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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 783 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 222
  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. Dec 26, 2013
    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
  3. Aug 11, 2013
    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. Expand
  4. Sep 7, 2013
    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.
  5. Aug 19, 2013
    Even though the movie has flaws, it kept me entertained for a couple of hours and it looks great, so I give it a pass. Matt Damon was very good in the lead, and overall the acting was good with the exception of Jodie Foster. Her performance was surprisingly wooden for an actress of her caliber. Also, be prepared to hear the phrase "THAT's what I'm talking About!" during the fight scenes. Yes, apparently they still say that silly phrase 150 years from now. In some cases the technology is worse than what we have now, especially the robot voices. The GPS in my car has a clearer voice than the robots and instrumentation in this film. The biggest flaw of the film was the bad guy "Kruger". His acting was fine, but his accent was so thick I couldn't understand half of what he said. Also the theme of the movie, with earth being split in the future between the haves and the have nots has been done many times. Still, the pacing was good, Matt Damon was great, and the look of the film great. Expand
  6. 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
  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 222 User Reviews