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

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 861 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 inIn 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
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 8, 2013
    88
    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
    80
    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
    75
    Decidedly more thought-provoking than most big-studio summer fare.
  4. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 8, 2013
    63
    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
    60
    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
    60
    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
    30
    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: 49 out of 228
  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 meJust 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
    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'mI 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. Collapse
  3. 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 thatIn 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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  4. Sep 7, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Elysium, set 2154, is a futuristic sci-fi film featuring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley. From the same director of District 9, Elysium displays the corruption of planet earth, pretty much the same way all movies show future earth. Using overpopulation, fires, and riots, on the destroyed streets and buildings, Elysium was not as original as I would’ve hoped.

    The rich don't have to live with this though. For a certain price, you can buy your way on to the "perfect" planet. On Elysium, there is no disease, the freshest air, and everyone is rich. Throughout the film, we follow Max (Matt Damon), who has five days to live due to radiation poisoning. As for Elysium, they do have a president, but Delacourt (Jodie Foster), pretty much runs the planet and makes orders against the laws of Elysium. Max gets special gear installed into his body making him a "super human" and battles his way to Elysium for a hopeful cure.

    Though the film kept me entertained with its solid fight scenes and great acting from Damon and Copley, it didn't seem like anything new in this category of movies. Jodie Foster was really insignificant in the film and her role could have been played by any actress or even actor as far as that is concerned. I will say that at first, I wasn't a fan of the ending, but it really kept me thinking after the near 2 hour film ended.

    Even though Max died in the end, I realized that he died happily, knowing his death was for the greater good of saving humanity on planet earth. In the end he found his calling and significance of his life’s impact on others. I was really into the movie, and I felt like I was in a game at some scenes following Max during gun battles. Sometimes the camera would get so shaky though that the audience could lose focus of Max, and could not follow him or any character for that matter on the screen. There were some points in the movie that were in slow motion. As Max’s gun was being fired, the audience could see his emotion in the scene, and follow the bullet shot.

    Overall the film kept me captivated and really made me think about what the world will be like as I grow older. I went into Elysium expecting a rather predictable ending, and I was actually surprised with some of the twists and turns the film took. Elysium was one of those fun to watch movies that leaves you thinking about the ending on your way out of the theater.
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  5. Aug 18, 2013
    6
    It's an interesting movie for 60 odd minutes. Road Warrior meets Brave New World. Then as usual in these kinds of movies instead of reallyIt's an interesting movie for 60 odd minutes. Road Warrior meets Brave New World. Then as usual in these kinds of movies instead of really trying to come up with a good ending they go all predictable and silly. There's your basic hero versus villain mano a mano endless fist fight. There's Matt Damon looking like something out of "Falling Skies," and Jodi forgetting which accent she's supposed to be using. Frankly from what I see of the 99.9% I'd have dropped a virus on them, waited, then repopulated. However Jodi didn't get to be boss. Expand
  6. 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 anWhat 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
  7. Sep 13, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Nothing mentioned in this review is past the 20 minute mark of the movie and much of it is mentioned/shown in the previews. If you consider that a spoiler, stop reading..

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

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

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

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