User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 786 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 89 out of 786

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  1. Aug 9, 2013
    10
    Just caught the matinee and feel a little guilty this one deserved a full price! No soph0more slump for Blomkamp I loved District 9 this to me even surpasses it.We get developed characters that we actually care about the performances by all were stellar,especially Damon as the guy we can relate to and Copley in a scene chewing performance delivering one of the best villains in recentJust caught the matinee and feel a little guilty this one deserved a full price! No soph0more slump for Blomkamp I loved District 9 this to me even surpasses it.We get developed characters that we actually care about the performances by all were stellar,especially Damon as the guy we can relate to and Copley in a scene chewing performance delivering one of the best villains in recent memory,Foster was the too as the cutthroat politician .Blomkamp has balls and his vision of two separate societies one of the diseased, overpopulated planet and Elysium where the rich flourish disease free was richly brought to life truly a beautiful the effects by Weca are amazing! I bought in to this future world and the plot actually had a purpose with something to say about our modern society while still being balls to the wall entertaining and affecting its audience. Blomkamp delivers another classic go check it out i can't recommend enough Expand
  2. 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 realI 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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  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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 whatI 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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  6. 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 EXONeil 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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 wasMy 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
  9. Aug 9, 2013
    8
    This movie is one of the best movies I watched this year.The action and the story is good.I can't believe it has a mixed score from the critics I mean the movie is great.
  10. 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
  11. Aug 9, 2013
    7
    Actually, I'd give this a 6.5 because it's got a few too many problems to be a solid 7 IMO. While Damon is the best part of the movie (he was GREAT), there just wasn't enough Elysium life-style development (I was curious as to the details of how the habitat worked and what they did, but nothing was ever shown except for women lying by pools with their butler robots). The only part ofActually, I'd give this a 6.5 because it's got a few too many problems to be a solid 7 IMO. While Damon is the best part of the movie (he was GREAT), there just wasn't enough Elysium life-style development (I was curious as to the details of how the habitat worked and what they did, but nothing was ever shown except for women lying by pools with their butler robots). The only part of Elysium that was developed was the defense side, in which Jodi Foster was miscast, IMO. She is a great actress but her in this role didn't feel right to me. By the same token, not much was devoted to life on earth and how society operated in the future there either. Lots of people running around looking poor, sick and dirty, but nothing much about how they survived. TONS of action though, so I am guessing the guys will like this movie a lot. But for me, it left too much out in favor of all the action. Expand
  12. 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.
  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 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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  15. Aug 12, 2013
    8
    A well crafted sci-fi film about the have and the have nots. Matt Damon gives his usual strong performance, but the scene stealer is Sharlto Copley his villainous role is the best part of the film. A-
  16. 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!
  17. Aug 9, 2013
    8
    Elysium doesn't benefit from being compared to District 9, as District 9 is smarter, has a better script, and is just smoother and cleaner; it has better flow. As a stand-alone action movie, Elysium is very good. It has great acting, great visuals, and is very exciting and thrilling. As a counterpart to the Oscar-nominated District 9? It just doesn't stack up. I really liked it, but IElysium doesn't benefit from being compared to District 9, as District 9 is smarter, has a better script, and is just smoother and cleaner; it has better flow. As a stand-alone action movie, Elysium is very good. It has great acting, great visuals, and is very exciting and thrilling. As a counterpart to the Oscar-nominated District 9? It just doesn't stack up. I really liked it, but I can't guarantee that you will. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. 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 howI 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
  20. 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 fellSave 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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  21. 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 eventuallyThis 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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  22. 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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  23. Aug 11, 2013
    8
    Yes, movie snobs are damning the movie for not having super original characters or a super original plot. Get over it, this is a solid sci-fi movie. Not the best, but not nearly as bad as some make it out to be. If you are looking for a perfect movie, this is not it. If you are looking for entertaining sci-fi, this is a good one. If you have to have everything be realistic, this is not itYes, movie snobs are damning the movie for not having super original characters or a super original plot. Get over it, this is a solid sci-fi movie. Not the best, but not nearly as bad as some make it out to be. If you are looking for a perfect movie, this is not it. If you are looking for entertaining sci-fi, this is a good one. If you have to have everything be realistic, this is not it and that is true of most of sci-fi. The acting in general was fine. It was a touch gory at times. Many cliche moments and characters. The pacing was slow at times, but not bad overall. Expand
  24. 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.
  25. 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
  26. 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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  27. 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, soapSad 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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  28. Aug 10, 2013
    10
    Saw it in IMAX, and it totally rocked. I loved District 9 one of my favorites and this film didn't disappoint at all. Great story with great characters, and a powerful message. Totally serious, this should win best picture.
  29. 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 stomachOne 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
