Children of Men

Children of Men

4.3 24
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Cast: Alfonso Cuarón, Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine


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Y Tu Mamá También and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón returns to the helm to tell this futuristic tale in which society is without hope since humankind lost its ability to procreate. The year isSee more details below


Y Tu Mamá También and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón returns to the helm to tell this futuristic tale in which society is without hope since humankind lost its ability to procreate. The year is 2027, and women can no longer give birth. The youngest inhabitant of the planet has just died at the age of 18, and all hope for humanity has been lost. As civilization descends into chaos, a dying world finds one last chance for survival in the form of a woman who has become inexplicably pregnant. Now, as warring nationalistic sects clash and British leaders try to maintain their totalitarian stronghold on the country, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) is brought back into the fold of activism by his guerrilla ex-wife (Julianne Moore). Reluctantly, he takes on the daunting task of escorting Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), the refugee who represents humankind's last hope for survival, out of harm's way and into the care of a mysterious organization known as The Human Project. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, and Michael Caine co-star in this adaptation of author P.D. James's gripping 1992 novel.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Conjure up your bleakest vision of the world fallen into an uncontrollable spiral of chaos, add in a grim speculative sci-fi twist, and then watch as those images burn to vivid life in a striking, affecting, and viciously beautiful tale of glimmering hope in a land of terminal despair. The concept may be as thin as a razor, yet it cuts to our most basic fears for the future: humankind has lost the ability to procreate, and when a pregnant London immigrant is discovered by a group of "terrorists," the group takes it upon themselves to smuggle her into the care of a secretive organization working against the government's will to save the human race. A jarring intro effectively pulls the safety net out from under the audience and lets us know how ugly a place the world has truly become, offering an explosive introduction to London circa 2027. A glance at the news shows that the major cities of every nation have all become Baghdad. "The World Has Collapsed" trumpets the television newscast as a sickening flood of death and destruction washes across the screen, and anyone who felt their heart skip a beat on 9/11 will most certainly feel the emotional impact of such a sensationalistic -- but in this fictional universe, entirely valid -- claim. The race is on to ensure that the first baby to be born in 18 years isn't subjected to the harsh glare of the media circus or the cruel scrutiny of government scientists, and though he may seem a most unlikely hero, dejected alcoholic bureaucrat Theodore Faron (Clive Owen) dutifully assumes the responsibility of escorting the frightened mother-to-be to the mythical "Human Project" in hopes that the scientists there will be able to solve humankind's darkest mystery. Seldom has an onscreen hero been more identifiably human than as portrayed by Owen, and as Theodore takes a shot from the bottle to numb the pain, argues with his activist ex-wife about their tragic past, or shelters his frightened charge as the pair makes their way through a gauntlet of crumbling concrete and gunfire, it's easy for the viewer to sympathize with his pain as well as his determination. Theo isn't a self-righteous savior, but an honest and broken man who simply knows what's at stake with the birth of this "miracle" child. Likewise, the supporting players all turn in exceptional performances -- from Julianne Moore's damaged do-gooder to Chiwetel Ejiofor's misguided "terrorist" leader, and the virtually unrecognizable Charlie Hunnam's dreadlocked, trigger-happy gunman, it's obvious that the cast members have truly invested themselves in their onscreen counterparts. Despite his relative lack of screen time, however, it's screen veteran Michael Caine who truly steals the show as off-the-grid, strawberry-ganja-smoking weed-slinger Jasper Palmer -- an aging neo-hippie who, as Theo's trusted confidante, injects just the right amount of humor and gravity into the proceedings. While for many filmmakers and screenwriters it can be a daunting task to paint a realistic vision of the future, Alfonso Cuarón works well with his team of scribes to keep things grounded in a reality that is both recognizable and relatable -- no flying cars here, though there are some fancy computer monitors and the automobiles feel just advanced and unreliable enough to make them believable. Despite these minor advances, it truly does feel as if society and technological innovation ground to a halt when humankind discovered that their days on the planet were numbered. Emmanuel Lubezki's exceptional use of fluid, handheld photography places the viewer in the back seat of a car being attacked by terrorists and in the war-torn streets of a refugee camp under attack from the military with documentary-like believability. Lubezki's filming techniques, combined with the smart editing of director Cuarón and Alex Rodriguez, offer a haunting fluidity that serves well to compliment the intensity of the powerful and sometimes jarring material. Subtle but strikingly effective use of computer-generated effects compliments the story well by remaining largely understated, while the affecting use of sound in one key third-act scene provides a moving auditory accompaniment to a pivotal event. The impressive soundtrack features selections from such diverse musical artists as John Lennon, King Crimson, the Kills, and the Libertines, lending the film a timeless urgency that will equally affect viewers both young and old. Still, the commendable technical achievements of the film wouldn't really matter if Children of Men didn't have something truly compelling to say. In addition to challenging the audience's perception of our current reality (what truly constitutes a "terrorist"?) and offering a cautionary glance into a dark future of last-gasp authoritarianism run rampant, Children of Men presents a truly thought-provoking tale told in a remarkably absorbing manner. While some viewers may be put off by the unrelenting despair at the surface level, those with some degree of optimism about humankind's uncertain fate on this planet will discover a remarkably powerful film: one in which darkness belies delicate hope for -- and ultimately in -- humanity.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clive Owen Theo Faron
Julianne Moore Julian Taylor
Michael Caine Jasper
Chiwetel Ejiofor Luke
Claire-Hope Ashitey Kee
Pam Ferris Miriam
Charlie Hunnam Patric
Danny Huston Nigel
Peter Mullan Syd
Oana Pellea Marichka
Paul Sharma Ian
Jacek Koman Tomasz

Technical Credits
Alfonso Cuarón Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Marc Abraham Producer
David Arata Screenwriter
Richard Beggs Sound/Sound Designer
Kate Benton Makeup
Armyan Bernstein Executive Producer
Thomas A. Bliss Executive Producer
Jon Bunker Art Director
Ray Chan Art Director
Jim Clay Production Designer
Karen Elliott Musical Direction/Supervision
David Evans Sound/Sound Designer
Veronica Falzon Production Designer
Mark Fergus Screenwriter
James Foster Art Director
Becca Gatrell Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Inglis Art Director
Graham Johnston Makeup
Avy Kaufman Casting
Geoffrey Kirkland Production Designer
Kristel Laiblin Associate Producer
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Emma Mager Production Manager
Lorna McGowan Makeup
Laura McIntosh Makeup
Terry Needham Asst. Director
Eric Newman Producer
Hawk Ostby Screenwriter
George Richmond Camera Operator
George Richmond Camera Operator
Cliff Robinson Art Director
Alex Rodriguez Editor
Stuart Rose Art Director
Timothy J. Sexton Screenwriter
Hilary Shor Producer
Iain Smith Producer
Tony Smith Producer
Troy Smith Producer
Mike Stallion Art Director
Lucinda Syson Casting
John Tavener Score Composer
Jany Temime Costumes/Costume Designer
Jennifer Williams Production Designer

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Scene Index

Deleted Scenes; Visual Effects: Creating the Baby; Futuristic Design - From Concept to creation, see how Director Alfonso Cuarón's dynamic vision of the future was brought to life; ; Theo & Julian - Get the inside story from Clive Owen and Julianne Moore; ; Under Attack - Discover how the Filmmakers created the film's most dangerous scenes; ; The Possibility of Hope ; Alfonso Cuarón's documentary on how the revolutionary themes in Children of Men relate to our modern-day society; ; Children Of Men Comments by Slavoj Zizek


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