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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 887 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 92 out of 887
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  1. Aug 15, 2013
    5
    Everything here is clearly black or white, no shades of gray, but even just no gray! These are good, these are frankly evil. The development of the plot is not very logical, and much remains unexplained on a course of action. It was also the feeling that the author tried to re-shoot DISTRICT 9 (which IMHO was much better) for a second time, but failed. I liked the picture CinematographyEverything here is clearly black or white, no shades of gray, but even just no gray! These are good, these are frankly evil. The development of the plot is not very logical, and much remains unexplained on a course of action. It was also the feeling that the author tried to re-shoot DISTRICT 9 (which IMHO was much better) for a second time, but failed. I liked the picture Cinematography atmosphere, and Jodie Foster's and "psycho-sleeper agent" Sharlto Copley 's roles. In general, average and highly ambiguous film. To be honest, I was waiting for something else: something like "robotic man alone destroys the whole space station of the richies", and the output was some kind of fiction with a pretension for something more. Expand
  2. Aug 18, 2013
    6
    About half way through the movie, I thought this is much better than I expected. We had a an original plot and it looked like we were headed to a thoughtful climax. But no, we had to slide back to the action, shoot them up bs that every film seems to collapse to in the second half. They wasted this promising film for more silly gunfire and fight scenes which we have all seen a millionAbout half way through the movie, I thought this is much better than I expected. We had a an original plot and it looked like we were headed to a thoughtful climax. But no, we had to slide back to the action, shoot them up bs that every film seems to collapse to in the second half. They wasted this promising film for more silly gunfire and fight scenes which we have all seen a million times. Why, I don't know. Expand
  3. 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 areWhat 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
  4. 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. EvenThe 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
  5. Aug 12, 2013
    6
    Fun to watch, but there were a lot of plot holes, and pieces that were not properly explained. The action scenes were entrancing, and Matt Damon did a good job.
  6. Aug 13, 2013
    5
    I really, really wanted to love this movie, but I didn't. It was predictable. The personal storyline of Damon's character seemed like it was borrowed from another movie that I've seen too many times and can recount from memory. The villains are cut outs without any depth creating no interest. It seemed like they were there more to move the plot along rather than be an actual character.I really, really wanted to love this movie, but I didn't. It was predictable. The personal storyline of Damon's character seemed like it was borrowed from another movie that I've seen too many times and can recount from memory. The villains are cut outs without any depth creating no interest. It seemed like they were there more to move the plot along rather than be an actual character. And I was so looking forward to this movie too. Maybe that's what makes me so sad about writing this review. It looked like it had such potential but wound up being just an inch deep. Expand
  7. Nov 28, 2013
    5
    The entire movie just felt really flat, uninspired and generic, which made the viewing experience incredibly dull for me. I genuinely almost fell asleep while watching it, it was such a dull, boring film. Disappointing, after the wonderful District 9, to which this movie doesn't even compare.
  8. 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. TheI'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
  9. Aug 16, 2013
    5
    After I saw this movie I didn't know what to think. It seemed to me to be preaching a message that the characters couldn't really convey. Once again it was a familiar plot of the poor and down-trodden rising up against the rich and evil. It also seemed to have a predictable plot, almost force fed to you, though Sharlto Copley plays an awesome bad guy. Don't get me wrong, it entertained meAfter I saw this movie I didn't know what to think. It seemed to me to be preaching a message that the characters couldn't really convey. Once again it was a familiar plot of the poor and down-trodden rising up against the rich and evil. It also seemed to have a predictable plot, almost force fed to you, though Sharlto Copley plays an awesome bad guy. Don't get me wrong, it entertained me but it really failed to impress me, maybe its just because we always seem to get the stock standard good poor vs. evil rich? Its an alright movie, not bad, not great, just alright. Expand
  10. 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.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
  11. 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 stillWhere 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
  12. Aug 9, 2013
    5
    Elysium is a huge disappointment compared to District 9. It doesn't even come close to being as smart or well-written as District 9, and is clearly the sophomore slump for Neil Blomkamp.
  13. 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), butOverall, 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
  14. Aug 11, 2013
    5
    What a huge disappoint. As someone who absolutely loved District 9, this movie was my most anticipated film of the year. I'll start with the positives. The movie was amazing when it came to creativity of the world, special effects and action. But as amazing as those were, I couldn't get over how dumb and terrible the characters and story were... especially the acting. I cringed every timeWhat a huge disappoint. As someone who absolutely loved District 9, this movie was my most anticipated film of the year. I'll start with the positives. The movie was amazing when it came to creativity of the world, special effects and action. But as amazing as those were, I couldn't get over how dumb and terrible the characters and story were... especially the acting. I cringed every time Jodie Foster was on the screen. *shivers* I swear, how come everyone has to yell in this movie? I can hardly understand the dialogue half the time. This movie was so blatantly black and white between the rich and poor. One rich person actually had the word "riche" tattooed on their face. It's like without that you wouldn't be able to tell how evil he was... Also, it was stupid how the robots on Earth were programmed to discriminate, while the robots on Elysium were dumbed down servants. Really? You would think that all robots would be programmed equally, like in iRobot. Oh, and how they pushed the story along was terrible. You'll understand when you see how Matt Damon's character gets sick. I was really buying into the concept, but it was executed so terribly. Expand
  15. 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
    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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  16. Aug 13, 2013
    5
    This could be one of the worst years in movie making history. It seems as though one bad film comes out after the next. This just happens to be the better of the poor. Matt Damon provided a decent character surrounded by a bunch of flat characters and major miscasts. The weapons were bland, the environment was uninteresting, and Elysium looked like your typical paradise nothing more andThis could be one of the worst years in movie making history. It seems as though one bad film comes out after the next. This just happens to be the better of the poor. Matt Damon provided a decent character surrounded by a bunch of flat characters and major miscasts. The weapons were bland, the environment was uninteresting, and Elysium looked like your typical paradise nothing more and nothing less. The biggest problem I had was that with all the technology in the world the only defense Elysium has to incoming unidentified ships is a hand held rocket launcher! WTF Expand
  17. 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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  18. 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
    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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  19. Aug 9, 2013
    5
    Two rather large problems with the movie:

    It has an anti-elitist message, but the two main actors, Jodie and Damon, graduated from Yale and Harvard, respectively. You know: the two most prestigious and elitist universities in the world. (At Harvard, for instance, the average family income of students is $150,000. And if you're parents are alumni, your chances of acceptance can be
    Two rather large problems with the movie:

    It has an anti-elitist message, but the two main actors, Jodie and Damon, graduated from Yale and Harvard, respectively. You know: the two most prestigious and elitist universities in the world. (At Harvard, for instance, the average family income of students is $150,000. And if you're parents are alumni, your chances of acceptance can be greatly enhanced.) This critically undermines any sort of message the movie has.

