Children of Men (Widescreen Edition)
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Product Description

Children of Men envisages a world one generation from now that has fallen into anarchy on the heels of an infertility defect in the population. The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18 and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction.Runtime: 109 minsFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLERS Rating: R UPC: 025193251329 Manufacturer No: 61032513

Presenting a bleak, harrowing, and yet ultimately hopeful vision of humankind's not-too-distant future, Children of Men is a riveting cautionary tale of potential things to come. Set in the crisis-ravaged future of 2027, and based on the atypical 1993 novel by British mystery writer P.D. James, the anxiety-inducing, action-packed story is set in a dystopian England where humanity has become infertile (the last baby was born in 2009), immigration is a crime, refugees (or "fugees") are caged like animals, and the world has been torn apart by nuclear fallout, rampant terrorism, and political rebellion. In this seemingly hopeless landscape of hardscrabble survival, a jaded bureaucrat named Theo (Clive Owen) is drawn into a desperate struggle to deliver Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), the world's only pregnant woman, to a secret group called the Human Project that hopes to discover a cure for global infertility. As they carefully navigate between the battling forces of military police and a pro-immigration insurgency, Theo, Kee, and their secretive allies endure a death-defying ordeal of urban warfare, and director Alfonso Cuaron (with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki) capture the action with you-are-there intensity. There's just enough humor to balance the film's darker content (much of it coming from Michael Caine, as Theo's aging hippie cohort), and although Children of Men glosses over many of the specifics about its sociopolitical worst-case scenario (which includes Julianne Moore in a brief but pivotal role), it's still an immensely satisfying, pulse-pounding vision of a future that represents a frightening extrapolation of early 21st-century history. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Not the best
    I had heard from a few people that this was a great movie. I disagree. Previews looked good but the movie was slow going, and didn't make me think at all. It was like listening to someone tell you everything they did in a week at their boring job....more info
  • Dystopian Dysfunction
    Oddly, I must be one of the few folks to have seen "Children of Men" and did not form an opinion as to it being a rancid pile of rotting mule skin or the greatest movie since Silent Running. I found the basic premise to be fascinating: How would the world react twenty years into an epidemic of childlessness? Which some of the reviewers here seem to miss...this is not just how the world reacts to the onset of infertility, but almost two decades since the last baby was born. So many industries would fall into slow collapse; education, garments, much of the medical industry, the population ages past the point where new folks would replenish both consumer and professional.

    Clive Owen starts off the movie in a coffee shop as the world learns of the death of its youngest citizen. He walks into a city full of violent rebellion and to where Britain is the last nation that hasn't fallen into anarchy. The government has slipped into a fascist state in order to keep from being overrun by refugees, yet Owen's ex-wife (Julianne Moore, great in a brief role) kidnaps him to set a plot into motion. They have discovered the last pregnant woman on Earth, an African named Kee. They need to smuggle her out of England to a mysterious "Human Project" group.

    This is where the chaos really begins and the allegories become oppressive. Kee's baby has no discernable father (and a miracle birth is even joked about). The miracle baby has factions splitting off of factions before the little savior is even born. Oh yes, the African mother; how very Cradle of Civilization! Plus one reclusive ex-hippie idealist (Michael Caine, all crazy hair, John Lennon and homegrown weed) to emphasize just how badly the sixties failed when they were all so much better then than these fascists now.

    The heavy handedness of the message is carried by some incredible cinematography, like the near ten minute single-camera shot of Owen racing through the prison camp uprising while under fire. London in decay is depressingly gritty as is the Fugee concentration camp (with shades of Abu Gharib). The sense of dread curdles under each character (like Owen's visit to his brother, the art curator), yet the tiny light of hope of the new baby still stops a war in its tracks, however briefly.

    It is that final sense of redemption - the "maybe we might get our miserable species out of this mess anyway" message - that keeps the relentlessly bleak view of "Children of Men" from completely tanking. But it's the ham-fisted proletyzing that also stops it from arcing beyond its science-fiction art-house roots....more info
  • Beware the two-disc special edition
    "Children of Men" was film of the year for me. It was clever, thought-provoking, action-packed and brilliantly acted by seasoned performers. Particularly amazing were the two chase scenes that were filmed in one continuous shot. So you would think that if the filmmakers went to the trouble of releasing a two-disc edition of the film, they would explain how those two key sequences were filmed. Wrong.

