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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Children of Men (2006)



Reviews and Comments

Children of Men is no-holds-barred virtuoso filmmaking from director Alfonso Cuaron, who imbues this dystopian thriller with three separate long, seemingly unbroken tracking shots, each more dazzling than the last. The action is tense and electric, and the world a nightmare.

Why, then, do I hesitate to name this a modern classic? Why do I struggle even to say that I liked it? By the end, I felt unfulfilled. For all the suffering of the characters, I had no emotional closure. I got the feeling the film was trying to make an intellectual point that was undermined, rather than complemented, by its emotional impact. And because it pulled out so many emotional stops that it ultimately should not have (or, at the very least, did not need to), it put me off. I detached myself from it -- had to, just to survive the film -- and it never won me back, even as it continued to dazzle me.