    Another problem: the entire dystopian premise. I like dystopias, but based on history we can assume that the world of the future will be much better in the future than the past. For instance, economists predict that the average income in the first world will be about seven times what it is today, in 100 years. That's $200,000+ per adult. The developing world will fare even better. Also, every one of the last several centuries has left humanity better than than the century that preceded it, and every one of the last several decades (excluding the Great Depression WWII) left humanity **as a whole** better than the previous decade. The past cannot predict the future, but such lasting trends are difficult to ignore, and strongly suggest that the future will be better than the present.

    This decade, the world has never been more democratic, nor more prosperous. And, in all likelihood (though we must not get complacent), it will continue getting better. The problem with sci-fi dystopian cinema is that it perverts the audience's perspective on the very things that are most able to lift humans out of the muck: science, technology, and social change. Such films depict these things as something to be feared, rather than embraced. This is shameful.
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  20. 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 aAfter 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
  21. Aug 10, 2013
    6
    [Edited for spelling] I found the movie to be okay. The technical side of the film was something to expect from Blomkamp and his crew. The fight scenes felt really unnecessarily fast and shakey, to the extent I could see people sitting forward in their theater seats as if to better process what they were actually seeing.

    The highlights of the film for me was Wagner Moura's performance
    [Edited for spelling] I found the movie to be okay. The technical side of the film was something to expect from Blomkamp and his crew. The fight scenes felt really unnecessarily fast and shakey, to the extent I could see people sitting forward in their theater seats as if to better process what they were actually seeing.

    The highlights of the film for me was Wagner Moura's performance as Spider, along with Sharlto Copley's rendition of a psychotic mercenary. Ultimately the Musical Score composed by Ryan Amon was absolutely brilliant and drove much of if not all of the emotion for the film.

