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 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 humour 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
Based on a P.D. James science fiction novel, Children Of Men
is set in a dystopian future, where infertility has led mankind to the brink of extinction. The film portrays a dying anarchic world, devoid of hope, until a pregnant woman proves to be a possible saviour of mankind. It's 2027, and the world's youngest person has died at the age of 18. Eastern European and African societies have collapsed, causing their remaining populace to flee to England. Set against a backdrop of warring nationalistic sects, mankind's last remaining hope arrives in the form of Earth's only known pregnant woman. It is up to bureaucrat Theodore Faron (Clive Owen, Sin City
) and his revolutionary former wife Julian (Julianne Moore, Magnolia
) to help deliver the woman to a sanctuary at sea, where it is hoped that the birth of her child could help scientists find out how to save humanity. Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
) has made a powerful, slickly shot film set in an all too believable dystopian future. The tense thriller focuses on various present day concerns such as nationalism, racism and government control over its citizens, much in the same way that V For Vendetta
did. Children Of Men
features a superb cast and rattles along with restless energy.