Equilibrium

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 447 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 447

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 22, 2013
    4
    Equilibrium is an underground Sci-Fi film with a huge cult following. If you ask any other Sci-Fi geek, they'll probably have Equilibrium in their top ten list, but I couldn't tell you why. The film is vintage Sci-Fi, with a semi-original idea, unfortunately, the cast just didn't pull it off. I've never been a huge Christian Bale fan and this movie is a prime example of why. He's given aEquilibrium is an underground Sci-Fi film with a huge cult following. If you ask any other Sci-Fi geek, they'll probably have Equilibrium in their top ten list, but I couldn't tell you why. The film is vintage Sci-Fi, with a semi-original idea, unfortunately, the cast just didn't pull it off. I've never been a huge Christian Bale fan and this movie is a prime example of why. He's given a role that suites him perfectly and he mumbles and relies on the rest of the cast to carry him. In the future, emotions and things that evoke emotions are outlawed, and Bale is one of the men responsible for enforcing these laws, but he soon turns to the other side, when he accidentally feels an emotion for the first time. Bale is a cold guy to begin with. He never shows much emotion even when his role calls for it, so aside from Keanu Reeves, he was the best choice for this role. The story was a little out there and the effects were over the top, but it's Bale himself who puts the icing on the turd cake. He's completely dependent on his fellow cast members and the ridiculous special effects his character is given. Maybe I'm just not that bright, but I really don't understand why so many people are so obsessed with this movie. The cast wasn't anything special and the story was okay at best. Expand
  2. GaborA.
    Dec 6, 2003
    6
    The back drop and set up of the society is a poor rip off from various works. However, the cast, visuals, and plot twists held out until the very end when the movie becomes a bloody mess followed by a bullshit hollywood ending. The film did not stimulate my mind too much, but it took its place in my imagination right next all the ideas it was based on so whenever i think about 1984 i add The back drop and set up of the society is a poor rip off from various works. However, the cast, visuals, and plot twists held out until the very end when the movie becomes a bloody mess followed by a bullshit hollywood ending. The film did not stimulate my mind too much, but it took its place in my imagination right next all the ideas it was based on so whenever i think about 1984 i add some action scenes inspired by this movie to make it more interesting. Expand
  3. Jan 17, 2015
    5
    There is far too much action, which is rather poorly done, and effects that were mediocre in 2002. However, it contains a surprisingly deep pseudo-intellectual premise and story that would could have carried the movie if it wasn't also trying way too hard to be like other, vastly superior Sci-Fi films.
  4. Mar 15, 2015
    5
    A solid movie with grey atmosphere and some really good action lines. On the other hand, confusing and dull parts are obviously inevitable despite of mediocre Bale performance .
  5. Aug 11, 2016
    6
    I have mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, the action is superb and the story is reminiscent enough of dystopian classics while still maintaining enough original elements to make for an interesting premise and maintain this interest throughout the movie. On the other, writer/director Kurt Wimmer isn't particularly known for subtlety and intelligence in his films, which a movie likeI have mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, the action is superb and the story is reminiscent enough of dystopian classics while still maintaining enough original elements to make for an interesting premise and maintain this interest throughout the movie. On the other, writer/director Kurt Wimmer isn't particularly known for subtlety and intelligence in his films, which a movie like this most certainly requires in order to be successful.

    The story, a mashup of elements derived from other, bigger, and better films like Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World, follows John Preston, a high-ranking member of a secret police force established in humanity's last bastion following World War 3 and tasked with eliminating any and all items that invoke human emotion, as well as executing "Sense Offenders" who fail to take the emotion-blocking drug Prozium. Yes, rather than books or knowledge deemed dangerous by the ruling party in other similar works, humanity's problems are this time blamed upon our ability to feel, particularly rage and anger, but anything that invokes any emotion whatsoever is labeled for destruction--music, paintings, literature, you name it. The concept is interesting: without emotion someone is typically considered a sociopath/psychopath, and yet crime and violence are completely eradicated in the city-state of Libria (aside from the "necessary" execution of Sense Offenders in the Nether region beyond the city and in the giant furnaces beneath the streets). But rather than delving deeper into the societal implications of this, Wimmer instead settles for a disappointingly normal saga about Preston and what begins to happen to him when he accidentally misses a dose of Prozium before devolving further into a "rebellion versus evil government who seeks out the help of an ex-bad guy" plot. Typical.

    The cast is both a strength and a weakness. One great thing about this movie is that it brings out the best in Sean Bean, who as Preston's original partner Errol Partridge brings real emotion, conviction, and humanity to his brief appearances in the movie, remorseful for having served the government in pursuit of a misguided quest to rob mankind of what makes us human, before quoting Yeats poetry and taking a bullet to the neck in an abandoned church in typical Sean Bean fashion, though we're sad to see him go. He would have undoubtedly made a more interesting protagonist than Preston (portrayed by Christian Bale), who, aside from the moments in which he experiences flashes of emotion that cause breakdowns on the spot, is not terribly convincing or interesting. Wimmer doesn't try at all to make him likable nor does he give us much reason to care for him, as he shoots his best friend early on in the movie and was present at his wife's execution despite having fought to prevent the police from taking her when they raided his house. His speech is very monotone (if and when he does speak), and his main purpose in the movie appears to be to shoot people. Though that's more, I suppose, than Emily Watson's Mary O'Brien character was allowed to do, as after her arrest all she did was sit in an interrogation room and wait for Preston to come back and say something to her. And one other thing, though I won't spoil that. Taye Diggs, for a man without emotion, sure puts a lot more into his performance than Bale does, smiling and occasionally cracking jokes while still capable of being ruthless when it is demanded of him (though he's not exactly the greatest fighter without an armed strike team to back him up). The two standouts in this movie are Bean, because we wish we could have seen more of him, and Diggs, who is appropriately devious in his role as a secondary antagonist.

    One superb element of the movie is the action sequences, especially the gun kata utilized by the Grammaton Clerics that puts even John Woo's signature gun fu style to shame. The difference here is that while other forms of the art usually rely on pure reflex, Wimmer's style is more scientific, allowing the wielder, through analysis of recorded gunfights, to predict the angles of enemy fire and adjust their own fire to inflict the maximum amount of damage on opponents while suffering a minimal amount themselves. The gunplay in the film is fast, unrelenting, and brutal, and it looks cool as hell, beating out even "The Matrix" and "Desperado".

    As I stated above, there are things that I like about this movie, and things that I don't. Is it entertaining? Sure. Does it make a statement about humanity and society, and the direction we're headed? To an extent. But if you're looking for a meatier, more philosophical look on a less undesirable trait of our species, go watch one of the more classic dystopian movies rather than this one. Still, on a slow Saturday night, this will offer a fun and usually engaging ride, provided you don't read too much into it. 6/10
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Metascore
33

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 22
  2. Negative: 10 out of 22
  1. Super- violent, super-serious and super-stupid.
  2. 25
    Equilibrium doesn't tread softly on our dreams; it tramples them.
  3. The best thing about Equilibrium is its impressive look. Along with its generally fine cast and some well-choreographed fights, that goes a long way to making the movie watchable -- despite its underlying stupidity.