User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 356 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 356
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  1. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    Critics keep mentioning the plot and the themes which are the weaker aspects of equilibrium. This movie was incredible for me because of the performances "christian bale" "emily watson" "sean bean" , the superb novelty and excellence of the martial arts and action sequences, and the crisp sharpness of atmosphere. Alot of criticism is aimed at bcuz its based in a dystopic future world andCritics keep mentioning the plot and the themes which are the weaker aspects of equilibrium. This movie was incredible for me because of the performances "christian bale" "emily watson" "sean bean" , the superb novelty and excellence of the martial arts and action sequences, and the crisp sharpness of atmosphere. Alot of criticism is aimed at bcuz its based in a dystopic future world and its "done before" but dystopic setting should be thought of as a genre rather than a plot so i don't think it has to be new and original all the time. Also note that it came out in 2002, soon after the first matrix movie. So it's a bit unfair to say that it copied the matrix when a lot of work would have already begun on equilibrium. Most pple would have watched it years and years after it was made, bcuz they saw christian bale in batman. Equilibrium is always in my mind christian bales greatest performance. And Gun kata a semi-realistic martial art that has spawned a real-life niche in itself. Expand
  2. Dec 3, 2013
    8
    Wow, talk about aiflm with an overwhelming amount of unnecessary hate. Equilibrium is a very high quality sci-fi action flick with great sequences of drama, along with a fantastic performance by the ever brilliant Christian Bale. His performance alone lifts this up from your ordinary action movie to something much more.
  3. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    Equilibrium is one of those movies I regret not having seen earlier and I was amazed to see that it had scored so badly pretty much everywhere. To start of, yes Sean Bean is in it and yes it happens it should be no mystery by now. Christian Bale plays John Preston is a futuristic cop called a Grammaton Cleric, his job is to find and arrest (or kill) sense offenders which are people whoEquilibrium is one of those movies I regret not having seen earlier and I was amazed to see that it had scored so badly pretty much everywhere. To start of, yes Sean Bean is in it and yes it happens it should be no mystery by now. Christian Bale plays John Preston is a futuristic cop called a Grammaton Cleric, his job is to find and arrest (or kill) sense offenders which are people who have decided to reject the Fascist governments policy that emotions are evil and need to be pressured using a special drug. Prestons character development through out the movie is phenomenal, to see a cold blooded killer who only cares about following his corrupt governments rules to a soft hearted human who risked everything for a puppy is definitely something to see. The new fighting technique called gun kata is definitely interesting when he is actually shooting but when he gets into a close quarter fight near the end it is a bit ridiculous to watch 2 grown men and professional killers slap each others gun about and make absolutely no head way in the fight for a good 30 seconds. The plot is one of the best I have ever seen and kept me enthralled through out the entire movie, there was never a point that I wanted to look away from the screen apart from one part but not because it was bad but because I didn't want to believe it would happen. The team behind this movie worked hard and the actors worked even harder to get their message across, Equilibrium deserves a 10/10 and if I could go any higher I would. Every one needs to go see this movie right now! Expand
  4. MarkusW
    May 13, 2009
    10
    Once of my alltime favourite movies. Drama and Action could go together before the new BSG. But it´s hardly surprising that a movie warning of "soft totalitarianism" isn´t well recieved the media. Make a movie about a clicheed fascist gouvernement seizing power using anti-terror as an excuse and they love you. But a movie talking about how the concept of hate-crimes will lead Once of my alltime favourite movies. Drama and Action could go together before the new BSG. But it´s hardly surprising that a movie warning of "soft totalitarianism" isn´t well recieved the media. Make a movie about a clicheed fascist gouvernement seizing power using anti-terror as an excuse and they love you. But a movie talking about how the concept of hate-crimes will lead to policing of thought and you are a heretic. Expand
  5. RyanJ.
    Mar 9, 2006
    10
    one of the best films ever made, original and inovative action, amazing acting and a film that can be watched over and over. It will make you question al the critics who try to discredit the film.
  6. KyleS.
    May 9, 2007
    10
    It appears that all the low ratings for this movie are just people that are bashing it, while the good reviews seem filled with inspiration, appreciation, and satisfaction. What are the people making low ratings missing? I thought this movie was one of the best I have ever seen and was absolutely blown away by it. Stunning effects and choreography, incredible depth in the story, extremely It appears that all the low ratings for this movie are just people that are bashing it, while the good reviews seem filled with inspiration, appreciation, and satisfaction. What are the people making low ratings missing? I thought this movie was one of the best I have ever seen and was absolutely blown away by it. Stunning effects and choreography, incredible depth in the story, extremely believable character development, and an amazing message. Not to mention heart pounding action - this movie literally made me feel like I wanted to stop watching it because it was so suspenseful and absorbing that I didn't want to risk watching it all for fear it might not go the way I wanted it to! Absolutely amazing. Expand
  7. MangoporkNK
    Mar 2, 2006
    9
    CRIMINALLY Underrated!! Don't make the gullible mistake of pidgeonholing this movie as a matrix/1984 ripoff. Director Kurt Wimmer already addressed these claims stating that while he did willingly borrow some elements from those films, his dramatic intent was to re-examine several themes that are crucial to humanity while presenting a new take on choreographed hyperstylized action. CRIMINALLY Underrated!! Don't make the gullible mistake of pidgeonholing this movie as a matrix/1984 ripoff. Director Kurt Wimmer already addressed these claims stating that while he did willingly borrow some elements from those films, his dramatic intent was to re-examine several themes that are crucial to humanity while presenting a new take on choreographed hyperstylized action. Did he succeed? Instead of a simple answer, and instead of offering more hyperboles or pompous critical slams like everyone else here, let me just say this: In all of my 22 years of watching films from every genre, making it a near-weekly tradition to go out to the movies with close friends & beloved family members, Equilbrium is the only movie that I immediately bought a second ticket for just so that I could experience it again consequently after it's first showing. And that's just for the action scenes. My friends and I whipped out our cell phones, calling everyone we knew inviting them to come see this pleasant gem that has shined out from nowhere. The ultimate bottom line, stripping away all of the hype and mostly undue criticisms, Equilbrium entertains with it's truly unique, expertly choreographed, jaw-dropping action sequences mixed with passion, art, tight pacing, great acting, and wonderful drama. It's story may or may not be unique to you, but it is touching nonetheless, and if you have any sense of empathy then you will remember it. Is it the best film you'll ever see? Probably not. But honestly now, what movie ever is, universally speaking? It boils down to this: If you're looking for a good time, you will find it in Equillibrium. If you want a film that hits the right notes of the delicate musical balance that is "action & drama" without being hammy or contrived, Equilibrium is your song. If you hate science fiction, enjoy bitching about movies, are too cynical, or have no sense of empathy, look elsewhere (or better yet, stop watching films altogether and find a new hobby). As for me, three years after that fateful first viewing, this film is still near the top of my highly-selective DVD shelf. Expand
  8. MiKE
    Apr 2, 2006
    7
    I liked this movie. but its nowhere close to bladerunner. but still I enjoyed it alot. It seems like the director really wanted to make this movie as good as possible and it shows. Not a bad movie.