    Instead, much of the space that could have been devoted to this was wasted on the verbal meanderings of ... Slavoj Zizek, an over-earnest "cultural theorist" who had nothing whatever to do with the making of the film. Zizek is one those fashionably oblique academics given to making sweepingly counter-intuitive statements in broken English. My favourite is his definition of a good film:

    "It simply make reality the more what it already is".

    On and on he drones, chicly quoting Hegel while explaining that "the film gives the best diagnosis of ideological despair of late capitalism" or that the movie instantiates "the paradox of what I would call anamorphosis" (as opposed to "what I would call the paradox of anamorphosis"). At one point he refers to Michelangelo's "David" as "a statue of Michelangelo or whatever". But what else should we expect from the man who recently appeared on "Democracy Now" to declare that "let's everybody in the world, except US citizens, be allowed to vote and elect the American government"? Sigh ...

    So: caveat emptor. The movie itself is truly brilliant, but the second disc is a let-down. I didn't want to hear a block of "theory": I wanted to know more about the making of the film. I suspect that others who really adored this film feel the same way. That means the two-disc edition loses two stars for me.
    ...more info
    Alfonso Cuar車n's "Children of Men" is an adaptation of the P.D. James dystopian novel about the breakdown of all social institutions when the human race ceases the ability to procreate and faces the likelihood of its own extinction.

    Chaos and civil war overtake the globe, and, in Great Britain, Orwellian fascism is the only order left as refugees are imprisoned in cages, the middle class disintegrates, terrorist acts (usually by the government) are a daily occurrence, and underground rebels fight on for revolution, trying to maintain some futile hope.

    While the film's events occur in 2027, 20 years in the future, the film becomes more of a comment on the Now with its pro-war stance by the government and "Homeland Security" to protect us all. But the film transcends politics to focus on its human level, specifically on the character of Theo Farin (played to existential perfection by Clive Owen) who fatefully goes through a rite-of-passage similar to Bogie in "Casablanca" - that of a man who had pulled himself away from involvement in a war-torn world finding himself now beginning to discover a newly-reborn idealism.

    Brilliantly, many references to key art works of the 20th Century fill the film. e.g., musical references from rock and classical works: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, iconic rock songs -- along with Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Penderecki and Gustav Mahler, whose first song in the "Kindertotenlieder" ("Songs for Dead Children") is quoted. Images are staged in the style of great paintings, and, most importantly, Picasso's "Guernica" becomes the major symbolic icon of the film, with the cinematography drained of bright colors to convey perfectly the film's atmosphere.

    But over all, Cuar車n's directing is breathtaking, with his long Wellsian single-takes that truly nail the viewer directly into the world of the film. This is a masterpiece, and ultimately not one of bleakness but of hope, and one of the truly top intellectual and emotional experiences of 2006....more info
  • Dull - - I walked out
    The movie tries to be Very Relevant And Topical by littering the scenery with terrorists and mistreated immigrants. The director obviously took a how-to-film-a-bleak-dystopia course at a community college, so the mise-en-scene is properly gray and gritty. But the movie is enough of a hack job, the premise dull and the characters hollow, that my internal alarm "this movie is never going to get anywhere" started ringing really loud after ten minutes. When that happens I give it ten more minutes to show some promise. It didn't. *click*
    ...more info
  • The most violent yet impacting pro-life I've seen yet
    Now, did I just proclaim this movie to be pro-life? Uh... yeah, despite its intense and prolonged sequences of futuristic war (which, in their own right, if they were the only things in the movie, would make it totally enjoyable), it's got a very beautiful pro-life message with how one man will go so far as to even sacrifice himself to make sure the last baby to be born in almost 2 decades to be brought to safety. Not too many "dads" would say they'd do that these days. So "kudos" to Clive Owen's character for that selfless act.

