Children of Men 2006

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Despite the bleakness of its vision, Children of Men is also thrilling, both for its groundbreaking style (there are action sequences here unlike any filmed before) and its complex, vividly realized ideas. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: 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

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: A superior sci-fi thriller and the best doomsday drama since 28 Days Later. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: [A] dark, terrifying and sometimes very funny film. Read more

Mark Rahner, Seattle Times: This dystopian masterpiece of misery kept me wound up for hours after the credits rolled. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Cuaron asks us to find hope in a grim nativity story where a reluctant hero and scared would-be mother try to find shelter in a land that desperately needs a newborn savior. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: It's definitely worth setting aside your urge for lightweight escapism and diving into this heavy, provocative tale, set so closely to our times and so recognizably an extension of our world that it offers an intriguing chance for reflection. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: The story, based on P.D. James' novel, grabs you at first, but its grip slackens as the unanswered questions and murky plot developments add up. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: What I find particularly irksome about it is its pseudo-humanism and its calculating political correctness. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: An exhilarating sci-fi action thriller with a powerful social and political message. Read more

Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: What makes Children work is that camera and the staging of all the physical insanity its lens captures. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Children of Men is a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Everything comes together in Children of Men, from Owen's white-knuckled performance to the eclectic soundtrack. Read more

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

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: 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

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Is Children of Men for everyone? I don't know. I haven't asked everyone. I can only say it was for me, and that I found its vision of the future gripping--and hopeful, ultimately. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Cuaron does lowdown takes on high concept better than anyone; no matter what genre he touches, he brings grit and loose-limbed humor along with the hand-held camera jangles. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: 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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Based on a novel by British mystery writer P.D. James, Children of Men is a filmmaking feat. In the midst of mayhem, director Alfonso Cuaron delivers subtle and jarring images, while exploring complex emotional rhythms. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Darkly poetic throughout, the film starts with an explosion and ends drifting in fog with no clear resolution in sight. How brave and oddly satisfying. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Thrilling, important, and invigoratingly bleak, Children of Men is one of the very best movies to come out in 2006. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Fasten your seat belt; you're in for a bumpy, provocative ride. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The story is strong enough, but it's the atmosphere, thick with matter-of-fact doom and guerrilla warfare, that gives the film its quickened pulse. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: One of the year's most imaginative and uniquely exciting pieces of cinema. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: For those capable of enduring its most gut-wrenching moments, Children of Men offers inventive energy, ferocious intelligence, and yet, affirmation of life against the most calamitous circumstances. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: 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

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Even if you don't buy the main conceit, the scumbled texture of the movie makes it feel not just plausible but recognizable, and Cuaron takes care never to paint the future as consolingly different. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's a wow. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A stylish mish-mash of dystopian cliches. Read more

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

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Children of Men, the superbly directed political thriller by Alfonso Cuaron, may be something of a bummer, but it's the kind of glorious bummer that lifts you to the rafters. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Although imperfect, it's engaging, thought-provoking stuff. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Outside of Black Christmas -- and aren't we all planning on staying outside of Black Christmas? -- this is probably the feel-not-so-great movie of the holiday season. But if you're in the proper, semi-dark mood, it's a gritty gem. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Cuaron fulfills the promise of futuristic fiction; characters do not wear strange costumes or visit the moon, and the cities are not plastic hallucinations, but look just like today, except tired and shabby. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: A second viewing, which Children of Men richly rewards, deepens our understanding. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Even in a picture where the smallest gears all work perfectly and harmoniously, Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography is a unifying and galvanizing force. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: While it's best to know as little as possible about this movie going into the theater, the story is so fast-paced that you won't be thinking about this review or any other. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Children of Men, Alfonso Cuaron's dense, dark, and layered meditation on fertility, technology, immigration, war, love, and life itself may be the movie of the still-young millennium. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: Children of Men founders in its latter moments -- not a lot, but enough. Its failure is less one of plot than of something deeper, a composing idea to undergird the plot. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Instantly up to speed and powered by that rarest of cinematic fuels -- intelligent action -- Children of Men is a nativity story for the ages, this or any other. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Cuaron's Children of Men is a formidably distinguished piece of pop filmmaking. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: This is as real and as provocative as the future gets on screen. Read more

Derek Elley, Variety: A fine but flawed exercise in dystopia. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: It's a measure of Cuaron's directorial chops that Children of Men functions equally well as fantasy and thriller. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: An audacious, exhilarating futuristic thriller. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: [A] bloated adaptation of P.D. James's thoughtful, compact novel. Read more