  30. Aug 10, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You know the writers got the class warfare aspect of this movie across perfectly when you almost smile at the thought of Homeland Security's pet sociopathic murdering rapist rampaging through the space station where all the elite snobs hang out. Yes, at one point they did use the words Homeland Security, in case somehow someone failed to get that Elysium represents America (or at least America's ruling elite) and impoverished Earth represents the rest of the world. I'm all for a movie that captures the anger and frustration of have-nots gazing upon the intolerably selfish haves. However, I prefer my class warfare with fewer plot holes. First there is the usual problem of humans going to work building robots that are fully sophisticated enough to build themselves. Then factory worker and hard-bitten hero Max receives a lethal dose of radiation without becoming lethal to everyone around him. As an aside, poor Max! His troubles start with a beating from jackboot robots, which leads to the extension of his parole by his robot parole officer, and then goes from there to radiation poisoning. Then things get really bad for him. Now back to the plot holes, because there are many more. First of all, I don't recall any reason the citizens of Elysium need the pitifully impoverished, desperately sick and injured people of Earth. The people of Elysium are terrified of illegal immigrants invading their space station paradise, and since they are more than ruthless enough to deny the people of Earth assistance of any kind I see no reason why they wouldn't have dropped a few neutron bombs on the planet and been done with the problem long ago. Instead it seems they're hoarding all the immortality for themselves while panicking when the occasional illegal reaches the station, breaks into a house, and obtains medical treatment. The illegals reach Elysium thanks to a thriving black market in identification and disposable shuttles. Very disposable. The Irish coffin ships had better odds of making it to shore. This operation is run by a guy who can't get his henchmen to abduct a citizen of Elysium and steal passcodes out of his head, so he gets Max to do it in exchange for a ticket to Elysium to cure the radiation poisoning that will kill him in five days. The citizen Max decides to abduct is for some unclear reason slumming around on Earth heading up the robot manufacturing plant where Max, thanks to glaring worker safety issues, gets his lethal dose of radiation. During the course of this we end up doing a stint in Johnny Mnemonic, with Max's head containing the secret to Elysium citizenship for all. It seems that all anyone has to do to make everyone on Earth a citizen of Elysium is type in the command and reboot once Max's brain gives up the data (killing Max in the process). Because any advanced society is just one hack away from being completely and irretrievably taken over. Then to compound that plot hole, the movie ends with the now benevolent Elysium computer sending medical help to all of its new citizens on Earth. If that was so easy then why didn't Elysium's government just do it in the first place and spare themselves the trouble of arguing with their sadistic Homeland Security head over whether to shoot the desperate immigrants out of the sky or just stomp them and send them back to Earth? So why did I give this movie such a high score? Because sometimes the theme and overall flavor of a story works even when the plot is swiss cheese. Expand
  31. Aug 11, 2013
    7
    Entertaining Sci-drama set in a dusty hopeless time. Clever tech fuels this movie with enough gas to get you to the end of the film but not much further. It certainly feels like Dist-9 2.0 That is not necessarily a bad thing though. Unlike the 1.0 this movie has A list Hollywood actors and a hefty budget to give it a boost and it for the most part it works. The O' Brother politics bringEntertaining Sci-drama set in a dusty hopeless time. Clever tech fuels this movie with enough gas to get you to the end of the film but not much further. It certainly feels like Dist-9 2.0 That is not necessarily a bad thing though. Unlike the 1.0 this movie has A list Hollywood actors and a hefty budget to give it a boost and it for the most part it works. The O' Brother politics bring the score down some though as it is a little blunt in some of its over the top view of current issues. Don't let that sway you though this is a good movie so go see it. Expand
  32. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    Wow!! Reading some of these reviews says more about the reviewers' strange political/social views than it does about this movie. I read one review that said a dystopian future like this is unlikely because history has shown us that every generation has left the next generation better off than the last and that incomes are predicted to rise meteorically. All I can say is wow. Do you notWow!! Reading some of these reviews says more about the reviewers' strange political/social views than it does about this movie. I read one review that said a dystopian future like this is unlikely because history has shown us that every generation has left the next generation better off than the last and that incomes are predicted to rise meteorically. All I can say is wow. Do you not think that there will be a breaking point? The patterns of history mean nothing because the whole dynamic is changing with dwindling resources, overpopulation, etc. Situations that are unprecedented in history. I could go on and on but I won't. This is great sci-fi: gritty and topical. I hope there is more science-fiction produced like this in the future. Expand
  33. 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
  34. 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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  35. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but this movie I loved. It was interesting throughout,
    And wasn't just your average shooting blowing up sci-fi movies. It had a good back story and made you feel for the characters. Matt Damon was incredible in the role of Max and Sharlto Copley was very convincing as a psychopath bounty hunter type of character. This film has amazing special effects and was
    I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but this movie I loved. It was interesting throughout,
    And wasn't just your average shooting blowing up sci-fi movies. It had a good back story and made you feel for the characters. Matt Damon was incredible in the role of Max and Sharlto Copley was very convincing as a psychopath bounty hunter type of character. This film has amazing special effects and was visually amazing. I highly recommend it.
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  36. Aug 12, 2013
    10
    Highly recommended, best original sci-fi movie released in a long time. Great because it was a realistic future dystopia-- if anything, the world in 2154 will probably look a lot worse than what it depicted (overpopulated, disease-ridden and devastated by climate change), with scathing social commentary of the present day and gritty, kinetic action sequences/ great special effects toHighly recommended, best original sci-fi movie released in a long time. Great because it was a realistic future dystopia-- if anything, the world in 2154 will probably look a lot worse than what it depicted (overpopulated, disease-ridden and devastated by climate change), with scathing social commentary of the present day and gritty, kinetic action sequences/ great special effects to boot. Ending was a little bit of a conventional letdown, and the film didn't spend nearly enough time exploring the fascinating setting and its implications. Probably Blomkamp was already flouting too many stagnant Hollywood conventions that to go any further out of lamestream production values would make him a pariah. Nonetheless this is the best movie I have seen in a very long time and was entertaining for every second of the ride. Expand