    The other thing completing the 5-star rating in my mind is how the movie's structured- it's rare to see any shot lasting less than 5 minutes, so it's pretty good for people with ADD who won't to have better attention span (I think a couple shots were at least 10 minutes, I could be wrong)....more info
  • A Horrifying Vision Of How The World Could End
    Alfonso Cuar車n's "Children of Men" is a horrifying vision of how the world could end if no more children were born. Extremely provocative, this film made me realize how important children are to our future. Without them, the world becomes psychologically insane before dying a physical death.

    Mother Nature has imposed her own form of birth control on mankind. At first, a few women began miscarrying, then hundreds more until it became a world-wide epidemic. It is now the year 2027 and a child has not been born in eighteen years; despair and grief has led the world to the brink of total destruction. Every country, except Britain, seems to have collapsed. The British government has launched a campaign to rid the country of all illegal immigrants known as Fugees. One of these Fugees is a pregnant girl, Joy. Theo Faron (Clive Owen of "Derailed") struggles to help her get safely to a boat owned by Operation Humanity. Unfortunately, a terrorist group, the Fishes, wants to use Joy's baby as a pawn for its diabolical plans against the British government.

    "Children of Men" is highly recommended for fans of apocalyptic, end-of-the-world horror. Extremely tense and war-like in its graphic depiction of street violence, this film is highly emotional. Not easily forgotten, it will leave you asking, "Could this really happen?" One touching scene that made me cry was when Joy's baby was being carried out of a destroyed building. The tenants stood spellbound, gaping and murmuring, "A baby. A baby," as they remembered a world that was long gone. A political statement as well as a disaster film, "Children of Men" should be added to your science fiction/horror/adventure collection.
    ...more info
  • Children of Men in the Playground of Death
    The Good Things
    *Unrestricted levels of violence and brutality, realistically portraying a society in a downward spiral. It's very intense and thought-provoking.
    *Camera style, even though is free-handed, is still very smooth and slick (meaning that it doesn't shake around too much).
    *Many action scenes use very long cuts, showing off the actors' and director's mastery in timing, acting, and details. The logistics of these scenes are complex, so it is very impressive.
    *The film's color greatly adds to the dismal atmosphere.
    *Strong ethnic influences literally teleport the viewer into a unique setting. To me, the British refugee camp resembles the streets of Iraq (thus making it relevant to today's current events).
    *Some scenes stick out vividly in my head (in particular, the ending scene where everybody stops fighting and bows down to the newborn baby...).
    *What few special effects the film has are very effective. I couldn't even tell that it had any.
    *The characters are fairly well developed. Their deaths are quite tragic.
    *Good sound and music design.
    *Good production design.

    The Bad Things
    *Some people may find the violence and brutality a bit much. Overall, it is a bleak film.
    *They never did explain how people became infertile (then again, I think it's a minor point).
    *Didn't really want certain characters to die...
    *Not sure how close it is to the original novel.

    This is one of the only few movies that makes me feel depressed (second only to "The Passion"). Aside from the intense brutal violence, the film serves as a shadowy mirror to modern-day society. It effectively portrays rampant terrorism, human cruelty, and injustices of worldly powers. The filming of it is excellent in its own right, with slick camera work and very complex action scenes. But it is not like a typical sci-fi blockbuster; it's focus is more on artistery, thought-provoking ideas, and emotional impact. I think it is very effective, and is a definate eye-opener into what the future could possibly be if things continue to go as they are.