    The character development was lackluster and the plot was simply bland. I was waiting for that killer twist like in District 9 (which is by far a more superior film). Unfortunately for Elysium, I experienced almost no emotional attachment to the characters which made the movie feel far less powerful than it could or should have been. 6 out of 10 for this one.
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  22. Aug 10, 2013
    6
    In the split universe that is Neill Blomkamp's summer action movie "Elysium," the 'haves' live, quite literally, a world above the 'have-nots.' And what the 'haves' have, on their pain-free, protected ring-world space station, is an opulent lifestyle facilitated by jealously guarded technology. Aboard the titular space colony that is "Elysium," bio-medical scanner/repairer tanning-bedsIn the split universe that is Neill Blomkamp's summer action movie "Elysium," the 'haves' live, quite literally, a world above the 'have-nots.' And what the 'haves' have, on their pain-free, protected ring-world space station, is an opulent lifestyle facilitated by jealously guarded technology. Aboard the titular space colony that is "Elysium," bio-medical scanner/repairer tanning-beds confer near-immortality to the privileged. The security personnel can closely monitor Earthly activities almost anywhere. Humanoid robot police tightly control borders, restricting human movement. And corporate executives rocket about in dark window-tinted space shuttles with Bugatti-coachwork. This is luxury life in the year 2145. If these seem allegorical to present-day conflicts over universal health care, freedom of information, immigration policy and ubiquitous surveillance, you are not wrong. But writer-director Blomkamp didn't want a heavy social justice message to get in the way of the film's popcorn munch-inspiring action. Down on the rough and ruined planet, a good but flawed man, Max (Matt Damon) must find his way to the privileged orbiting citadel in order to save his own life. In the process he will save much more and, paradoxically, lose much more. But first he must make it through badass Kruger, played by Sharlto Copley, who starred in Blomkamp’s breakthrough film "District 9." "Elysium's" Kruger is part Terminator, part "Star Wars" bounty hunter, and part ex-Special Forces-turned mercenary. Outrageous explosions, "snarkily-spun" sci-fi tropes, and bloody combat frequently punctuate this summer action picture. But the movie has a strong heart. There are subtle, surprisingly mature love stories: between mother and child; brothers in arms; a deep but platonic friendship. It's a tribute to the excellent cast that they are able to surface the love so that it reads so strong between all the flash-bangs, blood and breakneck chase scenes. "Elysium" is a cautionary tale about what happens if all the good gear winds up closely-held by the elites of society. Ironically, here in our real world, the clear trend has been toward technology as a widely self-proliferating and disruptively democratizing force. But sometimes, that doesn't happen without a fight: witness ObamaCare vs. the "wealth-o-rati." And ubiquitous tech doesn't come without the possibility of abuses: witness United States' NSA over-reach, Facebook dossier-compilation and Google micro-targeting. In "Elysium" the fight gets personal. Its paradoxical plot hinges on a lethal, yet life-saving, software download, on the person (Max) who must carry it, and on the powerful woman who craves control of it: Jodie Foster, who portrays 'Delacourt', the 108 year-old protector of the privileged space-paradise, is in real life concerned about the current state of Earth's real citizens. "Elysium's" subtle social justice relationship to Blomkamp's earlier social sci-fi movie "District 9. Elysium's" 22nd century tech is marvelous in the original sense of the word. Of course, it's inconsistent if you have nanotechnology that heals people in seconds, you don't need big guns to kill them but who cares? The shuttles are cool and only the nerdiest among us (me) will question their impossible propulsion. Blomkamp first-drafted "Elysium" as a sort-of graphic novel. It was a remarkably detailed roadmap for the film, right down to lead character Max's bulked-up, shaved-down, tattooed-all-around appearance. One gets the impression that Blomkamp might have started out to make a funnier, more satirical film, but realized the heart of the story lay in the darkness of human cruelty. The films R rating is deserved; there's a lot of blood and guns and fisticuffs and swearing of oaths. But "Elysium's" dystopian future is still a long ways off. Younger viewers have time to grow into seeing it and it’s important that they do. This film will remain relevant for a long time to come. Expand
  23. Aug 18, 2013
    6
    It's an interesting movie for 60 odd minutes. Road Warrior meets Brave New World. Then as usual in these kinds of movies instead of really trying to come up with a good ending they go all predictable and silly. There's your basic hero versus villain mano a mano endless fist fight. There's Matt Damon looking like something out of "Falling Skies," and Jodi forgetting which accent she'sIt's an interesting movie for 60 odd minutes. Road Warrior meets Brave New World. Then as usual in these kinds of movies instead of really trying to come up with a good ending they go all predictable and silly. There's your basic hero versus villain mano a mano endless fist fight. There's Matt Damon looking like something out of "Falling Skies," and Jodi forgetting which accent she's supposed to be using. Frankly from what I see of the 99.9% I'd have dropped a virus on them, waited, then repopulated. However Jodi didn't get to be boss. Expand
  24. Aug 13, 2013
    6
    As expected in movieworld future, our planet is an overcrowded, polluted wasteland. The rich and lucky have evacuated to a beautiful man-made space station and earnest Earthling Matt Damon must get there. Like his last movie (District 9), director Neill Blomkamp has created a cool futuristic world with neat gadgets, interesting concepts and gritty edges. The plot lacks originality, theAs expected in movieworld future, our planet is an overcrowded, polluted wasteland. The rich and lucky have evacuated to a beautiful man-made space station and earnest Earthling Matt Damon must get there. Like his last movie (District 9), director Neill Blomkamp has created a cool futuristic world with neat gadgets, interesting concepts and gritty edges. The plot lacks originality, the pacing is OK and some of the action works. While it's never thrilling, Blomkamp's vision makes it visually appealing. Expand
  25. Aug 19, 2013
    6
    Even though the movie has flaws, it kept me entertained for a couple of hours and it looks great, so I give it a pass. Matt Damon was very good in the lead, and overall the acting was good with the exception of Jodie Foster. Her performance was surprisingly wooden for an actress of her caliber. Also, be prepared to hear the phrase "THAT's what I'm talking About!" during the fightEven though the movie has flaws, it kept me entertained for a couple of hours and it looks great, so I give it a pass. Matt Damon was very good in the lead, and overall the acting was good with the exception of Jodie Foster. Her performance was surprisingly wooden for an actress of her caliber. Also, be prepared to hear the phrase "THAT's what I'm talking About!" during the fight scenes. Yes, apparently they still say that silly phrase 150 years from now. In some cases the technology is worse than what we have now, especially the robot voices. The GPS in my car has a clearer voice than the robots and instrumentation in this film. The biggest flaw of the film was the bad guy "Kruger". His acting was fine, but his accent was so thick I couldn't understand half of what he said. Also the theme of the movie, with earth being split in the future between the haves and the have nots has been done many times. Still, the pacing was good, Matt Damon was great, and the look of the film great. Expand
  26. Aug 30, 2013
    6
    Showcases a few cool setpieces but on the whole Elysium felt messy and predictable. Many plot points follow District 9's precisely and before the halfway mark, the film enters generic, heavy-handed action movie territory.
  27. Sep 12, 2013
    6
    I find this movie a bit conglomerated in its story line and just average acting special effects are pretty good... This is a o k movie and worth seeing.
  28. Aug 15, 2013
    6
    If you're walking into the theater expecting a district 9, please walk the opposite direction. D9 does a much better job telling you the same exact theme and message. That being said Elysium still has entertainment value and the technology featured throughout the movie is a hot slice of good old science fiction pie. If anything the surroundings and settings served more of a characterIf you're walking into the theater expecting a district 9, please walk the opposite direction. D9 does a much better job telling you the same exact theme and message. That being said Elysium still has entertainment value and the technology featured throughout the movie is a hot slice of good old science fiction pie. If anything the surroundings and settings served more of a character than the protagonists themselves. At a point I found myself caring more about the side characters such as Spider than I did about Max (Damon). I felt Max was simply the vehicle taking me through the plot, except when he gets a nice go-pro angle camera and tears stuff up with his exo-suit. It feels incredibly unrealistic though that an everyday man could all of a sudden have the fighting experience to take on spec ops soldiers just because he has an exo suit. I won't go into detail but with the way I see it Kruger (Copley) not only steals the show, but by all logical means should have complete tactical supremacy against any opponent. So you know what, I take back what I said earlier. If you expect to see D9 (aka Copley being a thug) then this movie IS for you, because lets be honest there's merit in rooting for the bad guys. Expand
  29. Sep 21, 2013
    6
    El primer acto de esta película me resultó muy interesante, incluso me agradó el ambiente al que me llevó a sumergirme. Pero cuando llega el segundo y el tercer acto es que este filme decae un poco. Pues la historia pierde mucha fuerza y los miedos y desconfianzas del personaje principal lo posicionaron en un lugar, que como personaje de una ciencia/ficción como esta no funcionara delEl primer acto de esta película me resultó muy interesante, incluso me agradó el ambiente al que me llevó a sumergirme. Pero cuando llega el segundo y el tercer acto es que este filme decae un poco. Pues la historia pierde mucha fuerza y los miedos y desconfianzas del personaje principal lo posicionaron en un lugar, que como personaje de una ciencia/ficción como esta no funcionara del todo. Por otra parte, la realidad es que Elysium es una película visualmente impresionante, los detalles de las naves espaciales lo definieron todo. Pero al emprender los encuentros entre el héroe y los villanos se vuelve a notar un poco la pérdida de este factor. Pues lo que era visualmente impresionante, se convirtió un poco en visualmente molestoso. En fin Elysium no es una mala película e incluso se pasa un buen tiempo viéndola. Pero más allá de eso… nada. Expand
  30. Jan 9, 2015
    5
    Elysium is frustrating because I get the sense that Neil Blomkamp really wanted to make a great film. There was clearly a lot of hard work, time, and effort put into this movie, which is reflected through how creative the world is from its layout to the designs. With such an imaginative and well realized setting its disappointing that Blomkamp wasn’t able to create a compelling story andElysium is frustrating because I get the sense that Neil Blomkamp really wanted to make a great film. There was clearly a lot of hard work, time, and effort put into this movie, which is reflected through how creative the world is from its layout to the designs. With such an imaginative and well realized setting its disappointing that Blomkamp wasn’t able to create a compelling story and interesting characters to complement it making this a generic sci-fi movie. This film could’ve been something but its nothing. Its not that the story is bad or anything its just that the film has I lot of stuff I’ve seen before and not much that is new. If you are curious in watching it go ahead just don’t expect anything groundbreaking. The style is great but it lacks the substance. Expand
  31. Dec 2, 2013
    6
    had great potential to be one the best sci-fi. had a great concept, awesome moral story.
    But unfortunately bad execution and very poor script.
    I would keep in a the margin of the positive note with solid acting from the only performer Matt Daemon and very good concept and dilemma of our world.
    Hope to see it remade some day into a great one with 'Good' script.
  32. Aug 21, 2013
    6
    Good acting by most, great story, good action. Some action scenes were a bit excessive with the blood and carnage, and there were a few corny moments but overall it was a good film. Nowhere's near perfect but that's never expected in a movie these days. I give Blomkamp props though, he's got some stones for the topics and issues he touched in this film. Definitely not as good as BlomkampsGood acting by most, great story, good action. Some action scenes were a bit excessive with the blood and carnage, and there were a few corny moments but overall it was a good film. Nowhere's near perfect but that's never expected in a movie these days. I give Blomkamp props though, he's got some stones for the topics and issues he touched in this film. Definitely not as good as Blomkamps other sci-fi flick District 9 but it was still a good film overall. I enjoyed myself. Give it a shot if you enjoy sci-fi with a good story and good acting. 6.5/10 Expand
  33. Oct 24, 2013
    6
    Elysium is... okay...