  37. Aug 15, 2013
    9
    I never saw District 9, but I heard many good things about it. I really thought that Elysium looked good, so I went to see it.
    How was the acting?
    The acting in this film was overall good. There was a bad part, though, like Jodie Foster. Jodie Foster is a good actress, but in Elysium she was not good. She was pretty bad. She did not portray her character well at all, and had forgettable
    I never saw District 9, but I heard many good things about it. I really thought that Elysium looked good, so I went to see it.
    How was the acting?
    The acting in this film was overall good. There was a bad part, though, like Jodie Foster. Jodie Foster is a good actress, but in Elysium she was not good. She was pretty bad. She did not portray her character well at all, and had forgettable performance. Every syllable she said, she fidgeted. Her very also obviously audio dubbed. It was very easy to tell, and sometimes the movement of her lips didn't match the audio track. Matt Damon, Diego Luna, and Alice Braga did very well in this film, though; and Sharlto Copley stole the show. he played the main villain in this film and he just killed it. He was great playing the "crazy guy" and portrayed his character beautifully.
    How was the writing?
    There's not much I can say about the writing in Elysium, but what I can say is that is was writing very well. There were some sudden twists and turns, and maybe too many of them, but other than that, I liked the direction this film went. I do think Elysium changed a little too much, but that doesn't really bring it down that much. It also had realistic dialog, and a very satisfying ending. I really liked the ending of this film. It really surprised me.
    Did it have an interesting premise?
    Basically the main reason I went to see Elysium was because of its premise. I loved the premise. It took real world problems that we have today and made something happen with them. I know District 9 did that, too, but I can't compare Elysium to District 9. Anyway, I liked how at the beginning it showed how life on Elysium and Earth was, and how horrible things are. I also really liked the robot cops. The premise for Elysium was great.
    Was it entertaining or boring?
    This film had a slow start and did have a very big switch from action scenes to slow part, but overall it was very entertaining. The slow parts were used to show how things were and show us the characters, but they weren't that interesting. The parts were more boring than they were interesting. The action scenes, though, were very cool. There was a little bit too much slow motion used, but it very cool action sequences; and they were intense, too, especially in the third act of the film.
    What things in particular did I like?
    I loved the premise of Elysium. The action scenes of this film were great. The acting in this film was mostly very good. I liked the direction this film went. I also thought the last act of this film was excellent. I think it was the last half and hour or so of the film. It was very intense, had quite a bit of excellent action, and mixed the right amount of emotion in the mix, too. The film was also very interesting, enjoyable, and entertaining for the most part.
    What things in particular did I dislike?
    I very much disliked Jodie Foster's performance in Elysium. It was more boring than interesting in most of the slow parts. It aslo changed direction too many times. I just had three problems with Elysium but all three of them were kind of big, making the film not excellent. That's all I disliked about Elysium, though.
    How was it overall?
    Elysium, despite my few problems with it, was a great film.
    Do I recommend this film?
    Yes, I do strongly recommend Elysium to see at full price for anyone who is considering seeing it.
    Will I buy this film?
    Yes, when this film comes out, I will buy it on Blu-Ray.
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  38. Aug 15, 2013
    9
    Full of swearing and blood: my type of movie. Matt's act is acceptable. The robotic-arm joke dropped me from the seat, because of laughing. Good action and a nice story. Almost 10.
  39. 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.
  40. 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 NancyElysium 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
  41. Nov 10, 2014
    7
    Although it's lack of creativity and some poor acting stops it from being perfect, Elysium has dazzling visuals, great characters and is much more thought-provoking than most other sci-fi flicks.
  42. Aug 27, 2013
    9
    I was not permitted to rate this film; rather, when I DID rate it "3" and pressed "submit", it automatically rated it a "9". So now I'm rating it a ONE, regardless of what they try force me to rate it. THIS FILM IS RATED "ONE", NOT "NINE; ONE.
  43. Aug 12, 2013
    10
    I loved this movie, great premise and the right motives for the main character to do what he did. It actually exceed my expectations in many ways, it has a strong message on the poor vs the rich. Politics aside tho, if you just watch this movie for what it is, a piece of entertainment you will not be disappointed. Matt does what he does best and the villain in this movie excels in manyI loved this movie, great premise and the right motives for the main character to do what he did. It actually exceed my expectations in many ways, it has a strong message on the poor vs the rich. Politics aside tho, if you just watch this movie for what it is, a piece of entertainment you will not be disappointed. Matt does what he does best and the villain in this movie excels in many way, he steals the scenes everytime he comes up. Its a scifi movie with a lot of heart, you can tell the director is passionate about his work. To me this is a one of akind movie for 2013, a sleeper hit in my books, it brings something we yet to see for the remaining of the year. The weakest point in the film is probably the woman, not too great of an actress but she plays a decent role, Expand
  44. Aug 21, 2013
    8
    Elysium is a fun movie that does not take itself too seriously, has excellent acting and great special effects. It has a good story set in the future but the science fiction element seems more like an excuse for exotic sets, costumes and special effects than an exploration of future themes. If you go expecting something nerdy and professorial you will be disappointed. If you are lookingElysium is a fun movie that does not take itself too seriously, has excellent acting and great special effects. It has a good story set in the future but the science fiction element seems more like an excuse for exotic sets, costumes and special effects than an exploration of future themes. If you go expecting something nerdy and professorial you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a good shoot em up at the movies, this is for you. Expand
  45. 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. GoesHot 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
  46. Aug 13, 2013
    7