  9. SzymonZ.
    Jan 8, 2007
    8
    The Film is complete - you get what you see. It tells a story, doesn't let you down in any moment, full of action, nice effects, nice cinematography, etc.... It is complete.
  10. JH
    Jun 21, 2007
    8
    Great action, Bale carries the movie. Guards and troopers look a little too stylish. But the clerics are dead on.
  11. JohnS.
    Sep 20, 2007
    9
    This was one of the best action movies I've ever seen! It has some of the feel of The Matrix but the action was more believable. Christian Bale was AWESOME! The story was good, a little slow at times but good. It had depth and heart which you don't see much in action these days.
  12. MarkK.
    Jan 10, 2009
    8
    An enjoyable film overall. Only faults I can find are the similarities to the Matrix (which cause a great amount of De ja vu) and some of the fight scenes get a bit brainless, but it's great fun.
  13. KyleP.
    Dec 11, 2002
    8
    I must concur with my fellow viewers. I fail to see what the movie did poorly. It unapologetically lifts from 1984, F 451, and Brave New World, but then this is if anything positive. The action is creative and superbly performed, the plot is actually rather nuanced, and the acting is surprisingly good. This just continues to prove that The Onion's AV Club is the only critic worth I must concur with my fellow viewers. I fail to see what the movie did poorly. It unapologetically lifts from 1984, F 451, and Brave New World, but then this is if anything positive. The action is creative and superbly performed, the plot is actually rather nuanced, and the acting is surprisingly good. This just continues to prove that The Onion's AV Club is the only critic worth reading. Equilibrium does a fine job at what it tries to do, and the premise behind it is more relevant now than ever. Expand
  14. AlexP.
    Dec 12, 2002
    9
    I haven't seen a movie I've enjoyed this much for quite a while. It wasn't the most well done movie ever. However, the entertainment value of the film was worth the price of admission. As for the critic (Elvis Mitchell) from the N.Y. Times who gave it a 0, why don't you stop using words like "stupider" before you start telling other people how stupid something is. Just I haven't seen a movie I've enjoyed this much for quite a while. It wasn't the most well done movie ever. However, the entertainment value of the film was worth the price of admission. As for the critic (Elvis Mitchell) from the N.Y. Times who gave it a 0, why don't you stop using words like "stupider" before you start telling other people how stupid something is. Just a suggestion. Expand
  15. KevinDavies
    Dec 7, 2002
    10
    Smart, and action packed, now that is a winning combination. Definitely worth the money.
  16. AndrewC.
    Dec 7, 2002
    9
    All these critics are haters of this film, and i'm not sure why. well its probably because they are paid to hate films. either way, its unfortunate because this film was amazing for what its worth. its got a half decent story and tantalizing fight scenes. who could ask for anything more. its no matrix, but most definitely it is underrated with a metacritic "32". (btw, taye diggs didntAll these critics are haters of this film, and i'm not sure why. well its probably because they are paid to hate films. either way, its unfortunate because this film was amazing for what its worth. its got a half decent story and tantalizing fight scenes. who could ask for anything more. its no matrix, but most definitely it is underrated with a metacritic "32". (btw, taye diggs didnt have to be in this movie, casting really messed up with him. christian baye rocks!) go see it because its a cool film to see and not because the critics are bashing it and hopefully you won't regret it. your choice... Expand
  17. LynnL.
    Dec 7, 2002
    10
    Christian Bale did a superb job acting in this Sci-Fi action flick. Apart from the amazing action sequences and emotional undertone, the plot was geniously thought out. While I watched this film, I could parallel parts of Fahrenheit 451 and Gattaca, which just added to my intrigue for the way the movie would be done. All together, I was enormously happy that what I expected from Christian Christian Bale did a superb job acting in this Sci-Fi action flick. Apart from the amazing action sequences and emotional undertone, the plot was geniously thought out. While I watched this film, I could parallel parts of Fahrenheit 451 and Gattaca, which just added to my intrigue for the way the movie would be done. All together, I was enormously happy that what I expected from Christian Bale, he delivered. Once again, he has shown his true colors as an amazing actor and I hope that he finally gets the credit he deserves. Plus the fact that he is amazingly gorgeous and can kick major ass helps a hell of a lot too ;) Expand
  18. Jeff
    Jan 14, 2003
    10
    Many of these professional reviews just cement my belief that some critics are so jaded and cynical that they can't enjoy a movie at face value. The Matrix, better than Equilibrium? Please. Regardless of the fact that the story in Equilibrium, patchy as it is in places, is far more viable than that of the Matrix (using human electrical fields as energy sources? Please... I'm Many of these professional reviews just cement my belief that some critics are so jaded and cynical that they can't enjoy a movie at face value. The Matrix, better than Equilibrium? Please. Regardless of the fact that the story in Equilibrium, patchy as it is in places, is far more viable than that of the Matrix (using human electrical fields as energy sources? Please... I'm sure those superintelligent robots should have been able to think up more efficient energy sources), the acting is better, the action/choreography is better (Keanu Reeves moves like a three-legged turtle compared to any of the actors in Equilibrium), and the directing, in my opinion, is better. The only thing in which Equilibrium was lacking, as far as I could tell (because I didn't get a chance to see it a second time... only in theaters for a week? What the hell?? Thank god they pulled it out of theaters to make way for "Just Married"), were some of the special effects shots, namely the panoramic CG shots of the city. Of course, that would be unavoidable given the small budget they had to work with. In short, an excellent film, and one I will be picking up on DVD on its release date. Expand
  19. Jonah
    Jan 14, 2003
    10
    Cool flick.
