first place. The narrative just drags the audience along, like it's mocking you. I could almost hear it shouting: "Ok, here we go, Main Character? Check. Pointless love interest? Check. Hilariously pathetic Villain played by the Main character from that film before this one that everyone will be comparing this film to? Check. Alright, we're ready, only an hour and forty minutes, go go go! " It's just loathsome.

    The settings themselves are soooooo uninspired. It's just Poor Earth and Rich Life-sustaining Satellite. Seriously!? That's it? Where's the damn variety? You mean to tell me that humanity just splits in two? Life is that simple huh? A and B? Black and White!? What a joke. The Elysium itself looks cool from far away shots, but once I saw its surface I became enraged . Every house, every swimming pool, every golf course, every PERSON. It all looks the same. And the Rich people are pathetic and laughably designed. They're just your posh stuck-up, head in the clouds stereotypes. And they all speak French. And treat Robots with discrimination. HOW ORIGINAL. NEVER SAW THAT ONE COMING, AWARD-WINNING STUFF. Also, the movie goes into the fact that Elysium was created because Earth was too over-populated and economies were collapsing... so you mean to tell me that instead of using this amazing, ultra-super-duper technology, that can build huge Earth-orbiting worlds that can preserve human life in the wealthiest way possible, instead of using it to save lives or build new countries or anything charitable, no instead someone with the mind similar to that of Hitler thought they'd take being a dick to the next level and flee the Human Race's problems. Who came up with that idea? Doctor Eggman? I mean this kind of selfishness and just outright evil does not and just would not exist. It just completely goes against human nature, ESPECIALLY in today's culture. It's so unrealistic relative to our world that it's unbelievable... and not in the good way.

    The ONLY good parts are the fight scenes which, where they surprisingly lack in quantity, make up for it in quality. The main villain is another horrendously laughable mockery. I guess they were supposed to make him a beefy psychopath, but he makes no sense (I didn't think it was possible to make no sense with making a nonsensical character, but apparently this movie somehow did it) and his voice is hilarious and unintentionally inhuman. While watching this it was the first time I've ever burst out loud laughing at an intentionally serious villain. Needless to say, he's just not threatening in the slightest, but the fight scene between him and Damon (can't remember main character's name, ain't that a good sign?) are futuristically stylized and fun to behold.

    In conclusion, some of the designs are kinda neat and the few futuristic fight scenes are cool looking, but a Science Fiction film should not and basically cannot rely on Action to carry itself. Crappy narrative with uninspired settings and characters cannot work when paired with infrequent action scenes. Elysium is unmemorable, downright laughable at times, shameful in its depiction of a realistic future, boring, cliche and brings absolutely nothing new to the table. The only people I would recommend this to would be Nazis.
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  61. Jun 17, 2014
    3
    If you can buy into the premise that the rich on "Elysium" engage in inequality simply for inequality's sake, then you might be entertained... I wasn't. The only entertaining part of this movie is his conversation with the automated police officer (and you can see that in an extended online preview). SPOILERS**** Really, the entire premise of this movie is basically that those on "Elysium" withhold life saving machine pods from the people of Earth... just because. Seriously, there isn't an explanation for this, they just horde them. In the end, they simply send a bunch of these pods down and "equality" reigns again. Expand
  62. Sep 13, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Nothing mentioned in this review is past the 20 minute mark of the movie and much of it is mentioned/shown in the previews. If you consider that a spoiler, stop reading..

    This movie is painful to watch. I can generally suspend disbelief but the broken logic was too much for me to get past. The planet is diseased and vastly overpopulated (Opening screen)? How'd they manage that? Bad diseases kill people. Apparently famine and war (which would go hand in hand) would fix the overpopulation issue, but apparently aren't happening.

    Matt Damon's job is doing something that robots could do 10 years ago.,,and this is 150 years in the future? Oh and let's not forget the robots. Robot policemen who are programmed to emulate the behavior of the worst type of cop in today's world. Um, why??? In the previews, ships were destroyed trying to get to Elysium. What they didn't show was Elysium seeing them and contacting a guy back on Earth to blindly shoot shoulder fired rockets back into space to blow them up. Um, Why??????? No self defense of any kind on the space station? No lasers, or even the tiny rockets that Kruger fired?

    The final straw was Matt Damon's "accident" at work. Besides being utterly predictable, they have all of the safety precautions employed in the 1910's. Nevermind a 4 ton door that won't open once it starts to close and gets jammed, yet somehow Matt Damon with a broken arm can unjam it?

    I could go on but, my God, I can't bring myself to do it. I started getting a headache trying to rationalize the movie.
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Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Aug 22, 2013
    60
    Nothing in the movie matches the fascination of its premise and its opening 10 minutes: the undisturbed status quo is mesmeric. Once the narrative grinds into gear, however, the film's distinctive quality is lost.
  2. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Aug 22, 2013
    80
    In lesser hands, Elysium might have played like a Lib Dem manifesto with extra spaceships, but the South African filmmaker wants to explore ideas, not wave placards, and whether or not you agree with the film’s politics, the fire in its belly is catching.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 9, 2013
    58
    Blomkamp overdoes even his best effects. (I would have welcomed more vistas of Elysium to break up the grungefest.) If Elysium is an example of how recession-era Hollywood intends to dramatize the rift between the haves and the have-nots, let’s hope the studios don’t also bring back Smell-O-Rama.