    It's not that bad, but it's not that good either. I'm a bit surprised in how short this movie is (an hour and a half) which is a shame because the other 30 minutes could be put for some nice character building. The movie tells us the story of two different worlds: The Earth in which it turned into slums that is filthy, dirty, and is not nice living in there, and
    Elysium is... okay...

    It's not that bad, but it's not that good either. I'm a bit surprised in how short this movie is (an hour and a half) which is a shame because the other 30 minutes could be put for some nice character building.

    The movie tells us the story of two different worlds: The Earth in which it turned into slums that is filthy, dirty, and is not nice living in there, and Elysium, which is basically the Citadel of the Mass Effect games filled with nice peoples, nice healthy environment, and the tool of god that is capable of curing any kinds of disease including death itself. Grim Reapers will be very disappointed.

    Everyone on Earth obviously wanted to live on Elysium but they can't live there because... because the peoples on Elysium are rich peoples and the peoples on Earth are poor peoples.

    The social commentary of this movie creates a very interesting debate including the fact that Elysium has THOUSANDS of these tools of god that prevents the death itself and yet no one has the attmept to bring some to at least every hospital on Earth. Instead, they supply all of these things to EVERY HOUSE in Elysium instead of just the hospitals. Why? Because rich peoples are dicks I guess.

    Oh and they characterize rich peoples as a bunch of elegant sods that hates everything on Earth. When someone from Earth talks to them, they order the man from Earth to literally shut their mouth with their hands. Why? Because rich peoples are dicks.

    And even though peoples on Earth are basically capable of getting into Elysium manually using space shuttles, the authorities of Elysium doesn't want them to come there because... rich peoples are dicks... and they even had the balls to DESTROY the ships that are coming from Earth to Elysium! Why? Because RICH PEOPLES ARE DICKS!

    And by god this movie is shoving that moral lesson right up on our brain's ass. WE GET IT! Rich peoples are dicks, but all of those nice rich peoples will be very offended especially those that are nice to poor peoples.

    This is already pretty long. So to keep it short, I didn't like the story that much, the characters aren't that interesting but they are relatable to say in the least, Sharlto Copley as the villain really kicks some serious ass, Matt Damon is... just fine... and that's pretty much it.

    The action scenes are fine. I like Shaky Cam when it's done right and to add some sense of realism and a life of the movie (Man of Steel) and I hate it when it's just shaky and disorienting (Gamer), but this one is just fine. At least you can make sense of what's going on. So with shaky cam, I guess the brain is also playing out with the action. Maybe that's why I like it.