  20. MalloryD.
    Nov 5, 2003
    10
    Gun Kata is amazing and its a deep thoughful movie.
  21. BobM.
    May 16, 2003
    9
    Very underrated. This will be a classic, on a par with A Clockwork Orange, and 2001, A Space Odyssey. Not without its need to suspend reality, but very stylish, well done and doesn't take itself toooo seriously... and that's from watching it on tape. I will be looking for the dvd.
  22. AutumnTactics
    May 23, 2003
    7
    This is a very underrated movie. The acting was good, with lovely, very controlled acting from Christian Bale. I disagree that Matrix or Matrix:Reloaded was better than this film. This film had conflict, and actual, concrete emotion. I remember one of my other gripes with Matrix Reloaded included my irritation with their fixation on Wire-Fu. Suggestion to American moviemakers: Stick with This is a very underrated movie. The acting was good, with lovely, very controlled acting from Christian Bale. I disagree that Matrix or Matrix:Reloaded was better than this film. This film had conflict, and actual, concrete emotion. I remember one of my other gripes with Matrix Reloaded included my irritation with their fixation on Wire-Fu. Suggestion to American moviemakers: Stick with what you do best. Play with the guns, and leave the martial arts to us Asians. Anyone wonder why Japanese moviegoers laughed their ass off as they watched Trinity suspened into the air for a split second, only to do a very pansy kick to her opponent's chest? In Equilibrium, the Westerners stick to what they do best: gunfighting, and the movie presented gunfighting in its absolute sublime: Gunkatas, or the art of gunfighting. The gunkata scenes are elaborate, fast, and not dumbed down to cater to a stupid audience. Suggestion: Buy the DVD! Expand
  23. CateS.
    May 29, 2003
    10
    I love this movie!
  24. DanielR.
    Jun 22, 2003
    9
    It's obvious the critics are just out of touch with society. They all just jumped on the band wagon of bashing the movie in pathetic attempts to make themselves look clever while bashing the movie. Most everything that is made now days is inspired form something else. This movie had heart and action. And a musical score that puts most others to shame. After reading all these reviews It's obvious the critics are just out of touch with society. They all just jumped on the band wagon of bashing the movie in pathetic attempts to make themselves look clever while bashing the movie. Most everything that is made now days is inspired form something else. This movie had heart and action. And a musical score that puts most others to shame. After reading all these reviews from other "critics". I am now fully convinced that critics don't know anything. Expand
  25. EugeneY.
    Jul 17, 2003
    7
    Scores only for the gunkatas action. Storyline's dumb.
  26. DomS.
    Aug 12, 2003
    8
    Just plain cool. Look past all the 1984,Brave New World crap and enjoy it. Suspension of disbelief? Hey, why not.
  27. RickB.
    Aug 20, 2003
    8
    This movie is very well done. From the visuals to the action to the overall FEEL. Fast paced and there are MANY moments where you are left thinking that was THE BEST action shoot-out scene EVER conceived!! Better than Matrix Reloaded.
  28. DemonicAngel
    Aug 2, 2004
    8
    Despite the very low Metascore, I really enjoyed this movie. People slate it as a low-budget Matrix ripoff. I view it as a film which doesn't tell a particularly new or original story, but does it with a lot of panache and some ace action sequences. Not to mention that the Gun Kata is much cooler than Bullet Time ever will be, because it's just feasible that in the future it Despite the very low Metascore, I really enjoyed this movie. People slate it as a low-budget Matrix ripoff. I view it as a film which doesn't tell a particularly new or original story, but does it with a lot of panache and some ace action sequences. Not to mention that the Gun Kata is much cooler than Bullet Time ever will be, because it's just feasible that in the future it might become a possibility. The setting is great, with the sterile monochromicity and rigidity of Libria contrasting sharply with the "home comforts" enjoyed by the resistance. Christian Bale puts in a characteristically good performance as a Grammaton Cleric (the Librian elite, enforcers who seek out and destroy all perpetrators of "sense-crime") who is so used to not feeling emotion that, when he does, he finds it almost too much to bear. The only problem I have with the film is the "Hollywood happy ending" - a film of this sort should have a depressing or inconclusive end for maximum impact. Otherwise, an enjoyable and stylish sci-fi action flick which should satisfy people (like me) who thought The Matrix trilogy was too ambitious for its own good. Expand
  29. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    I am seriously considering never again opening Metacritic. I mean what sort of nonsense ratings are those? Are these critics retarded or what? This is an amazing movie and deserves at least an 8!
  30. Sandund
    Jun 8, 2009
    10
    Whats up with most of these critics. If they didn't see the depth and the message in this movie, well they are a bunch of retards who were probably dropped as infants. This in one of the most iconic movies I've seen for a long time. A definite cult fav. Hats off.
  31. Nick
    Jun 17, 2008
    9
    One of the most underrated films of all time with a deep and ahead of its time story.
  32. StefanM.
    Feb 12, 2008
    10
    those who gave this film 0 are jealous!!!! OK, it has from films like Fahrenheit 451, 1984, etc. some ideas, but Kurt Wimmer was doing this project for 12 years and his final product, Equilibrium, is fantastic movie! so, those who gave it less than 6 can come here and suck my balls!!!!!!!!!