    Pretty standard sci-fi fare. It actually turned out quite a bit better than I had expected, but it still wasn't anything to write home about. The plot wasn't bad, but there were far to many "convenient occurrences" throughout the movie and the camera-shake was extremely annoying at times. Overall, not a bad movie, just nothing really new. Probably not theater worthy, but rental/netflix worthy.
  47. 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 toLightning 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
  48. Xon
    Nov 18, 2013
    9
    Great visuals and pacing. Perhaps a little too preachy and pushing a liberal aganda. Cardboard cutout characters and lack of plot or character development made the film less gripping. But good pop-corn fare.
  49. 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 machinesI 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. Expand
  50. Aug 15, 2013
    8
    This movie is a solid 8, ignore the bad reviews. If you like District 9 you will enjoy this, Elysium has a very similar feel to District 9 though there seems there is a lot more character development in Elysium and you really feel majority of the actors gave stellar performances.
  51. 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
    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".
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  52. 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" II'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. Collapse
  53. 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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  54. 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
  55. Aug 11, 2013
    8
    Some of the writing may be ham-handed in its attempts to establish antagonism and build a message, but even so "Elysium" proves to be a thrillingly eye-catching sci-fi experience with a jaw-dropping performance from Sharlto Copley.
  56. Aug 16, 2013
    8
    Visually stunning, some great action and gore to go along with it, Elysium had me on the edge of my seat for the most part of the movie. Great acting minus Jodie Foster. Could have used a better plot, but Ill take it. 8/10
  57. Aug 15, 2013
    7
    I got a good laugh when they showed some of the Elysium reboot code. Is Elysium really run by a 32-bit IBM PC? The mnemonics were unmistakable. The action sequences were certainly decent.
  58. Aug 12, 2013
    7
    Hopes were high for this followup to the hit District 9, and in most areas it succeeds. "Elysium" is a sci-fi thriller with a current thread of politics running through it, this time universal health care for the privileged rich people who live on Elysium, a posh orbiting habitat for those who can afford it and all the advantages it offers, including machines that wipe out allHopes were high for this followup to the hit District 9, and in most areas it succeeds. "Elysium" is a sci-fi thriller with a current thread of politics running through it, this time universal health care for the privileged rich people who live on Elysium, a posh orbiting habitat for those who can afford it and all the advantages it offers, including machines that wipe out all disease, heal people instantly, etc.
    On Earth, it's squalor and overcrowding. People do not have access to medicine or the new space age cures. One small band of shuttles tries to land on Elysium, but two are shot down, and the ones who are lucky enough to touch down are immediately deported by the cold and indifferent character played by Jodie Foster.
    Matt Damon is the hero, and having been exposed accidently to a lethal dose of radiation fights to try to get to Elysium to save his own life.
    This is the scenario, and on its own it's a good thriller. Like District 9 it looks very real, and the future Los Angeles is a very undesirable place, indeed. Those oversensitive to politics will carp, angry because the message of universal health care is right up front, as is the treatment of immigrants who are cruelly shot down.
    If you can keep your political interest in check otherwise, it's a good movie and one of the best of the summer. It doesn't have quite the sympathetic punch District 9 had, but the cinematography is great and the acting first rate. "Elysium" may not be a blockbuster, but it's worth the price of admission.
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  59. Sep 27, 2013
    8
    Elysium es un refresco comparado a peliculas como Oblivion que intentan la misma idea pero no logran sacrle el jugo del todo y se tornan demasiado aburridas, Elysium logra tramar con la misma idea con subtemas basados en realidades y suspensos emocionantes.
  60. Aug 12, 2013
    7
    Movie was above average. Great special effects, great design. Had a very Halo vibe to it all. But the movie was very "paint by the numbers" and nothing really stood out. There weren't any moments of sheer awe or laughter or any other emotion. I would say def worth seeing but not in theaters, wait for Blu-ray.
  61. Aug 10, 2013
    7
    Elysium, an excellent blending of practical and digital effects. The world of 2150 is believable and authentic feeling, I do wish they had spent some more time with the Elysium people and their orbital habitat. The political messages weren't heavy handed but they certainly weren't subtle either and out of all the characters the Elysians were the most one dimensional. I found myselfElysium, an excellent blending of practical and digital effects. The world of 2150 is believable and authentic feeling, I do wish they had spent some more time with the Elysium people and their orbital habitat. The political messages weren't heavy handed but they certainly weren't subtle either and out of all the characters the Elysians were the most one dimensional. I found myself relating to all the characters and sympathizing with them except for the Armadyne CEO played by one of those great actors I can never remember the name of. He is a little too cookie-cutter corporate villain for me to care. The performances were decent, nothing special except for Sharlto Copley who is almost unrecognizable from his Wikus character in District 9 and a very strange warrior cat for sure. Speaking of District 9, there were lots of little threads from this film to that one. Love the horned beasts on the military vehicle and uniforms in both films. There are awesome guns and various types of big, wet, full body explosions via various guns, guns which bear a resemblance to all those great alien weapons deployed in D-9. All in all a very entertaining movie about technology and class warfare. Wish there had been a little more 1 percenter utopia in my 99 percenter dystopia. There is also a scene that is almost exactly like one in D-9, maybe you will catch it. Expand
  62. Sep 22, 2013
    9
    I wish there was a way for users to delete reviews. I thought this was a great film but I want to delete the review under this profile, and so I write 150 words.
  63. Oct 25, 2013
    8
    Although it doesn't carry the heavy originality of 'District 9', Neill Blomkamp creates another interesting and important political message, and adds the onslaught of heavy action and profane language. Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley are an intricate chemistry, with an enjoyable effect. 'Elysium' has enough for the cost of a ticket.
  64. 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, "IEleysium 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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  65. Sep 15, 2013
    8
    "Elysium has spectacular visual effects, an interesting story, and a good performance by Matt Damon." Even though Matt Damon has done some "paycheck" movies lately (We Bought a Zoo), I believe he really wanted to do Elysium.

