Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 786 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station called Elysium while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max, an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission that could save his life and the lives of millions on Earth. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 8, 2013
    Damon’s everyman workhorse is tragically sympathetic, plodding ahead against all odds. Copley is brilliant as the sadistic villain. Foster is … well, you gotta see it to believe it. In the meantime, you’ll be treated to one of the most entertaining action films of the year.
  2. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Aug 5, 2013
    At last, a good big film. The legacy of the summer, thus far, has been jetsam: moribund movies that lie there, bloated and beached, gasping to break even. But here is something angry and alive: Elysium.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 8, 2013
    Decidedly more thought-provoking than most big-studio summer fare.
  4. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 8, 2013
    A high-low tension runs through Elysium, not only in the narrative itself, but in Blomkamp’s own cinematic language, which can be lofty one moment and gleefully pulpy the next.
  5. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Aug 8, 2013
    This is a messy, poorly structured film, riddled with plot holes and lacking any kind of satisfying conclusion.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 6, 2013
    Granted, Elysium could be more clever as it goes about its business. This is smart sci-fi, but it's not as smart as it could have been -- or as many "District 9" fans were probably hoping it would be.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Aug 8, 2013
    The result is a grim and predictable adventure saga that is not nimble but leaden. Dystopia has rarely been so dysto-pointing.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 219
  1. Aug 9, 2013
    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 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 27, 2013
    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. Expand
  3. Aug 15, 2013
    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. Expand
  4. Aug 28, 2013
    If "District 9" was an allusion to racism, them "Elysium" clearly represents elitism.

    Neil Blomkamp brings us another Sci-Fi lacking the
    depth or integrity of "D9" but still gives us a solid entertaining story, Unfortunately however it doesn't really engage or come full circle until after the credits roll, only then does its appeal shine through.

    The year 2154 all wealthy people have left the poor on an overpopulated, no resources left earth to live on Elysium, a space station that looks like a real estate's wet dream and all manner of disease can be cured within seconds.

    Enter Max (Matt Damon) who after a fatal accident at work will try to get to Elysium by any means necessary, holding the keys to the future in the process whilst fighting off a harsh immigration suit (Jodie Foster) and her renegade hit man Kruger (Sharlto Copley).

    Damon is always a hit and miss for me, he's worthy enough of the material; and brings a solid performance to a character I still don't really care for until the third act despite how much of his past is shown, Foster does well and is suitably casted for her role yet playing evil is new and comes off more awkward than serious. However Sharlto Copley shines as a villain with such vile eccentrics he steals the show period.

    Other than that the movie is very well paced, being shorter would upset me and being longer would've felt far too stretched out, the FX look on a near 120 million dollar budget whereas again most blockbusters nowadays are costing the same or considerable more. but after everything I have said there's not a whole lot that blew me away and there's no real WOW factor, I wish could talk more positively about Elysium and that whole crossing the border thing really came off as an SNL parody than a serious plot point.

    Final Verdict: After all is said and done, there's really nothing seriously wrong with Elysium, however there's nothing particular grand about it either considering the potential, nevertheless it's an enjoyable flick and here's hoping to Blomkamp's next outing is superior.
  5. Aug 15, 2013
    If you're walking into the theater expecting a district 9, please walk the opposite direction. D9 does a much better job telling you the same exact theme and message. That being said Elysium still has entertainment value and the technology featured throughout the movie is a hot slice of good old science fiction pie. If anything the surroundings and settings served more of a character than the protagonists themselves. At a point I found myself caring more about the side characters such as Spider than I did about Max (Damon). I felt Max was simply the vehicle taking me through the plot, except when he gets a nice go-pro angle camera and tears stuff up with his exo-suit. It feels incredibly unrealistic though that an everyday man could all of a sudden have the fighting experience to take on spec ops soldiers just because he has an exo suit. I won't go into detail but with the way I see it Kruger (Copley) not only steals the show, but by all logical means should have complete tactical supremacy against any opponent. So you know what, I take back what I said earlier. If you expect to see D9 (aka Copley being a thug) then this movie IS for you, because lets be honest there's merit in rooting for the bad guys. Expand
  6. 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.

    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.
  7. Sep 13, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Nothing mentioned in this review is past the 20 minute mark of the movie and much of it is mentioned/shown in the previews. If you consider that a spoiler, stop reading..

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

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

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

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

See all 219 User Reviews