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Generally favorable reviews- based on 714 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 83 out of 714

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  1. Apr 6, 2014
    Welcome to Planet Mexico!!! That would've been a better title for this movie than Elysium. This movie does the overpopulated Earth thing and does it in a fashion that would make Captain Planet blush. The hero doesn't do anything to adhere us to him, the villains are so over the top they come off as just cartoonish. The concept of Elysium itself is just odd, if going into space and building colonies is easy why isn't there more of them. Also the going into space part seems as easy as driving down the street all they have to do is wait for the colony's defense grid to go down to make a heavenly run for the border. It's also maddening not to at least see how the rest of the world is fairing in this overpopulated mess. What about countries that are already overpopulated today such as China or India? Frankly showing us L.A. as a brown dirty stain on the California coast is nothing new and it would've been better to at least get a glance at the rest of the country. This visuals are crisp, I'll give them that, although they just remind me of a dozen boring first person shooters I've played. This movie seemed to have a cool premise but when you see it you'll just come away confused or confused and laughing. Expand
  2. Mar 24, 2014
    This film is bad. Really bad. The set up is a little interesting, but aside from the first five minutes it fails to deliver. Its not that I dont like action films, or sci-fi films, because I do, its just that this is not a good film. Poorly written, boring and incredibly unoriginal with a score of 6.7 this film is far overrated.
  3. Feb 15, 2014
    What a disappointing movie Elysium turned out to be. Let's start with the one positive. The concept for the film is fantastic. The idea for an elitist group of society to be separated like that isn't necessarily original but there's a lot of potential there. Matt Damon and the rest of the cast is also pretty solid (other than Jodie Foster who sucks at life). The special effects and CGI are also pretty top notch but that's about the end of the positives. All of the other features combine to create an almost suckfest of a movie. The most glaring is the identity crisis suffered throughout the almost 2 hours. There are certain technologies in the film that would make Avatar jealous and on the other hand, there are things that we have right now. There doesn't appear to be any sense or logic to it, it's just variable and irregular and it kills the suspension of disbelief, which let's face it, this movie hinges desperately on. The plot is also ridiculously predictable and none of the characters are developed well. Overall, should've and could've been better with a quality director. Expand
  4. Jan 31, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I would like to point out that, Damon's posture was very similar with his Bourne role. Like the way he carries his backpack. That's bad. And the way the villain died, really that easy? The worst thing was the last part. The characters just do not fit. Expand
  5. Jan 5, 2014
    A bland story with some messy action sequences. It is all fluff and doesn't try to dig a little deeper into its shallow script. Jodie Foster was a mess in this movie and Matt Damon's character was so generic is could have been played by anybody.
  6. Dec 30, 2013
    Nothing worse than going to the theater to be preached to and this is a bleeding heart socialists wet dream cheering on the premise of saving humanity by making the rich minority share their finite resources. Are you kidding me?
  7. Dec 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A film I very much looked forward to after really liking district 9. D9 had so much leaning towards apartheid in South Africa and Jodie Foster used the accent rather poorly I might add and this one basically used spanish speaking and Los Angeles as the poor area. Elysium is much like Newport Beach in "The OC" is treated and Malibu in Los Angeles. There are many other opportunities to venture on ideas and they were overlooked. This was free from Redbox so the price was right. The worst part was having to waste the time and gas to return the disc. Expand
  8. Dec 27, 2013
    I didn't really care for the movie. It's one of those movies where I kept looking at my watch to estimate how much longer the movie has. The acting was ok, but that's no surprise. It just didn't live up to the hype.
  9. Dec 27, 2013
    Really disappointing to see 2 of my favorite actors (matt and jodie) bomb it with this one. Basically, Occupy Wall Street with space ships. My kids and I sat around all-too-accurately predicting the plot and even dialogue. I love the part where a bunch of random numbers flash on the screen and the character recognizes it as reboot code right.
  10. Dec 26, 2013
    this movie it is disappointing a lot of bad words and cruel situations didn't like it at all, i was expecting more from Damon why they have to use the f word all the time.
  11. Dec 26, 2013
    Make no mistake; this is a blatant, in your face, Hollywood leftist propaganda movie dealing with Mexican immigration. If that's your cup of tea, fine. I found it offensive and stopped watching after 15 minutes. It seems they want to force their political views down everyones throat as well as upset the vast majority of Americans who are against illegal immigration by thinly disguising it with Sci Fi special effects. Tinsel town, save your politics for your friends or campaign choices and let me spend my money on less distasteful movies. Expand
  12. Dec 25, 2013
    This movie had some entertaining moments but it's basically another propaganda film from the left. If you like Matt Damon and an action-filled movie, it might be worth 2 hours of your life but you can probably do better than this.
  13. Dec 21, 2013
    This movie is piece of crap. I want the bandwidth I spent torrenting it back.