  33. WillD.
    Jan 5, 2003
    9
    9.5 even. This movie... reigned. Today's reviewers are such a bunch of paid off schlocks. This is THE MOST UNDERRATED FILM of the year, and perhaps the decade. Those reviewers would be giving nines and tens if this film came out before the Matrix. The difference between the two is that the society depicted in Equilibrium is actually possible. The acting, story, cinematography, sound, 9.5 even. This movie... reigned. Today's reviewers are such a bunch of paid off schlocks. This is THE MOST UNDERRATED FILM of the year, and perhaps the decade. Those reviewers would be giving nines and tens if this film came out before the Matrix. The difference between the two is that the society depicted in Equilibrium is actually possible. The acting, story, cinematography, sound, choreopraphy and set design were each nearly flawless. If you like action and you've seen The Two Towers, then finding a better flick than Equilibrium from the list at left will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. And if you've got a DVD player, and missed it at the theatre, don't rent... buy. Your friends will know who the king is after they pop by for a flick, and that's a guarantee. P.S. Possibly the best conventional action footage ever... I guess I'd better stop before I start naming reviewers who SHOULD BE FIRED FOR BEING IGNORANT MONKEYS. And the best action P.C. game in history is called DEUS EX, and this site would do well to review it. [Ed: Try the search engine: PC - 90; PS2 - 80] (Great site, nonetheless.) Expand
  34. EnriqueD.
    Aug 10, 2003
    8
    This movie found itself into my DVD player with great reluctance: I had never heard of ?Equilibrium? and therefore, had low expectations (and isn?t that Diggs guy a model?) I halfheartedly agreed to watch this movie at the request of a friend. I am very happy I watched this: this was, overall, a fantastic movie ? it had great action, a great look, and it made you think without preaching This movie found itself into my DVD player with great reluctance: I had never heard of ?Equilibrium? and therefore, had low expectations (and isn?t that Diggs guy a model?) I halfheartedly agreed to watch this movie at the request of a friend. I am very happy I watched this: this was, overall, a fantastic movie ? it had great action, a great look, and it made you think without preaching to you. I don?t agree with the consensus of the ?professional? critics: ?Clueless? Obvious script? Matrix rip off?? Few if any artists (i.e. directors) claim to be completely devoid of any inspiration. Why? Because they ARE often inspired by other artists! Maybe Daniel R. was right; the critics ?are just out of touch with society?, or perhaps they did watch a different movie. Does ?Apocalypse Now? suck because it was inspired by Conrad?s ?Heart of Darkness?? Say it with me: Of course not! Expand
  35. KarmaS.
    Oct 13, 2007
    10
    Very nice! Sure Matrix was damn good, but it was one of the trend at that period, only because this movie didn't advertise as much, doesn't mean this is a bad movie at all. True critic make minor stream movies alive! is it's good! Only stupids, just like to COMPARE!!!
  36. PaulS.
    Mar 23, 2008
    10
    I thought this was one of the best films I have ever seen. The hidden references to classical works and the amazing fight scenes won me over. I would consider this a "must see".
  37. ChrisH.
    Aug 25, 2008
    8
    Say what you want but despite real originality and some silliness Wimmer's anti-utopia is still one of the bests I've ever saw. And anyway nowadays you can't really do anything truly original.
  38. PhilipF.
    Feb 20, 2009
    10
    Excellent movie, great fight scenes, and they actually managed to make gun fights amazingly interesting. Gun-kata is actually something i'd enjoy seeing in future movies, even if it is fictional. plot only really became cheesy for about a 10 minute period towards the end, but other than that, great flick.
  39. EricS.
    Dec 8, 2002
    10
    Equilibrium is the best pure sci-fi action film of the decade to date. Christian Bale's great performance is riveting and dramatically powerful. Obviously, the standout segments are the action sequences, which are simply exhilarating. Anyone who doesn't get a visceral thrill from the final battle (which pits Bale against at least 50 men) must not have a pulse.
  40. RonJ.
    May 17, 2003
    10
    One of the best movies of the year.
  41. MethosN.
    May 20, 2003
    9
    I guess this is the reason why Critics should find themselves another hobby because they aren't doing their jobs......Come on people, this movie was good and it deserves credit.
  42. Endgut
    Jun 4, 2003
    8
    After renting this movie, I must say, this was a lot better than I expected. IMO it blew away Matrix Reloaded. I just loved the plot and the action sequences. I can only hope there will be a sequel, or perhaps a prequel. I'm definitely going to be purchasing this DVD.
  43. JohnnyA.
    Mar 17, 2004
    10
    This is fo schizzle! Christian Bale at his morbid best! I loved it!
  44. AkhilK.
    Aug 7, 2004
    9
    MAN! What a low score! I realy liked this movie. It had an awesome coolness and was very slick. And the action sequences are quite possibly the best ever.
  45. ethanl.
    Jan 28, 2005
    10
    Nice story.
  46. JohnA.
    Jun 8, 2005
    10
    A very good movie indeed. Surprisingly smart. A pleasure to watch. One of the best movies have seen recently. The newspapers are just silly.
  47. ZefranC.
    Sep 3, 2008
    10
    Awesome movie. Those who rated it low, simply doesn't understand it. I'ts not a movie for everyone, but if everyone was able to understand it, we where in a better world.
  48. JonathanC.
    Jan 7, 2009
    10
    This movie is severely underrated. In my opinion, this movie is one of the better sci-fi or action movies I've ever seen. But then, Star Wars: Ep. 3 got a 68 on metacritic, and it's garbage.
  49. RonnyG.
    Jan 28, 2009
    10
    This is one of the best movies ever. It's action scenes outclass the Matrix by at least 2x, if not 100x! The plot, character development, characters, and ending all outclass The Matrix (which was a great movie.) My favorite part is the ending! One of the best endings ever, because it says what we all feel, and gives us what we truly want: Pure Ownage.