    DVD includes some fascinating featurettes; one that analyzes modern-day society, and one that shows the making of the film. And then there's the trailer. Pretty good deal....more info
    This movie is so bad i can't begin to tell people.It made no sense at all.Some poor girl in England is the only women left in the world that can have a baby and her water breaks while everyone is trying to kill her.People all over the world are at war for some reason and England is the last safe place on earth yet there still after her.Do yourself a favor and don't spend the 7.99 for this so called movie.It is on my top five movies of the worst i have ever seen....more info
  • Brilliant film
    I just watched this movie last night, and can't stop thinking about it. Yes, the plot itself is very thought provoking, but I feel that it takes a close second place to the style of the film. I find that futuristic films can lose their narrative focus with the distraction of cool gadgets and technology. This film, however, presents the viewer with a very well designed future world and allows us to contemplate the details and draw our own conclusions, if we choose. For example, I found myself wondering, why aren't the characters using cell phones or other communication devices? Well, probably because of the tight level of control exerted by the government. Thankfully, the director used the relatively small amount of dialogue to move the story forward, rather than spell everything out for us.
    Beyond the spectacular art direction and story telling, the film contains many scenes of suspense and fright that had me holding my breath for most of the film. I don't think I've ever experienced a movie that really had me feeling like I was RIGHT THERE before. I regret having missed seeing this movie in a theater, although I don't know if my heart would have survived!
    Regarding the many posts complaining that the ending is too abrupt...I STRONGLY DISAGREE. The story ended perfectly. The beauty of this film is in the simple plot to save the girl, and the simple ending was the only choice. What would be the alternative? The introduction of new characters at the end would have seemed awkward, and offering further explanation would have been contrived....more info
  • Possibly the best SF movie in a decade
    I really can't think of a better science fiction movie in the last decade. It isn't about the standard story of how we bring about our own demise, or the immediate aftermath. In fact, we don't even know why people stop having children. Instead, we look at the world twenty or so years from now, and see how people have learned to deal with it.

    What really makes this a superb movie is the way in which the story is told. Long, single shots make this a beautiful movie in its own right. Most things are shown, not told, and whenever I watch it I see something new (watch for the worn out London Olympics 2012 sweatshirt!). Technology has progressed in a believable way, and is there not to show off the latest in special effects but to draw you in to the realism. Each little thing sums up to an amazing movie.

    Every time I watch this movie, I imagine how it might have been as done by another director. And every time, I'm very, very thankful....more info
  • Face the Future
    CHILDREN OF MEN is the most accurate cinematic view I've seen of a world that will soon, but has not yet fully come to pass. Society in advanced decay, massive social upheaval, fanatical xenophobia, extreme class segregation... what today we see just beginning to bud is depicted horrifyingly and in full fruition in CHILDREN OF MEN. There is no real hope for humanity when even those fighting to save civilization do all the wrong things for all the right reasons. The super rich sit in luxury above the fray, hoarding the great treasures of humanity's past glory, yet are themselves blighted by the fact that nothing of redemptive value remains in the world, even for those with the money to pay (this is what idiot Republican's and their wealthy overlords should have considered when they began to disslove economic equilibrium twenty years ago). This movie is very realistic, and those back from war with PTSD should probably avoid it... the rest of you should definitely face the future you have helped to create.
    ...more info
  • Children of Men
    Good Movie with positive reviews on its picture and audio quality. Great price. 'Nuff said....more info
  • Devoid of worthy substance
    If you are a 12-year-old know-it-all, an addle-brained leftist or just simple, you'll probably think this movie is all that and a bag of chips.

    If you have ever given the weighty issues of the day a moment's true consideration, however, you'll find yourself quickly losing patience with this screed. This is a worthless bit of tripe. It is anti-human and anti-civilization. It is truly abhorrent.

    That it was well received indicates nothing more than the shocking degree that self-loathing has overtaken the human experience.

    ...more info
  • Great movie, but .....
    Great movie but it does not include either spanish audio or spanish subtitles in HD version. What is happening with Universal Studios? Why do they include spanish subtitles in SD version and not in HD version. It stinks....more info
  • A bleak and moving vision of the future
    Alfonso Cuaron's bleak yet surprisingly moving vision of the future features brilliant performances and equally brilliant action sequences. Children of Men, freely adapted from the novel by P.D. James, stars Clive Owen as Theo: a one-time activist that is coerced to transport the last fertile woman on the planet to safety; all the while outside forces attempt to use her for their own means, and the world as a whole seems to crumble around them. Cuaron's filming techniques are what make Children of Men so good, as his vision puts the viewer right in the middle of the chaotic action sequences that follow. Owen is great, while brief turns from Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, and Chiwetel Ejifor are small miracles as well, and the lacings of political and social commentary that abound, along with a hopeful light at the end of the tunnel, all combine to make Children of Men a memorable and spectacular film. All in all, if you've missed out on Children of Men, you are doing yourself a great disservice, and you should definitely give the film a much deserved look. ...more info
  • A Dark, Interesting Look at the Future
    Great film about a possible future for mankind where women can no longer bear children- and the population is dying off. A very frightening scenario and with solid performances, particularly by Clive Owen. The opening scene sets the mood for the movie- all in one shot- and is brilliantly directed by Alfonso Cuaron. A thoughtful, intense, raw movie that builds to a powerful but hopeful ending. ...more info
  • The future is bleak!
    No one is able to have babies for 18 years, all of the sudden a woman is pregnant. there is really no explanation why people can't have babies, and by the time you get into the movie you tend to not care, People live in a world where only a few places are still working (by today's standards) in future where things are not very different as far as technology, but the most advance working nation in the world looks like a 3rd world country.