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

    I only give 2 because of the visuals and the concept art.
  14. Dec 20, 2013
    I give this movie a big ZERO, it's pure garbage, I saw a trailer for this movie and thought it was right up my alley, a good sci fi flick to get lost in for a little while, paid over 20 dollars for it on DVD, now I'll be bummed for the week, once again this movie is crap
  15. Dec 17, 2013
    This movie criticises current world politics and society on such blatant level that it makes me puke. Like I am some kind of ignorant retard who doesnt know that children in Africa don't receive the same medical treatments as in western world...Oh well, besides, the director still lives mentally in the pre Nelson Mandela and never learned that medics have improved on a huge scale the last years in Africa. Expand
  16. Nov 27, 2013
    Despite a very interesting plot premise, Elysium is a very disappointing and unsatisfying film in every way possible. Weak plot ruined even more so by the unlikeable characters and uninteresting action scenes that fail to entertain. Would not recommend.
  17. Nov 22, 2013
    The movie has an intriguing main idea, some nice visual effects (Elysium looks fine), a prophetic scene (when Max tries to communicate with the robot in vain) and a good performance by Matt Damon. However there are serious plot holes (e.g. Elysium has no air defense and depends on a mad man who fires rockets from the surface of the Earth), the villain is a ridiculous lunatic, shaky camera ruins the action scenes and the political message is socially dangerous: besides its racism (there are no poor white people in the future) it disconnects citizenship from nationality, presenting a world with no national states, and proposes that the poor should simply start consuming the resources of the rest of the people (as if they are infinite). It's no coincidence that whenever an illegal immigrant breaks into someone's house to use its medical facilities no one happens to be inside at that moment. The creators of the movie were smart enough not to show us how someone feels when his property and personal space are violated.
  18. Oct 11, 2013
    I had been wanting to see this movie for a while, but when I finally saw it I was disappointed. I didn't really enjoy this movie. I usually don't care much about whether or not a film is generic, as long as it entertains; yet I have to say the film relies too heavily on it's unrealistic (and generic) plot and futuristic setting. And while human beings can be extremely cruel, I doubt they'd leave the poor behind on a ruined earth. (They obviously have the means to help the citizens of Earth, but they don't. Why not? It's illogical. They're just making the citizens of Earth angry.) Sure, it has good special effects, but virtually all movies have that nowadays. Nothing truly breathtaking. I felt the movie was rushed, and looking back their's almost nothing in the movie you didn't see in the trailer. Also--in the movie someone said Kruger had broken several "human rights" laws or something. If there are laws like that, why are most people still on a ruined Earth?

    If you liked this review, read my other ones on a wide variety of movies and TV shows and mark this as helpful.
  19. Sep 14, 2013
    One of those movies like Oblivion where you walk out thinking 'why didn't they just... what was that character doing THAT for...' and not really remembering any dialogue or being that interested in any of the characters or events. The mood and tone is summed up in the first ten minutes when Matt Damon strips off and the most painfully obvious charcoal/ash is there rubbed into his stomach to try and make it look like he has a six pack. Expand
  20. Sep 10, 2013
    Lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, something Elysium reminded me by being so remarkably similar to director Neill Blomkamp's previous feature, the excellent 2009 film District 9. The problem is that Elysium lacks any of the features and story that made District 9 so fantastic. When released convict Max (Matt Damon) is irradiated at work he sets out on a journey to travel to Elysium, a high tech space station made to house the rich and famous while the poor and helpless live on a ruined Earth. To get up to Elysium to find a cure Max must face the brutal defence secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her pitbull agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley). While it does show the inventive and socially dynamic mode of storytelling Blomkamp thrived at with District 9, Elysium doesn't tread as lightly as its predecessor as it plays the 1% card over and over. Blomkamp's attempts to humanise his characters through cliched relationships and convenient bonding moments that feel fake and uninvolving backfires. The action heavy plot is clever and should be a science fiction fans dream plot but when the action actually breaks out the fighting is so frenetic thanks to an overeager editor that all the action becomes blurry and hard to watch. Damon is good but is straddled with a crop of bad performers bringing the proceedings down. Most notably is Jodie Foster who phones it in as a manipulative bureaucrat with her eyes on, surprisingly, more power. Foster always mounts the fence when it comes to overacting but here she leaps over it in a single bound. Copley's villain is a treat and he really is horrible making him shine with an odd sense of wonder but its not enough to fill in the films many plot holes and problems meaning Elysium was not paradise at all. Expand
  21. Sep 10, 2013
    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.
  22. Sep 7, 2013
    The movie has an interesting setting, as most dystopian films do. WHat it lacks, however, is interesting characters, factions and dilemmas. Instead of being some sort of moral or ethical engagement, it just ends up being a platform for action-man Matt Damon to beat things up and cause explosions. Some people might like that. I personally wanted something a bit more thought provoking. Even a battle between different politically orientated faction would have sufficed, but all we got was what amounted to a cartel vs the World government, which was never named and was just shown to be run by the rich, end of story. What I am trying to say is that the movie lacked any kind of depth, I guess it was fine as some sort of dumb summer action flick, but it was just so average in it's delivery, I could see what it provided in any other movie at almost any other time. The film was not emotionally investing. Below average, but not specifically bad. Expand
  23. Sep 2, 2013
    If you like Sci-Fi, then this is a great story.
    Enough money to make a good film and perfect actors.
    The prblem is the redicoulus hand shaked camera as soon there are some action and there are lot's of it. Sometimes they are in picture, but of the time not. It is really bad that it is a trend to destroy good movies by shaking the camera so much that you get car sick watching.
    I will not
    see any more movie with that director. Expand
  24. Sep 2, 2013
    Just saw this yesterday and feel like I really wasted my $17.00 for this. The message of the film could have been delivered with a little more imagination--the downtrodden non-citizens even spoke spanish and looked hispanic. There was nothing new except for extreme parallels set in a futuristic setting that's been done before. The fight scenes were overdone and boring. The end was completely predictable. The only good thing was Matt Damon and Jodi Foster. Expand
  25. Aug 31, 2013
    I can't believe all the positive reviews for this movie. People obviously haven't taken the time to see other great movies or are just political hacks that will give this movie great review so people will fall for this garbage. Anyways to the review.

