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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 858 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 227
  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. Expand
  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. Aug 28, 2013
    7
    If "District 9" was an allusion to racism, them "Elysium" clearly represents elitism.

    Neil Blomkamp brings us another Sci-Fi lacking the
    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.
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  5. Aug 15, 2013
    6
    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 sameIf 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. 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.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
    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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