    This movie truly captivates you with the acting and plot, Great Britain is full of illegal immigrants in this world where no one remembers what a baby looks like, and an immigrant is pregnant, and this creates an obvious problem, immigrants want the baby to be born in England so they can have more power and be able to live in the most advance place in the world, while mom wants to take the kid to " the human project" a group of scientist that are working on curing infertility.

    double crossings and death all over for this baby and you can't think of anything else other than "i hope they make it" the acting is aaxcelent and the dvd comes with a bunch of extras!...more info
  • 3 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    A suprising flop at the box office, Children of Men is a solid adventure story that gets a great deal of value out of its dystopic setting; it's not as profound a movie as some people have maintained, but it's very well-directed and consistently interesting....more info
  • Perhaps a New Beginning
    This is an intriguing film that has you going one way, and then turns you around the other way. As the film goes on it is bloody and horrible how the fugees are treated.

    I would suggest watching the short interview film under features before watching the movie. That will give you more of a sense of what the film is about and it helped in my understanding. I was not going to necessarily watch this film again because of the violence but after seeing the interviews, I will watch it again in a new light... a new beginning.

    Jackie...more info
  • Alfonso Cuaron gives us a dark future
    If you're expecting a fantasy like "Enchanted", stay away from this film but if you want a cautionary tale of the future like "Blade Runner", check this one out. This was one of the best films of 2006 and that's due to excellent direction and a steller cast headed by Clive Owen, Julianne Moore & Michael Caine in role inspired by John Lennon. I haven't read the book but after seeing this fine film, I will definitely search it out. The immigration and the over-population problems shown in this film hit close to home. I hesitated in seeing this film late at night after work but the reality of this film really woke me up!! This film in HD DVD since after seeing it a second time, I was amazed at the visual richness this film actually has!! Totally recommended for fans of sci-fi and "Blade Runner" fans (Bush and other politicos be aware of what you're doing to this planet!!) The HD-DVD transfer gives you a "you are there" look too....more info
  • Thought Provoking Entertainment
    My 25 year old son recommended this movie; he has a bent toward music and movies well outside of mainstream. This movie offers meaning at multiple levels - look beyond the obvious. I enjoyed it and hope you find worth the viewing as well....more info
  • Hated it at first but now LOVE it.
    When walking out of the movie theater, I was confused and hated this movie. By the time I got to my car, I had plenty of time for the movie to soak in and I actually liked it. By the time I got home, I loved this movie. Give it a chance and keep your mind open and you'll like this movie as much as I do....more info
  • One of the great films in recent years. A must on Blu-ray!
    I'll say right up front that this is not the kind of film that will appeal to everyone. Many people apparently found it "boring," though I was deeply moved and found it gripping throughout. The film's setpieces, especially the ambush in the forest and the street battle in the refugee camp, are amazing pieces of cinema that people will be talking about for years to come. They're not just virtuoso displays--they really pack emotional punch. The performances were uniformly excellent, but I was especially impressed by the production design and cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki's camerwork is his best to date and really the best I have seen in years, with its subtle gradations of light and astounding long takes. There is no one more talented than him today.

    I can't imagine watching this film on cable, or frankly even on DVD, because so much of its impact derives from its immersive, tactile quality. I saw it twice in the theaters, and will only watch it again on Blu-ray. It will never appeal to everyone, but I believe that in time it will be recognized as a modern classic. ...more info
  • Men, don't watch when you've been away from your children!
    Unless you want to end up a blubbering idiot.