    Basically it's an okay movie. I didn't like it that much but go give it a watch and see if you're more satisfied than I was.
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  34. Aug 23, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Four years of waiting and all I get is this? Bloomkamp is full of so many intriguing ideas and is full of great ideas for how to film them, but with his sophomore effort he seems to try to hard to include everything. Instead we get glimpses of cool ideas, hammered together in a quickly paced fashion that doesn't amount to much more than a less tactful version of District 9. The characters like the plot have the biggest issue and much the same one, yes it looks and acts cool, but once the film hits the third act, any semblance of depth is sheered away by bombastic plot holes and character inconsistencies. Examples, Kruger is fantastically played by Sharto Copley, a psycho who only wants to get paid to do what he loves (excess violence), he is on one track that's it, not pit stops for anything else. To bad that in the third act he drops this veneer of violence for fun and pronounce a desire for world domination which had never been even hinted at before. As for the plot, well lets just say that by the end of the film, the Elysium populace are made to seem like nothing more than dicks who don't want to share their toys. The ending makes no logical sense when put under any kind of scrutiny. My final criticism of the film is the camera work. Its cool at first but then it tries to get all experimental which instead of looking cool, draws your attention to the fact that you know they're trying to look cool and instead becomes a distraction and annoyance. This doesn't make the film terrible, it just makes it incredibly disappointing. Sophomore slump you say? No excuse, Duncan Jones made a follow up real quick and it was a solid thriller. Bloomkamp needs to get back in the saddle, reign himself in and bring us the same glory that we got from D9. Stumble or no the film remains interesting to look at, this is the kind of film that will improve if they have an extended edition to explain some unanswered questions. Expand
  35. Mar 1, 2015
    5
    This movie felt like it was being buried underneath it's own ambition. The world was cool and it really did have alot going for it. But I didn't like any of the characters, except for Kruger. The story is lackluster and the everything just seems very blah at times. I'll give it credit for trying to establish something with the background that it had but you can tell that the story theyThis movie felt like it was being buried underneath it's own ambition. The world was cool and it really did have alot going for it. But I didn't like any of the characters, except for Kruger. The story is lackluster and the everything just seems very blah at times. I'll give it credit for trying to establish something with the background that it had but you can tell that the story they gave us for this back drop was not what it deserved.
    Damon was very uninspiring in the movie, playing a man who was about to die if he didnt get up to the world. Jodie Foster tried to be the "ultra-villain" the movie deserved but it was Copley who had the best performance. All the characters were not great and it took alot of time to get things going honestly. But the movie, and the world, had potential. It certainly didn't live up to that potential but it is there.
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  36. Feb 6, 2014
    6
    From the Writer/Director of District 9, comes Elysium, a futuristic tale that focuses on the inequality of wealth. Much like in his first film, Neill Blomkamp is examining a modern problem with a futuristic story, and once again, he isn't offering any solutions. As with District 9, Blomkamp is showing how an unsolved issue, left to it's own devices, will eventually cause chaos. In 2154,From the Writer/Director of District 9, comes Elysium, a futuristic tale that focuses on the inequality of wealth. Much like in his first film, Neill Blomkamp is examining a modern problem with a futuristic story, and once again, he isn't offering any solutions. As with District 9, Blomkamp is showing how an unsolved issue, left to it's own devices, will eventually cause chaos. In 2154, Earth is overpopulated and in ruins. The rich have built a utopian society on the largest space station ever conceived, and as you may have guessed, it's called Elysium. The story focuses on Max, an orphan and ex-con, who has always dreamed of living in paradise on Elysium. His plans to earn his way take a dramatic turn, when he is injured in an accident at work. Max knows he'll never survive on Earth and the only way to save his life is to get some of the advanced medical treatment available on Elysium. The two stories are very different, but the setting could have been exactly the same. The story itself was pretty good, there was a lot more action then in District 9, yet the similarities are unmistakable. Matt Damon stars and played the role he was asked to play. Max had a lot of potential to be an interesting character, perhaps one with an agenda, instead he was written as this dumb guy, who was anything but a savior to the people of Earth. Max was out to save himself and did what was necessary to survive, but he should have been more. The people all turned to Max to help solve a greater problem, but all he cared about was himself. Jodie Foster also stars, but has a surprisingly small role, that definitely did not fit her personality. Much like District 9 before it, the story of Elysium is used as a forum for the Writers agenda. The two stories are very different, but the technology, locations, and even several cast members are the same. The result is a slightly better movie than District 9, that will give you an eerie feeling of deja vu throughout. Expand
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Dec 14, 2013
    6
    "Elysium" is the second feature film from South African writer/director Neill Blomkamp, whose 2009's "District 9" was one of the few recent Sci-fi/Fantasy films that rightfully deserves the title of visionary. Here, Blomkamp delivers a less astounding effort, but an entertaining and appealing socially conscious bit of futurism made on a much larger scale than its $30 million predecessor."Elysium" is the second feature film from South African writer/director Neill Blomkamp, whose 2009's "District 9" was one of the few recent Sci-fi/Fantasy films that rightfully deserves the title of visionary. Here, Blomkamp delivers a less astounding effort, but an entertaining and appealing socially conscious bit of futurism made on a much larger scale than its $30 million predecessor. However, unlike "District 9," the story of "Elysium" gets lost in battle once the weapons open fire without an exit plan in its mesmerizing futuristic landscape.

    In 2154, the earthly population is split into two camps. The rich live in the luxurious space station Elysium, where the atmosphere is so pure that diseases are nonexistent. All those who cannot afford to reside in Elysium, must continue to existence on the contaminated soil of Earth. One of its inhabitants is Max (Matt Damon), a former criminal, who now works a routine job at a factory that produces security robots for Elysium. One day at work, Max absorbs a lethal amount of radiation, and he is given a bottle of pills from his employer to ease his pain for the few days he has left to live. With his life on the line, Max agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful, will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

    Max and his team attempt to kidnap and download financial information from the brain of John Carlyle (William Fichtner), the CEO of Max's former employer. Instead, they download evidence of a coup being planned by Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Jodie Foster), a cold-hearted official in the Elysium government who will do anything to protect Elysium from the unwelcome masses.

    At a compact 109 minutes, "Elysium" is great-looking entertainment that might have reached its lofty expectations with a longer cut that would allow characters the space needed to develop back stories and expand. Damon’s performance manages to humanize Max to a certain degree, but “Elysium” suffers from some hammy performances, most notably Copley as the video game like villain Kruger. Instead of devoting time to character development and the juxtaposition of the two populations involving associated conflicts, Blomkamp decides to take the action route. The second half of the movie resorts to adrenaline-driven action which grows increasingly tedious with the use of a shaky cam that only leads to a sense of nausea.

    As in "District 9," Blomkamp shows a wizardly eye who gets the most out of the visual effects, making sure CG images have the proper movement and texture to blend seamlessly with live-action and practical elements. The CGI effects however, while highly impressive, only take us so far, and offer only diminishing returns. Blomkamp's universe is a fascinating place containing interesting ideas, but there's far too much here to satisfactorily explore in its brief run time. Despite falling short as a social commentary and suffering from tonal severity, “Elysium” is most certainly visually stimulating.
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  40. Jun 12, 2015
    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? I wouldn't recommend this movie.
  41. Aug 31, 2014
    5
    "The only thing I can do to help you is leave, I promise you." - Max