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

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

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

    Terrible. The idea that the world was absolutely ravaged by all of these conditions is a bit overdone. Also this idea that the wealthy would just watch people die when they have machines capable of healing the world is ridiculous. If people would actually read some books and analysis of the plutocracy they would understand that the rich are crazy philanthropist trying to put their foundations stamp on everything. A more believable plot line would be earth worshiping the plutocracy on the Elysium and having Elysium bureaucrats fighting over the worshipers of earth. Also the idea of robots having such range of motion to fight and to serve drinks, but don’t work in factories is unrealistic.
  26. Aug 28, 2013
    Hot damn. Saddest movie I've ever seen; great acting, fantastic CGI, impressive score, great visuals. It's just that the story is completely and utterly flawed. The premise makes no sense, physics doesn't play a role in this alternative universe and we exercise all the tired old TV tropes that'd never work in the real world. Man. I expected more from the man who brought us District 9. Goes to show that if you hero-worship one guy who was in charge of a blockbuster project and give him all the resources he asks for, sometimes, you just figure out that he's a clueless dickhead. Expand
  27. upi
    Aug 28, 2013
    After the engaging thrill that was District 9 I went to see Elysium with high hopes. Perhaps my disappointment can be largely attributed to my expectations of seeing good direction and insightful social commentary.

    What I got instead was a typical summer blockbuster with an excuse plot and lots of explosions. The protagonists and villains of a typical action shooter ended up being so
    bland that the CGI androids actually started to feel lifelike in comparison. In the end I started rooting for the androids to shake of the shackles of the boring human cast and start their terminator-style rebellion, just for the sake of a minor plot "twist". Expand
  28. Aug 28, 2013
    After seeing all the mediocre reviews, I still decided to go watch Elysium, since I liked Blomkamp's District 9 very much, and trailers promised a similar experience. And the result is, sadly, a disappointment. While having the same visual style as District 9, thrilling action sequences and outstanding psycho villain performance by Sharlto Copley, Elysium IS a mediocre movie, even almost a bad one. It tries to present some kind of drama and morality, but fails due to its plot. The thing is, the protagonists are not likeable, you can't really empathize them, and their goals are naive and just plain unachievable. Not to mention some inconsistencies with the technology, like the space station not having its own rocket batteries. District 9 was filmed for 30 million dollars and it looked great, and had a gripping plot. Elysium was filmed for 115, and is far worse than its predecessor, it's unclear where the money went to (except for famous actors' salary) Sadly, my trust in the director Neil Blomkamp is undermined. Expand
  29. Aug 27, 2013
    Eleysium is not a movie, it is a parody. It is a parody of a well-written sci-fi movie about the haves vs. the have-nots. They must have had to give a big payday to extremely talented Jodie Foster, as this film is well beneath her. Also, Foster and Matt Damon do not play characters, they play caricatures. Foster sports a painfully bad accent and might as well have said in the beginning, "I am the villain. I shall do what villains do so you won't like me..."

    Seriously, without the name power of Damon and Foster, this movie would be doomed to the 2am time slot on the SyFy channel. Neither the plot nor the action make any sort of sense, and the characters are cardboard cut outs. Seriously, if Damon and Foster weren't in this, it wouldn't made any sort of difference.
  30. Aug 25, 2013
    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.

    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.

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
    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
    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
    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.