    Needing DVDs for a passage, I bought this DVD on an impulse, remembering I had heard "good things" about it. I knew nothing about the plot, camera work, or startlingly realistic birth scene.

    Unwarned, and nestled in the V-bearth I put the DVD in my computer and got slammed full-force by a first-rate distopic sci-fi thriller. I didn't even notice the long takes until the refugee camp scene, and I'm a filmmaker. When I miss something like that, that means I was *really* caught up in the movie....more info
  • "You look good. The picture the police have of you doesn't do you justice."
    The dark future of Alfonso Cuar車n's "Children of Men" is a stifling one. Bleakness so pervades every corner of this world that the light of hope cannot help but be extinguished.

    Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is drawn into the web of rebel group who have an important task for him. He is told by his ex-lover, Julian (Julianne Moore), that he must accompany a woman named Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey) out of England and deliver her to a sanctuary run by "The Human Project." What makes Kee so special is that she is pregnant - a miracle in a world where the female population has become sterile. Yet, Theo's task is far from easy as government factions and a rogue element within the rebel group want Kee for their own purposes.

    "Children of Men" does have its share of positives. It does not shy away from addressing many hot-button issues regarding immigration, assisted-suicide, and totalitarianism. Also, the cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is astonishing. The future world he captures on film is frightening and is all the more disturbing because it could easily be seen as prophetic in light of the numerous troubles plaguing the real world at this moment. Yet, the film overall is ultimately unsatisfying. The story turns out to be uninvolving and even borders on the boring after the film's premise is established. As it unfolds, "Children of Men" devolves into nothing more than a prolonged chase that tries to keep matters interesting by sneaking in some social commentary every now and then. Cuar車n undoubtedly set out to make a film with higher aspirations but only succeed in making one with squandered potential written all over it. ...more info
  • Children of Men - Blu-ray Info
    Version: U.S.A / Universal / Region Free
    Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
    VC-1 BD-50 / AACS / Advanced Profile 3
    Running time: 1:49:14
    Movie size: 30,543,541,440 bytes
    Disc size: 34,288,519,429 bytes
    Total bit rate: 37.28 Mbps
    Average video bit rate: 25.90 Mbps

    DTS-HD Master Audio English 3611 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3611 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
    DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit
    DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit

    Subtitles: English (SDH), English, Chinese, Dutch, French, French (Text), German, German (Text), Greek, Italian, Italian (Text), Korean, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Castilian Text), Spanish (Latin American), Spanish (Latin American Text)
    Number of chapters: 17

    Special features are presented in Standard Definition.

    #Deleted Scenes (2m:21s)
    #Featurette: The Possibility of Hope (27m:14s)
    #Children of Men - comments by Slavoj Zizek (5m:44s)
    #Under Attack (7m:35s)
    #Theo and Julian (4m:39s)
    #Futuristic Design (8m:37s)
    #Visual Effects: Creating the Baby (3m:06s)
    #U-Control - PIP...more info
  • Amazing...
    This movie is one of the best movies I have seen in my life. I am amazed at the bad reviews being given here - to those of you who are too pretentious and/or nearsighted to appreciate this film, I feel sorry for you. This movie is well worth owning....more info
  • Depressing movie...
    What a bleak, depressing movie...

    If this is what we degenerate into when faced with a dire dilemma, then mankind doesn't deserve to survive. -kd5-...more info
  • A Classic Dystopian Film. Sadly underappreciated
    I remember seeing some previews for this film, and thinking that it looked interesting. I'm a big Clive Owen fan, and aside from what I saw in the trailer, I didn't really know much about it. Had never read the book, hadn't seen any promo for it aside from the aforementioned trailer.

    As I was watching it I found myself realizing I was watching something special. I viewed it on the train ride from the east coast to the West coast, and was thoroughly captivated and drawn into this well made film.