  50. JenG.
    Feb 28, 2009
    10
    This is an excellent rendition of the potential of totalitarianism today. I have to agree with some other users, that the "critics" are truly in denial about society. Take a hard look at the world today, know anyone on anti-depressants or Ritalin? Do you feel world news is uncensored? If you feel that world leaders and nations aren't manipulating emotions for political/financial gain This is an excellent rendition of the potential of totalitarianism today. I have to agree with some other users, that the "critics" are truly in denial about society. Take a hard look at the world today, know anyone on anti-depressants or Ritalin? Do you feel world news is uncensored? If you feel that world leaders and nations aren't manipulating emotions for political/financial gain or profit, you are truly in denial as well. Expand
  51. KR
    Sep 26, 2008
    9
    Reading the critics' reviews, I am astonished by the vacuity and triteness. Apparently they hate dystopia themes because they fail to produce any kind of intelligent criticism. It contains a clever dystopia premise with solid acting and innovative---if unrealistic---action sequences. Once again, if you hate dystopia themes then just admit it upfront. Don't pretend, though, that Reading the critics' reviews, I am astonished by the vacuity and triteness. Apparently they hate dystopia themes because they fail to produce any kind of intelligent criticism. It contains a clever dystopia premise with solid acting and innovative---if unrealistic---action sequences. Once again, if you hate dystopia themes then just admit it upfront. Don't pretend, though, that this movie is "mindless" because it copies other dystopian themes. That is a mindless statement, for sure. Expand
  52. Aug 22, 2011
    8
    Very good movie. For another supposedly shallow action production you get a well written story with good played and believable characters and good action scenes. I liked the showing of the future world the director has chosen and particulary the psychology behind the main person. The world did not get demonised the way it is done in other action flicks. We see that indeed, a world withoutVery good movie. For another supposedly shallow action production you get a well written story with good played and believable characters and good action scenes. I liked the showing of the future world the director has chosen and particulary the psychology behind the main person. The world did not get demonised the way it is done in other action flicks. We see that indeed, a world without emotions is a calm place with everyone doing their job for the good of the society. It would even present an attractive picture if wasn`t for the over the top police procedures. Instead of being locked up somewhere, the emotion (as society`s enemy #1) is to be destroyed once and for all. Getting rid of all the culture by the state is also too much for the vision to be acceptable. What we see exactly is what we might miss if we took the pill that supposedly is our saviour. In both dimensions : from POV of a single human being and the whole bunch of people. Hell yes it would have been more "efficient", but we`d stop being people. John preston sees that and shows others. It was fascinating, making me reflect the movie for couple of weeks. To add to that, we get some drama with some good action. Believable, original and solid. Expand
  53. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    Why does this movie receive such low scores from reviewers? It is a fantastic movie! I have to agree with MarkusW, guess the media did not like the message.
  54. Jan 21, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An underrated piece of art, this bleak future where emotions are forbidden has an ironic emotional core to it. It doesn't surround itself with blatant copies of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, in fact, what many people would assume are carbon copies I would prefer to call references, harking back to other dystopian films while also being a standalone film in its own right. Equilibrium treats the matter with mild stoicism, foreshadowing particular events in a neat way that manages to explode in a thrilling yet thoughtful way. The ignorance of many critics that assumed the worst, didn't seem to see the whole picture. None of this was about the fact that censorship exists or that you could be executed for certain crimes. The whole idea of the film was to make you see how people behaved through lack of emotion, with the failure to see that emotion is what makes us human. Rather than take a purely political motive, it manages to incorporate perhaps a majorly ethical motive. The action that is contained in this film is not just for showing off. The stylistic features render the action scenes mindblowing, but no less helping to drive the core theme of the story - besides, the main character is a cleric, trained in the art of Gun Kata (a thrilling name for a sadly non-existent masterpiece of fighting style) who manages to put a chink in Libria's armour as we see through his perspective by realising he can use this weapon against the system that attempts and fails to betray him as someone who is 'feeling'. When I first regarded this film, I became fascinated about how, amongst the close-ups and wider shots, the main character seems to obviously show some kind of emotion without the intrusion of the system demanding why on earth he hasn't been arrested for his crimes. This ultimately came to the climax, whereby the foreshadowing managed to sneak its way in at the beginning. The fact that Christian Bale was chosen for this role makes me wonder why some people didn't think this was good, considering how deft he was in executing the action, the visual non-speaking scenes and the dialogue. To the amazing use of irony, a number of heart-rending scenes kept up the core theme, and the stylistic use of camera focus on Christian Bale emphasised the distress that we could feel he was going through, one being his flinching when we don't see the dogs being shot, but we can feel it by way of his reaction. However, I thought one of the most chilling scenes was during a raid of someone's apartment, with fires burning and people spattered with blood, was the simplicity of a dying man running into the main character, known as John Preston, bleeding, desperation and hope glittering in his eyes as he slides down, leaving Preston aghast and completely horrified, reflecting the man's pain. The expression on his face could not have been possibly matched, Christian Bale just executed that so perfectly that I could feel myself choking up and stopping dead. So this film, by none the way anything completely copied from other films, is a masterpiece in its own right. By way of insulting the stylistic features to convey emotion and provide thrilling action that shaped the film, the amazingly well-acted characters that were to no end incredibly fascinating, the amazingly clever storyline, you are refusing to take it to the light of some of the world's greatest films and distastefully making the biggest mistake of throwing it away. Like the scene in the film, whereby Preston awakes from a nightmare with shock and overwhelming emotion, tears away the fabric from the window to reveal glimmering light on the horizon and a rainbow glowing in the rain, it strips away the layers as the film goes on, lulling you into a false sense of security, but instead just brings you surprises exploding onto the scene, leaving you brimming with hope at the end. Look out for the poignant reference of Yeats. Expand
  55. Jun 5, 2012
    7
    It's cliched, and often at times, a little silly, but there's enough story, thematic threads, action and good acting - especially from Bale - to keep you entertained. It's not as deep as say, Blade Runner, but there's enough richness in the themes of emotion and feeling to get you talking.
  56. Jun 23, 2012
    9
    entertaining and great action scenes. christian bale does a wonderful job portraying a devoted cleric who begins to doubt his original beliefs, abandons them, and eventually fights for them. very good end fight scene.
  57. Oct 4, 2012
    10
    After watching this movie, I was completely shocked at its metascore! Thank god the users have got it right! This films goes up there in my favourite films of all time list. The story is really good, I don't know why some people were bad mouthing the story, it was really interesting and executed nicely, job well done right there. The action itself is fantastic, I've only watched itAfter watching this movie, I was completely shocked at its metascore! Thank god the users have got it right! This films goes up there in my favourite films of all time list. The story is really good, I don't know why some people were bad mouthing the story, it was really interesting and executed nicely, job well done right there. The action itself is fantastic, I've only watched it recently so considering it was a 2002 film I was definitely impressed. Collapse
  58. Aug 4, 2013
    10
    I can't understand the low score on this movie. The movie is awesome! Maybe the mainstream media has a problem with this sort of films... maybe it makes people aware of their own goals!
