Children of Men (2006)

Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.
Children of Men works on every level: as a violent chase thriller, a fantastical cautionary tale, and a sophisticated human drama about societies struggling to live. This taut and thought-provoking tale may not have the showy special effects normally found in movies of this genre, but you won't care one bit after the story kicks in, about a dystopic future where women can no longer conceive and hope lies within one woman who holds the key to humanity's survival. It will have you riveted.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 05 Jan 2007 Released:
  • 27 Mar 2007 DVD Release:
  • $35.3M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Restored my faith in the art of cinema10/10
I've had a particularly bad film year, especially after having seen one particular over-hyped vacuous mess earlier in the year which all but killed my desire to see any films, no matter how interesting they looked or what the critics said about them. So, it was with a little trepidation that I went to see this, especially given that it starred Clive Owen (IMHO, the George Lazenby of British acting).

Well, I loved it and I'm not ashamed. It's unremittingly bleak and violent, but so beautifully filmed and realised that, at one point, I damn nearly burst into tears that someone could have created something so fresh and so moving, so provocative, so disturbing and so grimly beautiful. I thought it brought a real sense of imagination to the screen and that it was possessed of a fantastic visual flair. I felt that it ended on a note of hope, however uncertain and unclear, and certainly a note of redemption for the hero. I'll admit that Owen, while he still hasn't convinced me that he's a great actor, pulls off this role with a hangdog...um, doggedness that I found believable and often even moving.

I left the cinema strangely elated, relieved that cinema still has the power to move.
Highlights of the movie9/10
OK, I only got through the first 3 pages of comments but let me add my own.

1) Fantastic cinematography. Some like hand-held, some don't. It certainly worked very well here.

2) Related to (1), very long shots. There is one scene where the camera lens has blood splats on it for quite a few minutes. Hollywood would get rid of it, but for this movie it adds amazingly to the atmosphere that is being created.

3) Like "Code46" the technology is in the background. Just the way it should be, allowing us to focus on the story.

4) Theo as the central character NEVER picks up a gun, despite them being all over the place and easily available. As a viewer you are almost willing him to do so, to manage some of his challenges - but very deliberately the character does not.

5) I've read separately that yes this is a comment on current society. Being an Australian, with our controversial immigration laws and practices, that rings true.

6) Similar to (5), using the term "Homeland Security" in the movie is an obvious reference.

7) The revolutionaries/terrorists/fishes are shown to be just as political and militant as the government they oppose.

There are more, but that is enough. Overall a wonderful movie which leaves me thinking for a long time, which is all I ask.

Cheers!

Anton.
Amazing Film. Truly fantastic! Mindblowing...9/10
I've seen this film and let me tell everyone that it was one of the most pleasurable surprises I've ever had with a film. I hadn't heard about it before and it totally took me by surprise. It blew me away and left me speechless. The acting is excellent by most of the actors, but Michael Caine deserves to receive a special mention for his amazing portrait of the old hippie Jasper. His performance is fantastic and he totally stole the show in the scenes he was in. Claire Hope is also fantastic in the role of Kee. Her performance is quite impressive, especially considering this is one of her first films. Clive Owen is also great as the reluctant hero who sees his life turned upside down and is given a huge responsibility. I've seen him in some other films and he's at his best here. A very good performance, you could feel what he was going through. In the technical aspects the film was brilliant, particularly Alfonso Cuaron's strong and consistent direction that is one of the best things in the film, and contributes a lot to its quality. Also director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki does wonders with images and there are some extremely beautiful shots all done in a naturalistic way, natural lighting, etc. It's an extremely well crafted film that makes you go through the emotional struggle the characters go through and makes you feel that you're in the middle of it all. Besides, it's also an extremely touching story that certainly touched my heart. One of the best films I've ever seen without any doubt.
Utterly transfixed10/10
I went to see this movie without catching any reviews, expecting something rather depressing and underfunded.

Let me stop there and start again.

This movie is a revelation from start to finish. A convincing future world, deftly conveyed with so many subtle signals that I'm sure it will benefit from further viewings. A completely "other" England which I was amazed to see realised in such detail. Clive Owen FINALLY has the heroic role we have been waiting for and is brilliant in it. Julianne Moore simply glows and I've never enjoyed Sir Michael Caine so much before. The soundtrack is beautifully eclectic. Aside from some excellent classical choices, there's an evocative and alternative Spanish take on "Ruby Tuesday" which is a signature on the film. Wait during the end titles to enjoy an excremental song from Jarvis Cocker.

The movie grabbed my attention right from the start, and never let go. Initially, it's the differences of this future world that intrigue. Then, when the action starts, what I found really surprising was the freshness of direction that made me react to bullets and violence as if I'd never seen them in a movie before. If the script wasn't so wonderfully leavened with wit, it would be a grim and scary movie at times.

Finally, the whole thing is lit brilliantly, from the authentic dim English days to the atmospheric ending.

One to watch alongside "The Handmaid's Tale" some time....
"The future's a thing of the past." Tremendous from start to finish.10/10
The apocalypse arrives on film once again in a plot so simple it's horrifyingly believable. It's 2027 and the world is close to annihilation because no child has been born in 18 years. London office worker Theo (Clive Owen) is offered cash by a radical ex-girlfriend to escort a refugee (Claire-Hope Ashitey) to safety. Their lives are soon at risk from both government and revolutionaries.

Although the camera work and cinematography is nothing short of stunning the focus always with our protagonist, ensuring we're kept in the middle of the action throughout. It is also undoubtedly one of Owen's finest performances to date. Theo is never far from danger yet he struggles on with convincing dignity. Occasionally baffled but far from stupid - Theo is essentially a reckless, underplayed action hero that doesn't jump at every opportunity to arm himself with a gun. This works well with the international ensemble of incredible talent: Michael Caine's charming pot dealing hippie, feisty Julianne Moore, key role Claire-Hope Ashitey, the wonderful Pam Ferris, the increasingly busy, excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Huston and writer/director/producer Peter Cullen (gloriously sadistic Syd) to name a few... This is surely a casting coup to be jealous of.

The episodic nature of the story makes Children of Men difficult to place into one genre alone. Briefly glimpsed futuristic sci-fi technology is grounded in reality and looks entirely achievable while grey, graffiti ridden concrete locations provide an excellent backdrop for the near satirical look of our current social and political climate. There's poignant drama interspersed amongst exhilarating action and yet enough twists to call it a thriller.

This is not to say it's flawless. Some exposition is handled better in places than others for instance. However Alfonso Cuaron has achieved a completely remarkable experience. Arguably the film could have been longer given how strong most of it is. The only really hard pill to swallow is the comedy juxtaposed with some stark imagery that looks all too familiar to anyone who has ever seen the News from the past few decades. Nice to see a Pink Floyd reference though (pigs might fly!), and someone finally found a use for Battersea Power Station.

Ideally an audience should see this film with no preconceptions and know as little about the plot as possible. This will be unlikely though due to a staggered box-office release schedule, word of mouth and a plethora of reviews and trailers that are eager to give much of the game away. Ironic then perhaps that it must be said - Children of Men is a cinematic milestone. Great special effects and an effective soundtrack accompany this heartfelt, moving and thought-provoking film. Easily one of the best films in recent memory.