    Elysium combines great action with an interesting storyline, good acting, and enough eye candy to give you a cavity. The visual effects in this movie are
    "Elysium has spectacular visual effects, an interesting story, and a good performance by Matt Damon." Even though Matt Damon has done some "paycheck" movies lately (We Bought a Zoo), I believe he really wanted to do Elysium.

    Elysium combines great action with an interesting storyline, good acting, and enough eye candy to give you a cavity.

    The visual effects in this movie are stunning, and Elysium has some pretty cool gadgets to go along with it. I especially liked Damon's "drilled-in neurological droid suit".

    I didn't get Jodie Foster's accent throughout the movie, and I believe she was sort of a weak link, but it didn't really take away from the story, so I guess I can forgive the movie for that.
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  66. Oct 19, 2013
    9
    very good movie, enjoyed the action, i love how technology is not "super" advanced like in most futuristic movies but very close to reality and to what might actually really happen
  67. Oct 24, 2013
    9
    Elysium is not a film for stupid people. Ultimately, critics and reviewers will pan the film simply because they're unaware of the sci-fi tropes and themes that it references. Like Tarantino, Blomkamp is demanding engagement from the viewer, and when one is able to shunt disbelief aside and enter his world, the brilliance of his vision and his technical ability in portraying it make it anElysium is not a film for stupid people. Ultimately, critics and reviewers will pan the film simply because they're unaware of the sci-fi tropes and themes that it references. Like Tarantino, Blomkamp is demanding engagement from the viewer, and when one is able to shunt disbelief aside and enter his world, the brilliance of his vision and his technical ability in portraying it make it an emotionally and intellectually satisfying experience. This is Asimov meets Orwell, it shows a depth of understanding of the nature and evolution of technology as well as the essential structures that produce it that should make most political scientists feel ashamed. Blomkamp isn't producing 'summer block buster entertainment' for the American masses, he's trying to create something artistic. This is not Lady Gaga, it's the White Stripes. A lot of critics will miss the joy of this movie by trying to watch it in terms of a summer blockbuster, instead of being aware that this is a director who will never (at least we hope) produce anything that Hollywood wants him to make. Blomkamp heavily references the scientific types found in novels like Dune and gives them a feeling of reality that is almost creepily grounded in today. A lot of critics ask questions like "how did people end up on Elysium". Well how have rich people in any time period distanced themselves from the masses? The answer is slowly. This is a film that will ultimately be beyond people who have never seen or noted how extreme income disparities develop and who have no feeling for how political economy works thorough technology. As such, many critics will try to cast it as a parody or satire of today's world, but in doing so will miss the point completely. This is the world of today taken to its logical end. Solid acting by Matt Damon who plays the everyman with a sort of pent up aggression that's important to the role. Jodie Foster's role is delightful, but ultimately, if a movie is defined by the quality of its villain, Foster is an antagonist but not the ultimate evil. That's reserved for Sharlito Copley, who's portrayal of Agent M Kruger brings chills, all the more so because his type of existence and the nature of his evil are so well recorded in history. But you'd have to know some history to know that and so we come back to the point; Elysium is an intelligent film for intelligent people, and many critics will bash it simply because they don't get it. I certainly don't expect the editor of Time Out London to do so. Frankly, I hope Blomkamp simply ignores them and that we continue to see the evolution of this fascinating artist. Expand
  68. 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
  69. Aug 12, 2013
    8
    After District 9, I knew Neill Blomkamp could deliver a unique and compelling movie experience that would leave me wanting more. I wish more than ever he and Peter Jackson were able to work on a Halo movie, as those two were slated to direct and produce the major franchise's break into the silver screen. Instead Neill has begun to show what he's been capable all along. In Elysium, heAfter District 9, I knew Neill Blomkamp could deliver a unique and compelling movie experience that would leave me wanting more. I wish more than ever he and Peter Jackson were able to work on a Halo movie, as those two were slated to direct and produce the major franchise's break into the silver screen. Instead Neill has begun to show what he's been capable all along. In Elysium, he returns to familiar ground that he paved in District 9, only this time instead of immigrant aliens it's desperate humans clamoring for an opportunity to make it to paradise off-world. Everything visual about this movie seems to be spot-on. It was a joy to just see all of these futuristic elements blend with poverty-stricken metropolitan cities (such as LA in this film) to make something a little more fresh and believable in the world of sci-fi. The acting is also great. Matt Damon doesn't disappoint, nor does his supporting cast some of which may actually offer even better performances. I would recommend this movie to nearly anyone, but I will recommend with slight reserve. The reason being: while Elysium is a good movie with a good cast and a good setting, at times I felt the film lacked a little heart. I cared about what was happening, but I could care more. There were few missed opportunities, but the ones that were missed were the difference in a good movie versus a standout chapter in action movie history. Neill is on to something, and I look forward to seeing what else he can muster up in his budding career in movies. For now, Elysium is a safe recommendation moreso if you've seen everything else that's big at the box office right now (or simply aren't interested in what else is out). Expand
  70. Aug 11, 2013
    7
    Elysium proves the truthful fact that our world has a reality. However Blomkamp takes that concept 'movie-literally' and leads a story to illustrate that our 'reality' is more of a 'tragedy.' And he wants to fix that. Send a message But the shining tragedy here, unfortunately, is the execution and ultimate delivery of this wonderfully imaganitive story...

    This is a fine movie that
    Elysium proves the truthful fact that our world has a reality. However Blomkamp takes that concept 'movie-literally' and leads a story to illustrate that our 'reality' is more of a 'tragedy.' And he wants to fix that. Send a message But the shining tragedy here, unfortunately, is the execution and ultimate delivery of this wonderfully imaganitive story...

    This is a fine movie that spends almost too much time reminiscing strong elements, re-re-re-reconnecting us with it's core re-repeatedly. Giving too much substance for a movie that blandly executes it's present time entertainment and the audience is found lulled wanting to engross themselves, but can't. The movie rushes along offering a less than satisfying experience. In the end, it didn't reach magic. it's not special. It just goes by with good ideas that you're really not engaged enough to appreciate them. As so many recent projects have done, didn't use the most valuable and most important aspect in moviemaking and delivering a movie. That is time. You don't have to satisfy those viewers that could care less about true vision & creativity and just hammer away with bang, bang the whole time zooming through the movie. This is what Elysium's disease is and it never cures itself. It decompresses to a dud unfortunately. Movies need to use time, it's so important and valuable and can really make or break a movie and it's experience.