  59. UG
    Aug 27, 2007
    10
    Great movie and super action.
  60. MattL
    Feb 4, 2008
    9
    I'm going to have to side with the general public on this one: it was indeed a good, and more importantly, fun movie. I think critics, in their pursuit of pure analytical commentary of movies, have forgotten the magic of the movies : having fun. Sure, the story was a little inconsistent, overused, what have you, but me and my friends had a blast watching it.
  61. BrageH.
    Sep 17, 2003
    10
    Psycho cool!!!!
  62. BlancoA.
    Jun 21, 2004
    9
    My esteem for Roger Ebert has risen yet again. How could the majority of critics not liked this film?? No, it isn't extremely meaningful, but it has style to spare, and Christian Bale is great in it. Furthermore, the post-Matrix special effects are incredibly cool. A definite recommendation for Matrix fans or anybody else who wants to explore sci-fi / utopian ficks. JUST SEE IT!
  63. BenH.
    Sep 19, 2004
    10
    Best movie i seen in years good pump up with very satisfying ending.
  64. ChrisA
    Jan 16, 2005
    7
    The story may not be the best, but the action and choreography was more than stellar, and makes up for the mediocre plot. Critics were too unkind to this modern action cult classic.
  65. MitchellF.
    Dec 20, 2005
    10
    A low budget masterpiece. The story, the passion, and the fantastic action made this movie epic. Some people may think that this movie is a rip off of the Matix, but the story is completely new and origional. The visuals may have been low budget....but so what.....they didn't over due the graphic's like The Transporter 2 did. The scenery was fanstatic. After all that, the A low budget masterpiece. The story, the passion, and the fantastic action made this movie epic. Some people may think that this movie is a rip off of the Matix, but the story is completely new and origional. The visuals may have been low budget....but so what.....they didn't over due the graphic's like The Transporter 2 did. The scenery was fanstatic. After all that, the fighting was unbelievable. The combined martial arts with gun fighting...and pulled it off perfectly. I recommend you see this movie, enjoy, tell your firends, then watch it again, it's just that good! Expand
  66. EzahnN.
    Feb 7, 2005
    9
    Very good mix of Mind & Body. Style and substance.
  67. jason
    Jun 22, 2005
    9
    Excellent, excellent movie! High production values, beautiful directing, and amazing proformances from Bale and ensemble. I love this movie. I can't see how these so called "movie critics" can nail Equilibrium for it's lack of orginality when it takes a different approach on famous subject matter. Yes 1984, A Brave New World, and Ferenheit 451's ideas of disutopian Excellent, excellent movie! High production values, beautiful directing, and amazing proformances from Bale and ensemble. I love this movie. I can't see how these so called "movie critics" can nail Equilibrium for it's lack of orginality when it takes a different approach on famous subject matter. Yes 1984, A Brave New World, and Ferenheit 451's ideas of disutopian civilizations are present in this film but that doesn't mean that it's not a good movie. It has a heart and brain which is something haven't seen in action movies in a long time. See this film! I can't believe that the "critics" can vulgarly punish a movie that uses ideas from works of literature, when they seem to love every movie that tarantino makes, which are all carbon copies of Asian cinema. Resovior Dogs = City on Fire. If you let people like this steal whole movies and praise them for it then you should give Equilibrium a good review as well. Expand
  68. helenm.
    Aug 21, 2005
    10
    Overlooked by the critics and unknown to the public, this beats out Matrix for its philosophical and direct content. Christian Bale makes sense out of this message. His acting is superb.
  69. RyanF.
    Feb 27, 2006
    8
    When I first saw Equilibrium, I wasn't very impressed. It seemed like just another movie with an odd story. But then after seeing it over and over at friends houses, the story slowly fell into place. It really makes you think. The only thing I didn't like about it was the scene where he goes into the dark room and shoots but doesn't have ANY shots fired at him. And the When I first saw Equilibrium, I wasn't very impressed. It seemed like just another movie with an odd story. But then after seeing it over and over at friends houses, the story slowly fell into place. It really makes you think. The only thing I didn't like about it was the scene where he goes into the dark room and shoots but doesn't have ANY shots fired at him. And the story has some parts that make you go "What?!" Waaay better than the Matrix. And in the last half of the movie I was stuck into my seat. Great. Expand
  70. AvriS.
    Oct 16, 2007
    10
    Great Movie. Didn't quite understand why the reviewers bashed it so much,for a movie with such a low budget,it actually turned out to be very good,i don´t think it has anything to do with the Matrix at all because even its futuristic views are different,all in all don´t pay attention to the critics and watch it,it will be worth it
  71. AndrewK
    Oct 24, 2007
    9
    This movie was well shot and compared to many other hack n slash sci-fi action movies, the plot/script had some thought put into it. Contrary to the negative comments of the press. I, as a viewer and person, consider it a well done movie. What do you most of the comments have to back up their negatives? Reviews on other, past movies. Review a movie based on itself and you have a good This movie was well shot and compared to many other hack n slash sci-fi action movies, the plot/script had some thought put into it. Contrary to the negative comments of the press. I, as a viewer and person, consider it a well done movie. What do you most of the comments have to back up their negatives? Reviews on other, past movies. Review a movie based on itself and you have a good movie.. not because you care to think about other movies in its place. Encore. Expand
  72. LP
    Jun 28, 2007
    10
    What is wrong w/ the critics? This is one of the best pictures made! Figures!
  73. MajorH.
    Jul 27, 2007
    9
    Brilliant. Don't trust the critics...trust yourself. This movie rocks. Hard.
  74. TARGET1058
    Feb 19, 2008
    10
    Great movie...might not make you think a whole lot but the action and it being something different makes up for it.
