Reviews - Children of Men (2006)
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Children of Men (2006)

Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Taglines: The future's a thing of the past.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, ...

Stars: Clive Owen, Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi, Michael Caine, Mishal Husain, ...

The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set in and around a dystopian London fractious with violence and warring nationalistic sects, Children of Men follows the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman and the desperate journey to deliver her to safety and restore faith for a future beyond those presently on Earth.

100 | Kenneth Turan

Made with palpable energy, intensity and excitement, it compellingly creates a world gone mad that is uncomfortably close to the one we live in. It is a "Blade Runner" for the 21st century, a worthy successor to that epic of dystopian decay
Read More: Los Angeles Times

100 | Keith Phipps

It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human.
Read More: The A.V. Club

100 | Rick Groen

Children of Men is a nativity story for the ages, this or any other.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

100 | Dana Stevens

I don't just mean it's one of the best movies of the past six years. Children of Men, based on the 1992 novel by P.D. James, is the movie of the millennium because it's about our millennium, with its fractured, fearful politics and random bursts of violence and terror.
Read More: Slate

100 | Manohla Dargis

Children of Men may be something of a bummer, but it’s the kind of glorious bummer that lifts you to the rafters, transporting you with the greatness of its filmmaking.
Read More: The New York Times

100 | Ann Hornaday

Working with his longtime cinematographer Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Cuaron creates the most deeply imagined and fully realized world to be seen on screen this year, not to mention bravura sequences that bring to mind names like Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick.
Read More: Washington Post

100 | Wesley Morris

This is an extraordinary artistic breakthrough from a Mexican director who was already fearlessly good to begin with.
Read More: Boston Globe

100 | Peter Hartlaub

Children of Men is Cuarón's run for freedom, with a riveting story, fantastic action scenes and acting so universally solid that even the dogs perform masterfully under his direction.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

100 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

100 | Peter Rainer

At times the film is so supercharged that it glosses over the story's thematic richness and turns into a very high-grade action picture. But if that's the worst thing you can say about a movie, you're doing all right. The best thing to be said about Children of Men is that it's a fully imagined vision of dystopia.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

100 | Roger Ebert

The performances are crucial, because all of these characters have so completely internalized their world that they make it palpable, and themselves utterly convincing.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

90 | J. Hoberman

It's a measure of Cuarón's directorial chops that Children of Men functions equally well as fantasy and thriller. Like Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and the Wachowski Brothers' "V for Vendetta" (and more consistently than either), the movie attempts to fuse contemporary life with pulp mythology.
Read More: Village Voice

90 | Scott Foundas

One of the year's most imaginative and uniquely exciting pieces of cinema.
Read More: L.A. Weekly

88 | Michael Phillips

It is that rare futuristic thriller: grim in its scenario, yet exhilarating in its technique.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

88 | Stephen Saito

It's the rare sci-fi film that transcends its genre with its ideas, able to sweep one up in its not-too-distant future and yet remain remarkably prescient about the present day.
Read More: Premiere

88 | Peter Travers

Cuarón has a gift only the greatest filmmakers share: He makes you believe.
Read More: Rolling Stone

88 | Lawrence Toppman

It depicts a world close enough to our own to be terrifying, yet different enough to rouse curiosity.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

88 | Rene Rodriguez

Children of Men is thrilling, both for its groundbreaking style (there are action sequences here unlike any filmed before) and its complex, vividly realized ideas.
Read More: Miami Herald

88 | Steven Rea

A chase movie, a spy movie, a futuristic thriller full of colorfully bizarre characters and deftly choreographed stunt work, Children of Men works on multiple levels - as action and allegory.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

80 | Derek Elley

Picture more than delivers on the action front -- not in bang-for-your-buck spectacle but in the kind of gritty, doculike sequences that haul viewers out of their seats and alongside the main protags.
Read More: Variety

80 | Ray Bennett

Owen carries the film more in the tradition of a Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda than a Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford. He has to wear flip-flops for part of the time without losing his dignity, and he never reaches for a weapon or guns anyone down. Cuaron and Owen may have created the first believable 21st-century movie hero.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

80 | Stephanie Zacharek

A solemn, haunting picture, but it's also a thrilling one, partly because of the sheer bravado with which it's made. It left me feeling more fortified than drained. Cuarón, the most openhearted of directors, prefers to give rather than take away.
Read More:

80 | David Edelstein

Children of Men is a bouillabaisse of up-to-the-minute terrors. It's a wow, though.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

80 | Anthony Lane

It's a film that you need to see, not a film that you especially want to.
Read More: The New Yorker

80 | Damon Wise

A visually stunning Swiftian satire, Children Of Men may appear clumsy, but its message is simple, heartfelt and ultimately rather moving.
Read More: Empire

78 | Marjorie Baumgarten

As all his films have shown, Cuarón is clearly one of the most original filmmakers working today, and Children of Men should solidify his place at the top of those ranks. With a great script, there should be no stopping him.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | James Berardinelli

Although imperfect, it's engaging, thought-provoking stuff.
Read More: ReelViews

75 | Claudia Puig

An exhilarating sci-fi action thriller with a powerful social and political message.
Read More: USA Today

75 | Jack Mathews

Cuarón relies on his ample visual style, and he has indeed created a film you cannot tear your eyes away from.
Read More: New York Daily News

75 | Maitland McDonagh

The screenplay, which differs significantly from the novel, is uneven, but the distorted mirror it holds up to the present is disturbingly clear.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

75 | Shawn Levy

Children of Men has some magnificent moments of moviemaking and is thoroughly infused with just the atmosphere Cuaron has aimed for. But it's so streamlined in its storytelling and unvarying in its tone that it's more deadening than transporting.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

70 | David Ansen

Children of Men leaves too many questions unanswered, yet it has a stunning visceral impact. You can forgive a lot in the face of filmmaking this dazzling.
Read More: Newsweek

70 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

The film gradually devolves into action-adventure, then the equivalent of a war movie. But the filmmaking is pungent throughout, and the first half hour is so jaw-dropping in its fleshed-out extrapolation that Cuaron earns the right to coast a bit.
Read More: Chicago Reader

70 | Mark Bell

The problem with the film, despite the genius of craftmanship and cinematography, is that the film doesn't really have anything new to say.
Read More: Film Threat

67 | William Arnold

As exciting and disturbing as it is in many ways, Children of Men -- based on a novel by P.D. James -- doesn't add up to a credible alternate view of the near-future: Its vision hasn't been well thought out, and, again and again, it struck me as a sloppy piece of storytelling.
Read More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

67 | Chris Kaltenbach

As great as the film looks, the story, adapted from a novel by P.D. James, never quite comes into focus.
Read More: Baltimore Sun

63 | Kyle Smith

Director Alfonso Cuarón has a vision so mesmerizingly terrible that it alone - at least, for those who enjoy a gorgeous nightmare - is reason enough to see the film.
Read More: New York Post


Bloated adaptation of P.D. James's thoughtful, compact novel.