    I mean, I never dazed off. The acting wasn't consistently good. Sharlto Copley surely keeps you stunned, only for a bit. And Matt Damon...well, is Matt Damon. As he was in the Bourne movies, as he is in almost every movie, except The Informant of course. Overactor in this one, Jodie Foster on one peculiar hand, plays a character that seemed lazily portrayed and her accent befuddles to unmeasurable degrees, and I think if there's one thing Blomkamp leaves for us to discuss & scratch our heads over, it's this accent that I think not even AdAm Sandler could decipher it's origins.

    Despite that, the movie hums along nicely with many grasping action sequences, some beautifully inspiring special effects, especially and for the most part the footage of Elysium itself. It never really attacks you through. Never grabs your soul and shakes it like District 9 did. The only reason for comparing is the styles are nearly the same. The edgy, Rated R groove. Except District 9 had sensible direction. In Elysium, it seemed forced. It's relevant to reality, but the movie is exaggerated and unbelievably out-there as it is, there's really no point for this being an R rated sci-fi.

    Life is about the journey, not the destination and for that the movie doesn't necessarily fall flat on it's ass. it just stumbles, maintaing balance, ending with really no spark of memorabilia. Life is about the journey not about the destination. In that sense, the movie is too reluctant to get the job done. Instead of pacing itself gradually, building it's story and visual and becoming a momentous masterpiece like it was going for, it remains ordinarily intense. It's a movie about momentum. That's what it's all about here. If it had a little bit of that, this would've soared. Rather, the movie has you wondering what it's building towards, even though the plot is all so predictable.

    For those hoping for a Terminator, your wishes are only imaginary. I wish I could say better but the movie just doesn't get to where it wants it to be. It may think it does, but this is, once again, about the money. No care, no passion (maybe a little bit). Just about the ego, once again. What they don't seem to realize is if the movie isn't that great, generally speaking, then people aren't going to see it again and it's not going to make much money. There's all this talk about it's box office success and honestly, special effects can only take you so far. Quality comes into effect as well.

    Nevertheless the movie does set a pretty awesome tone. Inspiring and gorgeous with it's opening logos, and finishes with stimulating credits. Unfortunately the movie never sustains that throughout the duration of the picture. It does prove there was a strong vision, it's just sometimes the film doesn't come through as best. I think that's what happened here. It's still a fine movie, but don't go in awaiting something spectacular. It's just a typical weekend action-flick that could die off very quickly.

    The movie is entertaining and keeps you fixated on the visual, and there are moments of true emotion and spectacle and power. For the most part it's a beautifully igniting sunrise, that suppose to break into a 90 degree plus day, but turns out to be an unexpectedly 70 degree plus day, and thankfully ends with a magnificent sunset. If ya' catch my drift.
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  71. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    Elysium is a well made science fiction romp. While it's theme is nothing new, and it doesn't bring a whole lot of innovation to the table, Elysium is visually stunning, very well acted, and expertly paced. There's nothing glaringly wrong with this movie, in fact, it's stands as one of the worthiest action films so far this year. Pay no mind to the average critic reviews; this movie is wellElysium is a well made science fiction romp. While it's theme is nothing new, and it doesn't bring a whole lot of innovation to the table, Elysium is visually stunning, very well acted, and expertly paced. There's nothing glaringly wrong with this movie, in fact, it's stands as one of the worthiest action films so far this year. Pay no mind to the average critic reviews; this movie is well made and a ton of fun. Expand
  72. Sep 4, 2013
    8
    In Greek mythology, the Elysian Fields are the blissful utopia where all good souls will come to rest. In this film, Elysium is a utopia that exists side by side with a wretched dystopia, which is our very own planet Earth. Earth is overrun with poverty, disease, and decay, a place where a preponderance of visible minorities hold miserable jobs and lead miserable lives. Matt Damon as MaxIn Greek mythology, the Elysian Fields are the blissful utopia where all good souls will come to rest. In this film, Elysium is a utopia that exists side by side with a wretched dystopia, which is our very own planet Earth. Earth is overrun with poverty, disease, and decay, a place where a preponderance of visible minorities hold miserable jobs and lead miserable lives. Matt Damon as Max is a poor orphan who grows up on Earth to become a reformed car thief working in an unsafe factory, and he longs to take his childhood girlfriend to Elysium.

    Because the planet got so polluted and run down by the year 2154, the filthy rich evacuated to a giant space station that exists just outside the atmosphere, clearly visible from Earth, in the shape of a round wheel that is a country in itself. It has its own president, President Patel, apparently the only non-Caucasian who has made it to Paradise, and every citizen of Elysium lives in the lap of luxury with beautiful homes, exotic gardens, sumptuous meals, and clean air. Every household is waited on by obedient robots, and every household contains a med bay, which is an enclosed box with a plastic lid where a sick person lies down, gets diagnosed by a computer program, and then is instantly cured of every affliction, disease, and malady that can possibly beset humankind. The med bay not only cures, it grants immortality, barring an accident or other calamity. Desperate, downtrodden, and ill citizens of Earth try to make illegal runs to Elysium in outdated space shuttles, just to gain access to a med bay.

    Playing the role of cold-blooded Secretary of Defense Delacourt, Jodie Foster is horrified by President Patel (Faran Tahir), who has an interest in human rights, even though he does not exactly go over the top with his philosophical beliefs, given that he has no interest in improving the lot of the masses back on Earth. Some Elysians visit Earth for business reasons, and John Carlyle (William Fichtner), is the CEO of an exploitative company that treats employees like slaves; as a result, Carlyle has to spend quite a bit of time back on the polluted planet. Foster's Secretary of Defense is cruelly ambitious, and she wants to stage a coup to overthrow President Patel and make herself president. For that she needs Carlyle to write a computer program that will topple the present regime of Elysium by resetting the country's entire computer system with new instructions.