  75. JakobL.
    Feb 24, 2008
    7
    The 'professional' critics seem to be bashing the story rather than the actual film. It was good, silly fun. Not all movies have to be well scripted with oscar-worthy performances to entertain you. Ironically, Transformers got double this films score yet it was minus the fun. Bizzaro.
  76. LeoM.
    Jul 6, 2008
    9
    I laughed when i saw the critics reviews,because they didn't actually say why it was bad, just that it was bad.I believe this is because they cant face society may 1 day be like that.I appreciate to seeall the good reviews.Makes me think how biased their opinion is. Away from the critic bastards it was a superb film..hert stopping plot with excellent action sequences.
  77. DavidW.
    Dec 10, 2002
    9
    Definitely undersold as far as the critics are concerned. The movie is highly entertaining and is well worth your $8.50 if you have any appreciation for action or sci-fi.
  78. RyanB.
    Dec 12, 2002
    10
    I think critics must really be bored or eager to despise anything, when I saw this movie I intensely enjoyed it. I may be the only person on the planet but I liked it better than the matrix. Unlike the Matrix you can actually pull a lesson from this movie. While some people state this movie as a cheesy rip-off it only makes me laugh that there pedestrian lifestyle permits them from I think critics must really be bored or eager to despise anything, when I saw this movie I intensely enjoyed it. I may be the only person on the planet but I liked it better than the matrix. Unlike the Matrix you can actually pull a lesson from this movie. While some people state this movie as a cheesy rip-off it only makes me laugh that there pedestrian lifestyle permits them from enjoying this. While they say it copies many films I feel just plain bewildered. 1.Half of the movies it copies I have never heard of meaning they probably suck. 2. The fact that it can take those sucky movies and combine them with newer ideas to make them better I think is an accomplishment. ANYWAY go see this movie you might learn something, or at least get some intense action sequences. Expand
  79. JimmyV.
    Dec 14, 2002
    10
    Good Stuff.
  80. CoreyC.
    Dec 17, 2002
    9
    Equilbrium is an awesome mixture of "1984" and "The Matrix" combined. This movie is definitely a must-see. Christian Bale really rocks as the main character Cleric John Preston. I would like to see it again just for the action scenes.
  81. DavidC.
    Nov 10, 2003
    9
    I just put it this way to my wife, who agreed: "The Matrix was good overall, and had 3 or 4 scenes where you were thinking, 'damn that's cool!', and Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions had 0. Equilibrium, with a Ray Bradbury storyline (it's based on Farenheit 451) and a Matrix feel, is very good overall, and has at least 3 or 4 scenes where you say 'damn that's I just put it this way to my wife, who agreed: "The Matrix was good overall, and had 3 or 4 scenes where you were thinking, 'damn that's cool!', and Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions had 0. Equilibrium, with a Ray Bradbury storyline (it's based on Farenheit 451) and a Matrix feel, is very good overall, and has at least 3 or 4 scenes where you say 'damn that's cool!', effects and coreography-wise." Equilibrium was an indy with about 1/1000th the budget of any of the Matrix films. Makes it that much more impressive and goes to show what the Wachowski brothers should know: more CGI and budget does not a better film make. Expand
  82. KarlC.
    Nov 25, 2003
    10
    An excellent movie that was unfairly slated by the critics. It is a real shame because it stopped me from going to the cinema to see it. Is now recieving a well deserved audience on DVD release.
  83. NinjaMafia
    Oct 13, 2003
    8
    My friend (yeah I know I do get alot of movies sugested to me) suggested this movie to me. I had no complaints, and after I watched it, I'm glad he did. Equilibrium is about a future where the goverment distributes pills to block peoples emotions so that there would be no more wars. People who don't take the drugs are usually killed by the Ministry and their clerics. One cleric My friend (yeah I know I do get alot of movies sugested to me) suggested this movie to me. I had no complaints, and after I watched it, I'm glad he did. Equilibrium is about a future where the goverment distributes pills to block peoples emotions so that there would be no more wars. People who don't take the drugs are usually killed by the Ministry and their clerics. One cleric was about to take his pills one day when he accidently knocked them over, he then goes to Equilibrium, the factory that makes the pills, to get some more. However, before he has a chance to reach it, he starts to feel emotions. He decides to try to hide his emotions and secretly try to topple the goverment. The story really doesn't sound that original but I can't remember where I heard it before. People may call this movie a rip off of the Matrix but what I have to say is this, what the hell do you mean? The matrix is about the world being a computer and it is filled with kung fu action (not very good kung fu at that) equillibrium is about emotions and has some of the best gun fight scenes I have ever seen. The characters seem deep but they really are a bit shallow. As I said before this movie has the best gun fight scenes I have ever seen, although there were only about four fight scenes which really dissapointed me. Overall I don't see why people hate this film so much. They must be obsessed with the Matrix and can't look past their own foolishness to see that this is one really good movie. Expand
  84. ArtV.
    Jan 18, 2003
    10
    A thought provoking movie. I loved every minute of it. As usual the critics were wrong.
  85. JonK.
    Dec 17, 2003
    9
    The simple fact that critics get bought and paid to yay or nay movies has everything to do with this. It is a cult movie. The critics don't like it, so only the most hardcore of movie goers will understand it. A few years down the road, the hardcore movie buffs will have shown this to their friends, and the DVDs will sell much more populously. Thus, the director will have found that The simple fact that critics get bought and paid to yay or nay movies has everything to do with this. It is a cult movie. The critics don't like it, so only the most hardcore of movie goers will understand it. A few years down the road, the hardcore movie buffs will have shown this to their friends, and the DVDs will sell much more populously. Thus, the director will have found that he really has made some profit and an underground following and will be forced to make a sequel- or at least release a collector's edition with many special features. It's not about the critics. It's about the quality and passion that it brings. Adrenaline flows everytime a Clerick pulls out a gun. It was based off of Fahrenheit 451, and it does a good job of being so. We don't need wire-fu or $193429342598634273 special effects. The only thing that is needed is a storyline that makes you feel and some really good action. Here you go. Expand
  86. WillH.
    Oct 28, 2003
    9
    Have to say it's a great movie. Should be in most people's collection. A simple yet apt story for the world we see, and a great bit of acting by Bale.