    Clive Owen is great in this, as is just about everyone in here. How this film got overlooked for Best Picture is beyond me. Three of the best films of 2007 were all made by Spanish Directors (Children of Men, Pans Labyrinth and Babel), and in my opinion Children of Men was definitely given the shaft when it came to Oscar time, only being nomimated for screenplay and cinematography, winning neither.

    If you like good movies that are intelligently made, and have a lot of replay value, buy this movie. You won't be sorry.

    ...more info
  • Masterpiece
    Loved it, saw it at the movies and couldn't wait to buy it for my DVD library. Clive Owen is a great actor and is impressing everyone with his expressions of life in the acting. Finally, an actor who gets it.

    Great movie!...more info
  • A medieval miracle tale cast in the year 2027, with a fine performance by Clive Owen
    I suspect that if one agrees with what appears to be director Alfonso Cuaron's premise, that humankind's basest instincts for selfishness, fouling its own nest, violence toward each other and the acceptance of authoritarianism when faced with fear can be met by the redemptive power of hope and love, then one will accept Children of Men as a film of emotional power.

    For me, Children of Men is a movie in which Cuaron tries to stuff in far too many actions. He seems to aiming for the kind of allegory that can change the way we feel about our lives, but he winds up making many of the compromises that movies force upon some directors as they find themselves with big budgets to work with and the need to sell tickets to justify the investment.

    The story, as has been pointed out by others, is one big Macguffin. It's 2027 and civilization has fallen to its knees. The world is nothing but chaos, terrorism, a rotting environment and death. Britain has managed to survive as a nation state by becoming a horrendous dictatorship, needing immigrants for menial work and turning them into outcasts, periodically rounding them up along with the fugees, the refugees from the world's chaos who managed to slip past Britain's barriers. Concentration camps are filling up, laws are enforced with ferocity, there are no civil rights and the government has become the greatest killer of them all. In exchange, the British have order.

    And it has been 19 years since a baby was born, anywhere in the world. Humankind has mysteriously become sterile. The point of the movie is that a frightened young woman is discovered to be pregnant. In an instant she becomes the center of the movie...will she be used by rebels to try to undermine the government? Will she find a way to escape by sea to some almost mythical group of scientists who are searching for peace and an answer to humankind's infertility? Will she and her baby be killed? Will they survive? It seems her only hope will be a burned-out, used-up functionary who once tried to change things, years ago. From the time this man first meets this scared girl-child and realizes that she's pregnant, to the end of the movie in a small rowboat waiting to see if mankind has a future, we're on a medieval journey through the terrors of hell as the girl and her protector deal with hatred, avarice, brutality, imprisonment, death and war.

    The question for me was: Is all this Macguffining well done enough to be interesting? If it is, is the story itself worth it?

    You'll have to make up your own minds. Simply as a story, I think whatever success Children of Men has had has depended on Clive Owen. He's the protector and he's in just about every scene. Owen is a fine actor. Unlike many actors who have made it to the top, he is most effective reacting. He seldom indulges in flashy heroics in his movies and doesn't do so here. At first, he's uncertain, confused and cautious. When he commits himself to the journey, he doesn't have all the answers, just a willingness to take advantage of opportunities and to risk his life because he's come to believe in what he is doing. It's a first-rate performance.

    But then we have Julianne Moore as a rebel leader and Owen's former wife. In my view, she's too big a name for the size of the part, and the part is too large for the story. Michael Caine has a juicy role as Owen's older friend. He's gotten up to look like Brent Spiner in Independence Day. Caine does a nice job, but both he and Moore infect the movie with "star" presence. I think both roles would have been better for the movie if played by little known but good actors. Chiwetel Ejiofor is excellent as a dedicated and even ruthless rebel leader. But the movie only needs Owen, and he delivers.

    Cuaron, in this medieval miracle tale, has given us a great look at the hell humanity has made for itself. At times, for me, he lingers on and expands this view the better to sell tickets. The whole extended urban battle at the end of the movie seemed to go on and on for no great purpose than to show us how a well-crafted urban war can be presented. Most of the movie's horrors, in fact, are so carefully framed and photographed, so well and ingeniously lit, that I was always aware I was watching a movie. Most movie-ish of all was that heavenly voice wafting down on us as humanity's redemption is resolved by a young mother and her baby.