    Since this is science fiction, and rather engaging science fiction at that, much can be forgiven in terms of some of the logistical details. For example, when a society is as technically advanced as Elysium, will the Secretary of Defense really get her text messages on a tiny screen on her watch? Even Sean Connery's Bond could have done better than that. And when the evil John Carlyle writes the ultimate computer program that will shut down Elysium and put Delacourt in power, would he really be writing the program in assembler language in the year 2154? I could have sworn I saw the assembler language STO command (for storing numerical values in registers) rolling by on Carlyle's computer screen. And does Delacourt speak fluent French because it is a pretentious skill for the rich or because Jodie Foster graduated from a French lycee in Los Angeles?

    But the movie is carried by Matt Damon, who does not disappoint. As Max, he is strong but tender, courageous but meek, and heroic but timid. He protects the girlfriend he's been true to since childhood. But more significantly, he seeks a proper distribution of income so that the repressed citizens of Earth can enjoy the same rights, opportunities, health benefits, and the blessed serenity of the rich and overprivileged dolts who are the good citizens of Elysium. It is the Day of the Revolution.

    Although the plot is somewhat predictable and a little too violent, this movie gets extra points for being philosophically sound.
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  73. 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
  74. Aug 16, 2013
    10
    Non stop action with not-a-hero main character localized in Vanquish universe. I love this movie Mat Damon doesn`t want to be hero he just wants to save his life. He becomes a hero at the end but its more like a coincidence than a target. Perfect scenario, perfect idea, perfect performance. I`m amused
  75. 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
  76. 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 disguisingMake 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
  77. Sep 8, 2013
    7
    Watched this Blomkamp’s sophomore feature film in theater, to some extent I was underwhelmed by his universally-acclaimed debut DISTRICT 9 (2009, 7/10), it seems that his novelistic intention overrides his implementation, notably his screenplay (this time he is the sole writer for ELYSIUM), the premise is always rosy and aspiring, but in the Sci-Fi territory, if the writer cannot justifyWatched this Blomkamp’s sophomore feature film in theater, to some extent I was underwhelmed by his universally-acclaimed debut DISTRICT 9 (2009, 7/10), it seems that his novelistic intention overrides his implementation, notably his screenplay (this time he is the sole writer for ELYSIUM), the premise is always rosy and aspiring, but in the Sci-Fi territory, if the writer cannot justify the surrealistic world he creates with a certain holistic perspective to cover obtrusive plot-holes which are unavoidable byproducts out of the limitation of one’s imagination, very likely bathos will be the consequence.

    In ELYSIUM, setting in 2154, Blomkamp inherits his visual motifs from DISTRICT 9 (the skeletal robot resembles an agiler Prawn) and enlarges the cosmic extravaganza by erecting a pristine man-made extraterrestrial homeland for upscale class meanwhile the seething dystopian of a scuzzy and overpopulated earth is an upgraded version of the refugee camp for The Prawns in Johannesburg. Howsoever the film’s box office prospect (a tepid response from the critics and its North American income is also disheartening, $82,877,000 so far), it is a bold decision for the production company to invest and purvey a wunderkind’s second film with a costly budget (reported $115,000,000) for an original Sci-Fi actioner.

    Accumulating an almost 4-times funds than DISTRICT 9, Blomkamp could summon Hollywood top-tier names to guarantee more tickets-buyers which backfires, however his South African kindred spirit Sharlto Copley continues undertaking a chief role as the brutal outcast ex-agent, whose ambition pans out to be even more vicious than the ostensible villain, the combo of Damon and Foster is a whimsical but diverting one, but due to the ill-fated procession of the story, they don’t even share any scenes together, Damon is always a good Samaritan without memorable charisma to single himself out and Foster caricatures herself to a routine militarist with bizarre accent.

    All the earthbound stratum is comprised of Latinos (save Damon here), Moura, Braga and Luna is certified foil around Damon’s amenable hero, contrasts sheer with the high-and-mighty White race in Elysium, robot-like but dons haute couture, speaks French and enjoys a disease-free technology. The omnipotent machine stands out as the sole excuse for earthlings to go to Elysium (actually only for those who are sick or disabled), since the lucky immigrants who stow away from earth to there (19 minutes by aircrafts, a rather facile maneuver) will all be effortlessly captured and repatriated back to the globe, so why they make a fuss over risking their lives in an ill-fated journey? Also the entire re-programming and rebooting scheme is a heedless product of a wholesome mind and cursorily conducted for the sake of being assimilated as any of its same kind. Unfortunately there are many equivocal set pieces like this pervading the entire film which restrains its potential to be a bona fide awe-inspiring eye-opener.

    But on the other hand, imagination is contingent on the real world where germinates all the possible routes to extend and maximize our capacity of creation, the world in ELYSIUM could be our worst nightmare comes true because it touches on the basis of our undying prejudices on individuality and the callousness and irrationality looming over the inexorable gap between the wealthy and poor, as I mentioned in my review of DISTRICT 9, Blomkamp will always be on my radar as the new blood in the massive assembly line, time is all he needs to hone up his expertise and mostly essentially is to be on the lookout for a distinctive screenplay, he will fabricate his own CHILDREN OF MEN (2006, 9/10) one day.
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  78. Oct 6, 2013
    7
    Though not as creative or executed as well as District 9, Neil Blomkamp provides another strong film to the sci-fiction genre. Even though the theme is nothing new, Elysium is a well paced action film that succeeds at sending a message.
  79. Aug 18, 2013
    8
    Overall a very solid movie with great si-fi action, a cool/interesting story, and believable characters. The only reason I don't go higher is because I sort of left the movie wanting to know more about the backstory, details during the movie, and ending. Just wished parts were a little more fleshed out. Otherwise though it was great and I recommend it.
  80. 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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  81. Aug 23, 2013
    9
    This movie does have its few flaws, like a few plot holes, but that doesn't change my thoughts of this movie. This movie was fun and an exciting movie to see. Matt Damon was great, the villains were hateable, and the story was action packed and awesome. See this movie soon. You don't want to miss this!
  82. Aug 13, 2013
    10
    Going into this movie, i thought it would be okay. The trailer looked great but i hated district 9 so i was not sure how this would go down. But after i saw it, i thought it was amazing! Everything was done really well and the atmosphere it creates is fantastic. My only complaint is that sometimes during the action, the camera was moving way to much giving me a slight headache. However, itGoing into this movie, i thought it would be okay. The trailer looked great but i hated district 9 so i was not sure how this would go down. But after i saw it, i thought it was amazing! Everything was done really well and the atmosphere it creates is fantastic. My only complaint is that sometimes during the action, the camera was moving way to much giving me a slight headache. However, it only happened twice so overall, i approve of this movie.