    Only thing i like in this movie is Special Efects,CGI...Another reason? not!!!!!
  42. Sep 24, 2013
    5
    Neil Blomkamp follows up the outstanding ‘District 9’ with ‘Elysium’; and the result wasn’t as deft. Like many science fiction films, some sweet social themes were at work here. ‘Elysium’ promotes socialized health care, of which I’m an avid supporter; and it also tackles classism in a visually striking manner. With the wealthy 1% living aboard the pristine space station called ElysiumNeil Blomkamp follows up the outstanding ‘District 9’ with ‘Elysium’; and the result wasn’t as deft. Like many science fiction films, some sweet social themes were at work here. ‘Elysium’ promotes socialized health care, of which I’m an avid supporter; and it also tackles classism in a visually striking manner. With the wealthy 1% living aboard the pristine space station called Elysium where machines cure any disease, and the poverty stricken masses living on the disheveled fringes of the Earth, where they’re left to suffer; this called for some creative efforts from both the writers and the crew. Too bad the writers didn’t quite deliver on their part. The popular beef with this movie seems to be the heavy handedness of the message, and I couldn’t agree more. Being written in bold strokes, very little was left to the imagination of the viewers. I literally felt beaten and bludgeoned by the free health care message which the film so obviously endorses, and that doesn't strike me as a tactfully written piece of work. The characters at the centre of the plot were one dimensional; and this became ever clearer in the films key dramatic moment, which truly fell flat. I call this a disservice to the talented Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley; who all gave substandard performances thanks to the substandard material they were given. I didn’t completely dislike the film; the themes at work were great to digest, and the crew did fantastic work on the technical aspects of the movie. Those gritty action sequences and the designs of Earth and Elysium were brought to life through awesome visual effects and a grizzly sound palette. Overall this was a well meaning and fairly entertaining summer blockbuster, with high ambitions but a low delivery. Expand
  43. Oct 31, 2013
    6
    The visuals are fantastic, and the action is well directed and executed. I was disappointed with the set up, which felt like a TV show recap. And really District 9 was so good, I guess this could only be a let down. But it looks good and gets moving along nice enough. It gets points for avoiding a PG-13, 3D treatment, and set up for a sequel. Still, the script is lacking.
  44. Sep 1, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In all honestly this movie was pretty damn poor.

    I spent several hours ranting about the flaws with the people I saw it with, so I've kind of drained by angry rant reserves, but this is what I remember most.

    There were many glaring flaws, and out right stupid systems, that made absolutely no sense and were just thrust at the reader. Many events added little to the plot and characters, and never really went anywhere.

    The love story:

    The romance was cliche, and repeatedly forced on the viewer through flashbacks to scenes they had just seen, I mean I didn't forget every line of dialogue over the past thirty minutes, its not like I need to see it all again.. jesus. The promises to get there someday, I mean sure that would be okay in a Disney film, but that level of sap is pretty bad what in seems to try to be a political sci-fi action thriller.

    Matt Damons job:

    Not to mention it never goes anywhere... but I could spend a long time trying to analyze just why this part sucked, but its really not worth it, as I'm sure someone else has done it much better than I could.
    One of the biggest problems was... the world made no sense. Why was Matt Damon even employed in a factory cranking out human like robots, who were immune to the radiation he contracted? Just make a batch of robots and fire everyone... jesus, why are you using slow, radiation and fatigue prone human workers? You are literally producing tens of thousands of super effective, tireless workers on site..

    It would have taken one line of something like "you're all lucky the government subsidizes us using humans!" or "You should be happy these things are more expensive to run than you are, or we'd just cut you out of the loop" and that would have added much more depth to the world, with the over taxed earth government, and the greedy soulless corporations just wanting to make a profit.

    Instead we're left to try and fill in the gaps ourselves, or just feel dismayed at the lack of depth in what could have been a great world.

    The whole med pod free health care runs fiasco:

    The illegals boarding the shuttles and flying up to Elysium, then jumping out and running into houses was beyond contrived. Apparently, this was a regular occurance, yet no one in Elysium thought to perhaps start tracking the shuttles with their crazy space-radars and maybe have their huge Droid force waiting for them on the ground?

    Assuming this was beyond them for whatever reason, you could either put some damn locks on the houses and make the windows out of something other than glass?!?! Idon't know about you but If I was somehow rich enough to live in the heaven like paradise of an orbital resort, I'd probably invest in some stronger windows after the third time some panicked disease ridden plebeians smashed through my sitting room window with my own chaise-lounge.

    Or, if you don't want to ruin the look of your house, why the hell are there med pods in every house? How often are you dying of cancer, or need to be 10 years younger? Every other day? Jesus, I mean, I could see using it at most every few moths... and only then if you were deeply neurotic. Just have a couple med booth facilities lying around, and just put a lock on the damn door... jesus.

    The entire DARPA arsenal:

    Basically the entire weaponry line up looked like it had been put together by 14 year olds who got a hold of a DARPA concepts slideshow, and thought "Wow this is cool" and then spent tens of millions on CGI, banking on the pseudo realism of their awesome future guns to carry the entire film.

    Jodie Foster:

    Who looked at the finished product, and thought "Boy, I'm sure glad Jodie's in this movie!" I mean.. christ, from the acting, to the dubbed french, to the poor writing of her character, I don't understand why any of this made it through to the final cut.

    The Exo skeltons"

    Why were these in the film? There were only two points where they did anything besides look cool, and that was when Matt Damon punches a droid to death, and when Kruger opens a door. Neither of these had any significance to the plot, Damon could have used a gun, or just ran it over with the car, or a million other things, Kruger could have used a freaking lightsaber or a melty grenaded and achieved the same result. Yet another "this looks cool, lets add it" situation.

    The battle on Elysium:

    What the hell happened to all the droids we'd seen earlier? Why was there no security? How could three deranged mercs take down the entire HQ of space command?

    -----------
    The med pod ships:
    ---------

    Why did they have these huge medical ships full of medpods just sitting around? Since everyone in Elysium had one in their house... I hit the Character limit, and I'm just getting started. I could spend so long on why this movie is childish, and inane, District 9 was thought provoking and made sense, the explosions weren't the plot, the world made sense.

    6/10, only for the CGI.
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  45. Oct 30, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was really looking forward to this movie and had high hopes. I love sci-fi and District 9 is probably my favorite sci-fi movie but Elysium is quite frustrating. The premise is interesting and has lots of potential but there are some major plot holes. Like why the hell are there none of those medbay pod things on earth? If everyone on Elysium can have one in their homes than surely the ENTIRE earth could afford to have some. And why don't the members of Elysium send those Med ships full of med pods to Earth? Are they all a bunch of uncaring libertarians or something? The movie never really goes into the politics aboard Elysium and does not offer and kind of explanation. This made it very hard for me to suspend by disbelief and it drove me nuts.