    This is one of those movies that, for me, needs to be taken seriously simply because a talented director with serious themes has made it. In this era of endless comic book movies and films with the old ultra violence, Curaon deserves our respect. So does Clive Owen.

    Try Owen in Croupier. To see Julianne Moore at her finest, try Vanya on 42nd Steet. And for a taste of near sighted ur-dystopia not to be missed, read David Macaulay's Motel of the Mysteries....more info
  • Dark Visions Of A Near Future
    A song kept playing in my head while I watched Children Of Men: David Bowie's Five Years. You know the one? It's the first track off the Ziggy Stardust album and it's about the release of the news that the human race was dying off. No nuclear war, no asteroids, no alien invasions... just a prosaic, species-wide extinction and what it means psychologically to one man.

    This, in a nutshell, is the setting of Alfonso Cuaron's unsettling satire/drama/sci-fi/action movie. But unlike the Bowie song, the human race in Children Of Men has more that just five years left; just the rest of their lives. See, the human species has suddenly and mysteriously become infertile; the last child was born 18 years ago. And since then, everything's gone to hell. Crime, terrorism, violence, and state repression have spun completely out of control to create a world that's totally realistic, completely plausible, and.... exactly like our own. And this may be the films biggest flaw. The world really has gone to hell and everything in Children Of Men is so current that from a sci-fi perspective, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. On top of that it's relentless pessimism just doesn't overpower its bleak worldview; which is probably why it didn't do much business or see any love on Oscar nigh. It's a very good film that never quite transcends it's own vision.

    Yet, I'll still put Children Of Men among the top of the films of '07 (I didn't catch it until `07). Cuaron has crafted a movie that's joyously in love with the art of the movies, that weaving an incredibly depressing story that's essentially about hopelessness. Scenes are laid out in long, meticulously choreographed takes that draw you into the action and the characters. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who's inspired tricks allow much of the techniques to be so effective, must be given much credit here. Yet the look of the film is anything but slick and `beautiful', it's rough and drab (which is probably why Lubezki failed to win the Oscar he so deserved). Overall though, Children Of Men is a work of a confident director who understands how to grab the audience and control their emotions with perfect efficiency.

    The central character arc is powerful and Clive Owen is awesome as a man who's almost dead on the inside. It's one of the films best elements to watch him come back to life as the story progresses. One of my favorite moments: Owen's Theo, who's been walking around in a half-drunken daze for the first few minutes of the film, just survived a terrible tragedy and stumbles alone into the woods. He fumbles for a cigarette and then collapses with loss, horror and a shadow of joy that he's still capable of any emotion. It's a great scene and a truly great lead performance in a very difficult role; Theo is a character who internalizes everything. He's not showy, and Owen pulls it off in a way that would make Bogart proud. I mention Bogart because Children Of Men has a classic quality; and a quiet sadness that you used to see in Hollywood films of the `40s and `50s like The Setup and Out Of The Past. I just don't know if its `currency' and bleakness will help it stand the test of time. ...more info
  • Really slow and dreary
    This film had been highly recommended. I found it slow, depressing and the "stunning visuals" not worth watching. The story line was neither original or interesting. I've watched it twice hoping to find something worth praising, but found nothing. If you're into really depressing films hyped as "realistic" this is for you....more info
  • Too many plot devices
    Okay, I am the first to admit that the only thing I know about cinematography and its art is what I happen to like. That being said, I have to say that I was very much impressed with the visual side of this film. To my taste, it was a little dark, which worked quite well with the dark story line. I don't think I understood why the camera was always working as it was, but it was neat. Frankly, the first thing that drew me to the movie was its premise, and I still happily say that is the finest thing about this film--in opposition to the concern of overpopulation the film discusses what it would be like if this threat was very much gone and the end of humanity was instead looming over our heads. Then a miracle of a pregnant girl comes about and the situation of the story is how can she be protected. The story is a little extreme, but then again I bet society would crumble. The problem is that it's also contrived, with too many plot devices for my taste. I happen to prefer a character-driven tale rather than this example of situation upon situation. Still, this is a surprising poignant little film that should be appreciated by the right audience....more info