  87. Eric
    May 16, 2003
    10
    Equilibrium is a fabulous sci-fi action thriller with a great story, great acting, and some of the best action sequences ever, period. If you ask me, this beats both Matrix movies.
  88. PhatMan
    May 23, 2003
    10
    I just rented it. The movie kicks ass. I'm gonna buy it now.
  89. MikeM.
    Jun 15, 2003
    9
    The action sequences where some of the best I have ever seen. I think the critics must have seen a different movie because I thought this one was very entertaining and had a great story line.
  90. BradA.
    Jul 13, 2004
    10
    A great film! Much better than the matix, and with a very interesting plot and lesson about human nature.
  91. toad
    Nov 15, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies I have ever seen. Smoothly blends drama and action, making a sweet movie. the story is great, even it is not quite original. Action is exciting, and surprises. The only problem with this movie, is the low budget. It only aired in 300 theaters across the US. If it had aired in more, it would have been a major blockbuster. A must see for every movie fanatic, action One of the best movies I have ever seen. Smoothly blends drama and action, making a sweet movie. the story is great, even it is not quite original. Action is exciting, and surprises. The only problem with this movie, is the low budget. It only aired in 300 theaters across the US. If it had aired in more, it would have been a major blockbuster. A must see for every movie fanatic, action lover, and drama people. Christian Bale at his best! Expand
  92. JamesM
    Dec 11, 2005
    9
    Although not perfect, I do appreciate this film. It masquerades its true purpose and style by disguising itself as a matrix rip-off, and critics seem to have been easily fooled. This film is indeed art regardless of the frequent action.
  93. RickieF.
    Apr 29, 2005
    9
    I have to say it's a great move from the usual - yes mind numbing sci-fi may not be everyones perfect movie but move past that to a great plot great acting and an overall great feeling for viewers at the ending.
  94. DaveF
    Jul 25, 2005
    10
    Why was this movie so universally loathed among critics? (Well, not quite
  95. AndyW.
    Dec 17, 2006
    9
    I don't understand why critics gave this generally negative reviews. It may not be the best movie, but it sure is an eye-opener.
  96. MiroC>
    Oct 23, 2006
    10
    This is a best picture... psycho, action and dramatic in one movie.
  97. AlexP
    Feb 16, 2008
    7
    Granted this is no Oscar caliber movie this is probably the harshest critic score on all of metacritic and that is a big statement. This movie is very entertaining while managing to keep an interesting storyline and believable acting, and when I think of all the far worse movies (and there are many of them) who have received about double the score I really wonder what the critics expect. Granted this is no Oscar caliber movie this is probably the harshest critic score on all of metacritic and that is a big statement. This movie is very entertaining while managing to keep an interesting storyline and believable acting, and when I think of all the far worse movies (and there are many of them) who have received about double the score I really wonder what the critics expect. I does give me hope though to see the huge abyss between the users and critics scores. Expand
  98. joe
    May 25, 2009
    8
    Seriously, these critics are retards. Notice that that Roger Ebert gave it the HIGHEST score of all the critics, and he tends to be one of the tougher ones (he wrote the book "your movie sucks" if that says anything). I would say Ebert is right on this, 75 to 80 is probably a fair score for this movie. How anyone can call this movie stupid and then go give higher ratings to other films Seriously, these critics are retards. Notice that that Roger Ebert gave it the HIGHEST score of all the critics, and he tends to be one of the tougher ones (he wrote the book "your movie sucks" if that says anything). I would say Ebert is right on this, 75 to 80 is probably a fair score for this movie. How anyone can call this movie stupid and then go give higher ratings to other films like "Shoot em' up" I will never know, but I really can't help but think someone was paid to hate this film. Yeah the plot is a litte extreme and uses other authors and movies themes, but by that logic 99% of ALL action and romance films should have never been made (just try and name a few love stories or martial arts films that are REALLY original; now think of the ones that aren't and critics seem to love). So let's say the film had no plot, but retained it's amazing action (that was creative AND inventive) that right there earns it a decent score. Now throw in a message that was at least important if not a little corny as well as some good acting and that makes for a pretty good movie. I just don't see how, because the movie happens to not have the most ORIGINAL plot, that people can hate it for have GOOD things thrown on top of that unoriginal plot. Ever seen DARK CITY or films like that? Horrid action and a plot that you might find on some kids Live Journal, yet are still enjoyable and somehow critics love it. Well this movie had a more sensible plot and better action and somehow that makes it worse? At least the oldest and wisest of movie critics isn't affected by bribes, and if anyones ever seen the original Fahrenheit 451 it has an even corneir plot and NO action and people somehow say it's SO much better. Honesty, these critics really pissed me off and anyone who just says this movie was bad because of unoriginality or because "it takes itself to seriously" is just being asinine; how do you think the characters are going to act, like monkeys in a cage? The movie deserved to be made and to that extent it was made well, so lay off. Expand
  99. CarlyH.
    Dec 19, 2002
    10
    I'm no fan of intense action scenes. In fact, many parts of The Matrix left me cringing. And while it took me a while to warm up to the violence, I nevertheless sat enthralled at the final fight scene. Christian Bale was badass in my mind when he was Jack Kelly in Newsies... and needless to say, he is MUCH more badass in this flick. To add to my enjoyment, my English class recently I'm no fan of intense action scenes. In fact, many parts of The Matrix left me cringing. And while it took me a while to warm up to the violence, I nevertheless sat enthralled at the final fight scene. Christian Bale was badass in my mind when he was Jack Kelly in Newsies... and needless to say, he is MUCH more badass in this flick. To add to my enjoyment, my English class recently finished reading Zamyatin's pre-"1984" and pre-"Brave New World" sci fi thriller, WE. It really enhanced the film, and I'm sure if the critics had read it, the movie would have had a slightly different effect. Expand
  100. MikaelG.
    Nov 25, 2006
    10
    I watched this movie yesterday, and must say that it's one of my favourite movies of all times, displaying aesthetical completeness as well as believable plot and beautifully done costumes, weapons and architecture. Not to mention convincing characters and, of course, the gun kata.
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.