    The other thing that drove absolutely crazy was the shaky cam. The movie looks amazing, with all the special effects blending in seamlessly, and has some cool actions pieces, but it is hard to see clearly whats is going on because the damn camera man is having a seizure. I had to keep looking off-screen because it was too much for me handle. I don't recall the shaky cam in D9 being nearly this crazy.

    The other problem were the somewhat bland characters that I found myself not really caring about at all. Sharlto Copley's character was probably the best, yet even he was still plagued by lack of depth and some cheesiness. And what was up Jodie Foster's accent? Is it supposed to be some weird future accent?

    The movies strengths are easily the special effects and the gritty, believability of future L.A. I found there to lots of great little details in the sets, props, and some of the dialog, that made the city feel like a real place. Also, there were some groovy weapons.

    If this movie just had an awesome script, and the camera man remembered to take his anti-seizure drugs, than it would have been pretty damn good.
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  46. Aug 19, 2013
    6
    Matt gives us a human if flawed hero while foster may have been the badguy but lacked weight and screen time, you would expect a verbal confrontation between the two but it never comes. pity. I like the district 9 style but elysium itself felt like it was just a bunch of estates with no people. The south african bad guy was too two dimensional, he takes the woman and daughter, why,Matt gives us a human if flawed hero while foster may have been the badguy but lacked weight and screen time, you would expect a verbal confrontation between the two but it never comes. pity. I like the district 9 style but elysium itself felt like it was just a bunch of estates with no people. The south african bad guy was too two dimensional, he takes the woman and daughter, why, suddenly their all on a ship bound for space, what a stretch. Are they trying to say we who live in the west are elysium keeping out the masses who live in the poor 3rd world, i feel bad, no i don't. A lot of people would rate this sci fi pretty good but i'm afraid when you break it down it falls down. Expand
  47. 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 cameraThe 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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  48. Sep 29, 2013
    6
    Visually excellent and carrying great potential, Elysium is nonetheless too idealistic and too indulged with social commentary to work as an effective sci-fi presentation.
  49. Dec 20, 2013
    6
    Generic dystopian action flick but worth the rental. Definitely looks like District 9. I could only partially understand what the South African bad guy was saying. Didn't really matter though it was obvious what was happening. Some interesting ideas and decent CGI. Plot was overly simplistic.
  50. May 25, 2014
    6
    Had high hopes for this movie going in and i wasn't really all that disappointed by it. Sure it was no District 9 but it's always hard maintaining Quality. Neill Blomkamp sure does know who to make an entertaining sci-fi film though. The movie follows Max (Matt Damon) an ex-con that is just trying to live a normal life on the hell hole that is now earth. Earth has gone to **** withHad high hopes for this movie going in and i wasn't really all that disappointed by it. Sure it was no District 9 but it's always hard maintaining Quality. Neill Blomkamp sure does know who to make an entertaining sci-fi film though. The movie follows Max (Matt Damon) an ex-con that is just trying to live a normal life on the hell hole that is now earth. Earth has gone to **** with overpopulation and now looks like a garbage planet. While all the wealthy people live on the space station "Elysium" with not a care in the world. So Basically Matt Damon with the help of his new shinny exoskeleton suit go's to take down Elysium.

    Matt Damon does a great job actually in this it's by far the best film that i think he has stared in as the main character in a long time. Jodie Foster was decent nothing special she just really didn't seem right for the film and it shows. Sharlto Copley was amazing it was great seeing him play a villain better yet he was an insane villain. He is always a upbeat, quirky, and hyper guy in his films so it's great seeing his acting range.

    Overall i give it a 6.0 Can't wait to buy this on blu ray so i can watch see all the little detail in the CGI because just like District 9 the effects are amazing.
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  51. Aug 27, 2013
    5
    Maybe I expected too much, but this movie was a disappointment to me. The premise sounded amazing, but the execution was unoriginal and the action sequences left me saying "so what?!" because I didn't care about the characters. If you haven't already seen District 9, pick that up instead.
  52. Aug 31, 2013
    5
    Mr Blomkamp has already proved himself with his first feature District 9, a real, emotional alien story with great acting and writing all round but his latest release Elysium sadly falls short of greatness. Set in a poverty struck world, the rich superpowers build a clean new world called Elysium in which all disease and evil is struck leaving the world below it to crumble. I'm sure youMr Blomkamp has already proved himself with his first feature District 9, a real, emotional alien story with great acting and writing all round but his latest release Elysium sadly falls short of greatness. Set in a poverty struck world, the rich superpowers build a clean new world called Elysium in which all disease and evil is struck leaving the world below it to crumble. I'm sure you have guessed what the story may be as I did after a short amount of time into the film but to the films advantage it didn't play out as I had originally thought. The film starts off slowly as did District 9 letting you get to know world and characters but I felt some what bored with Matt Damon going around and doing his jobs. As soon as Sharlto Copley's character was introduced and the main plot of the film started to kick off it seemed very promising but it was still dry. I'm not sure if it's because it that all the things that made the film seem really cool is wasted and nothing really happens in the movie, it just stays at one level were as it should have been building to something greater. The only reasons to see this films is for Copley's performance or for the pretty backdrop. Expand
  53. Sep 3, 2013
    5
    You cannot accuse Elysium of being dull, however it does lack the same poignancy that made district 9 such a brilliant film. It is well crafted and the se design is beautiful. The film boasts fluid action sequences and sharlto Copley shines as the villain Kruger. However with all the great special effect and the big budget blomkamp's last film lacked, Elysium falls quite short of the mark.You cannot accuse Elysium of being dull, however it does lack the same poignancy that made district 9 such a brilliant film. It is well crafted and the se design is beautiful. The film boasts fluid action sequences and sharlto Copley shines as the villain Kruger. However with all the great special effect and the big budget blomkamp's last film lacked, Elysium falls quite short of the mark. Jodie foster feels rigid and uncomfortable in her role as Delacour, the film's few emotional scenes seem disjointed and out of the place, but worst of all is this film really doesn't have anything to say, with District 9 we were given a study of social class, a way those the lower classes are treated or how those who belong to a certain race are treated, it shows how people are blind to the way certain minorities are being treated until the become part of that minority, at best this film showed the gap between rich and poor, but that was only looked upon briefly before going on to the story of max, you could argue that the message at the end is "never forget where you come from" but that itself is a very cliched message, in conclusion this is a good action film but blomkamp fans or those expecting more will feel slightly disappointed with Elysium Expand
  54. 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'dI 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?