    9.5/10
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  83. 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
  84. Sep 2, 2013
    8
    I enjoyed it. I came in expecting something like District 9, but I also didn't come in with high expectations, mostly because I didn't really follow the film. Enjoyable action elements. I thought the plot was enjoyable, but without the setting it wouldn't be much to look at. The setting I thought was cool and interesting. There seemed to be an effort and subtly showing a culture in theI enjoyed it. I came in expecting something like District 9, but I also didn't come in with high expectations, mostly because I didn't really follow the film. Enjoyable action elements. I thought the plot was enjoyable, but without the setting it wouldn't be much to look at. The setting I thought was cool and interesting. There seemed to be an effort and subtly showing a culture in the film, which I thought was neat. I definitely recommend it. And for those who enjoyed District 9, I can't see why you wouldn't enjoy this film. Expand
  85. Aug 15, 2013
    7
    Matt Damon's performance was good as usual. Somehow the storyline was kind of slightly bland, not enough suspense but the action scenes were good. Maybe the background musics made a lot of different in certain scenes and i think that's what this movie was lacking. Beautiful Elysium city design, good sci-fi movie. Overall I and my wife still happy and found the movie enjoyable on xtremeMatt Damon's performance was good as usual. Somehow the storyline was kind of slightly bland, not enough suspense but the action scenes were good. Maybe the background musics made a lot of different in certain scenes and i think that's what this movie was lacking. Beautiful Elysium city design, good sci-fi movie. Overall I and my wife still happy and found the movie enjoyable on xtreme screen. It still worth our $18 tickets Expand
  86. Aug 10, 2013
    9
    I'm getting this the first day out on bluray! The movie was AMAZING! The actors are wrenching. I was surprised at first as to the many number of elements this had that were in District 9 but, in hindsight, the same director that did District 9 also did Elysium so the surprise wore off quickly. And, you'll get a surprise as to the major villain's persona. I'm sure you've seen him before butI'm getting this the first day out on bluray! The movie was AMAZING! The actors are wrenching. I was surprised at first as to the many number of elements this had that were in District 9 but, in hindsight, the same director that did District 9 also did Elysium so the surprise wore off quickly. And, you'll get a surprise as to the major villain's persona. I'm sure you've seen him before but it took me a while to realize who he was. Amazing acting by Jodi.... Love her! See this for all the action, for the heart wrenching emotional ups and downs, and most of all for the message that could one day be the great socioeconomic divide between the 'us' and 'them'. Expand
  87. 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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  88. Aug 16, 2013
    7
    Matt Damon is good as usual, but I feel this movie while worth watching falls short of its full potential. While it had a great premise, film makers took a very generic action movie approach to way it was made. The effects and action scenes where very cool, but the lack of character development and personality made it hard to care very much about what was happening. Maybe see it as matineeMatt Damon is good as usual, but I feel this movie while worth watching falls short of its full potential. While it had a great premise, film makers took a very generic action movie approach to way it was made. The effects and action scenes where very cool, but the lack of character development and personality made it hard to care very much about what was happening. Maybe see it as matinee or wait to see it on DVD. I give it 6.8. Expand
  89. Dec 26, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. yeah I thought this movie was great. I loved District 9 and looked forward to their next film. The critics were kind of split so I was a little worried but the movie turned out to be awesome. The action was intense and their were some great characters. The main character from the first movie returns in a totally different role and I thought he kicked ass. I don't usually like Jodie Foster so her being the antagonist made it alright. Matt Damon did a good job and the mechanic suit he wears gave the movie some very memorable action scenes. I also liked the story a lot about the elite deserting earth for a haven in space, keeping their advanced health care for themselves and leaving the poor too die. The movie held my interest completely and definitely lived up to what I expected. Expand
  90. 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 beforeI 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
  91. 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
  92. 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
  93. 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
  94. Aug 17, 2013
    7
    Elysium has an original setting, good plot, engaging twists, nice characters. Sounds good, but it didn't do well the action part, and this is an important one for this type of movies. Also the main villain is week. So, go see it, it's a good film with some minor problems
  95. Aug 18, 2013
    7
    The plot was fluid and the characters were great. Spider stood out the most for me as the strongest actor. Too bad he was a minor character with a major role in the film. The villains were hate able, but not to the extent of them becoming complete a$$holes. It wasn't the District 9 plot i was hopping for, the intelligent action movie, but it was a very complete film with no plotholes thatThe plot was fluid and the characters were great. Spider stood out the most for me as the strongest actor. Too bad he was a minor character with a major role in the film. The villains were hate able, but not to the extent of them becoming complete a$$holes. It wasn't the District 9 plot i was hopping for, the intelligent action movie, but it was a very complete film with no plotholes that I could think of. Expand
  96. 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.
  97. 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
  98. 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 scenesFew 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
  99. 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.
  100. Aug 31, 2013
    7
    A brilliant concept that makes some edgy, controversial points right from the beginning. Absolutely loved District 9, I don't feel it quite tied together the characters as well in Elysium, finding Damon a little deadpan but I guess that worked. Good, but not great.
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.