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  55. Sep 3, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Elysium answers the question "What if yuppies colonised Halo?" The residents of the eponymous space station are portrayed as a caricature of the American elite, swanning about their marble mansions and swimming pools in polo shirts and sports coats like they've gone for a weekend on Long Island. They are juxtaposed with citizens of Earth who live in overpopulated, arid slums, working and dying in their droves with no access to the health care and lifestyle enjoyed by the wealthy.

    Elysium seems the latest in a string of post-apocalyptic/science-fiction blockbusters starring A- list actors. Tom Cruise had Oblivion, Will Smith had After Earth, Brad Pitt had World War Z. This time, Matt Damon is the hero. Elysium comes at a difficult time to stand out from the crowd, but this is the sophomore feature of director Neill Blomkamp, who wowed audiences four years ago with District 9.

    The theme again is apartheid like social divide, extrapolated to a scale to reflect the same occurrences in the present day. On one level, this is how citizens of wealthy countries go about their daily lives, often with utter indifference to the suffering of those in poorer parts of the world. This is dystopian fiction in its purest and earliest form. But then perhaps Elysium is not saying anything new.

    More intimately, this is the relationship between classes within less economically developed cities, where the wealthy live in gated communities, guarded by private security firms against the poverty and volatility of the city slums. This is the case in Mexico City, where the LA scenes were filmed, and in Blomkamp's native Johannesburg. Even the wealthy citizens of present day LA are to be found in the gated communities of Beverly Hills, far from the low income urban sprawl.

    Though the divide is of wealth, the classes are represented racially and culturally. Elysium residents are mostly, but not exclusively Caucasian. When they are not speaking English, their language is French, characterising the Elysium citizens by drawing on the perceived high culture of France, which once influenced the elite of the antebellum South.

    On Earth, the dominant cultural identity is Hispanic, a future imagined as a result of unrestricted immigration from Latin America. Society has failed Max Da Costa, played by the capable Matt Damon. He has grown up an orphan, and spent time in prison, and now works in a factory building the police robots that abuse him in the streets.

    The crux of the matter as far as the plot is concerned seems to revolve around access to the nigh on magical properties of the Elysium medical bays, which appear to be located in the homes of every citizen. Whilst this clearly represents an uneven spread of medical resources, it seems that living and working in the slums of Earth would become infinitely more tolerable if the most extreme of ailments, from Leukaemia to radiation sickness, and presumably, the health problems associated with a lifetime of breathing Earth's polluted air, could be cured immediately, and automatically, at the drop of a hat. The device even offers total, instantaneous facial reconstruction, yet these features are largely wasted on the already healthy Elysium population, who treat these resources as glorified tanning beds.

    Elysium takes its name from the ancient Greek afterlife, or at least the part of it traditionally reserved for the righteous and heroic. The citizens of Elysium are anything but. Most of the residents are happy to live their lives without sparing a thought for the Earth-bound masses, but some take it a step further. Secretary of Defence Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) is cold and calculated, and doesn't bat an eyelid when she orders the destruction of two illegal refugee ships, and immediate deportation of the occupants of a third. Whilst she acts outside of protocol, this goes to show what lengths some citizens are capable of going to in the defence of their borders. Soon, she plans to stage a coup against the more moderate President Patel.

    For all Delacourt's coldness, she pales in comparison to the true antagonist; the vicious, psychotic mercenary Kruger, who starts out working as an agent for Elysium. Kruger is played by Blomkamp's collaborator, South African Sharlto Copley, who played the leading man in District 9. Kruger is the polar opposite of bumbling bureaucrat Wikus van der Merwe. Due to his extremity, Kruger is dismissed from employment at the start of the film, but is quickly tasked with hunting Da Costa down on Delacourt's behalf.

    The film does not shy away from the graphic depiction of violence and brutality. The futuristic weapons are more likely to explode their victims than anything else, and this happens more than once. Along with the dirty, dusty streets of LA, this gritty realism contrasts with the futuristic veneer of Elysium, and sets the film apart from other sleek, sci-fi thrillers. As such, Elysium exists as a slightly superior summer blockbuster.
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  56. Sep 21, 2013
    5
    I was disappointed at the end. Even though it was a great sci-fi concept and several unexplored themes; it was offensive that there was an exaggerated racial theme portrayed. I wasn't the only one that felt like that, the rest of my group felt like that too at the end. Matt Damon is a great actor and went to see the movie because of him. His acting role doesn't disappoint, it is justI was disappointed at the end. Even though it was a great sci-fi concept and several unexplored themes; it was offensive that there was an exaggerated racial theme portrayed. I wasn't the only one that felt like that, the rest of my group felt like that too at the end. Matt Damon is a great actor and went to see the movie because of him. His acting role doesn't disappoint, it is just the plot and surrounding events that are disappointing. I did enjoy the ending, but the writers could have elaborated more on what the future held. Clean movie for a family to watch, no nudity, harsh foul language, or extreme violence. Expand
  57. Sep 21, 2013
    5
    District 9 was a masterpiece, Elysium is not!
    This is a big disappointment. Visually it's great but the story is too simple, full of good ideas under-used.
  58. Nov 29, 2013
    6
    this felt like a movie made from a novel, like there was a much more in-depth story but we were only shown a small part of it. Matt Damon was excellent, but everyone else (Jodie Foster especially) seemed like they were playing caricatures of typical movie roles. A good sci-fi flick, but felt like it could have been so much more.h
  59. Dec 28, 2013
    6
    Although Elysium is certainly disappointing (due largely to outrageous expectations set by District 9), the film does contain a breathtaking action sequence or two, and a humane and likable Matt Damon in the lead role.
  60. 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
  61. Nov 23, 2014
    6
    Elysium was a bit of a disappointment. The story could have been further developed and become better. It seemed like there wasn't enough conflict in it. Its like it was only half finished.
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.