7.9/10
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1,367 user 326 critic

Children of Men (2006)

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3:52 | Clip
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

Director:

Alfonso Cuarón

Writers:

Alfonso Cuarón (screenplay), Timothy J. Sexton (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Popularity
677 ( 55)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 49 wins & 84 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi Juan Gabriel Yacuzzi ... Baby Diego (as Juan Yacuzzi)
Mishal Husain Mishal Husain ... Newsreader
Rob Curling Rob Curling ... Newsreader
Jon Chevalier Jon Chevalier ... Café Customer
Rita Davies ... Café Customer
Kim Fenton Kim Fenton ... Café Customer
Chris Gilbert Chris Gilbert ... Café Customer
Phoebe Hawthorne Phoebe Hawthorne ... Café Customer
Rebecca Howard Rebecca Howard ... Café Customer
Atalanta White Atalanta White ... Café Customer (as Atlanta White)
Laurence Woodbridge Laurence Woodbridge ... Café Customer
Clive Owen ... Theo Faron
Maria McErlane Maria McErlane ... Shirley
Michael Haughey Michael Haughey ... Mr. Griffiths
Phaldut Sharma ... Ian (as Paul Sharma)
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Storyline

London, 2027. In this dystopian world, humans have been incapable of reproducing for eighteen years for an unknown reason, meaning the imminent extinction of the species. Britain is the one remaining civilized society on the planet, which has resulted in people wanting to immigrate there. As such, it has become a police state in order to handle the immigrants, who are placed into refugee camps. Lowly government bureaucrat Theo Faron, once an activist, is approached by the Fishes, deemed a terrorist group, led by his ex-wife Julian Taylor, who he has not seen in close to twenty years, their marriage which disintegrated following the death of their infant son Dylan during the 2008 flu pandemic. Although the Fishes did use terrorist means in their on-going revolution against the state in the fight for immigrant rights, Julian vows that they now garner support solely by speaking to the people. What she wants is for Theo to use his connections to get transit papers for a young immigrant ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No child has been born for 18 years. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song heard when Theo is heading towards the Ark of Arts is "The Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson, released in 1969. See more »

Goofs

On the version typically shown by US pay TV, the closed captions indicate that the elderly woman in the fugee camp, who is giving the baby bits of orange, is singing in Romany. In fact, she is clearly singing in Russian. This is confirmed by the old photos in the room, which were obviously taken in Russia/USSR. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Newsreader: Day 1,000 of the Siege of Seattle.
Newsreader: The Muslim community demands an end to the Army's occupation of mosques.
Newsreader: The Homeland Security bill is ratified. After eight years, British borders will remain closed. The deportation of illegal immigrants will continue. Good morning. Our lead story.
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Crazy Credits

At the very end, one can read "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti" with children shouting and laughing on the soundtrack, which can be heard repeatedly throughout the end credits. This is the last line of T.S. Eliot's 1922 poem "The Wasteland." "Shanti" means "peace" in Sanskrit. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Most Violent Sci-Fi Movies (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Running the World
Written and Performed by Jarvis Cocker
(c) Warner/Chappell Music Limited
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Limited
Courtesy of Rough Trade Records Ltd
Licensed courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd
ISRC: GBCVZ0601619
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User Reviews

 
Enthralling, haunting addition to the apocalypse genre
23 September 2006 | by trpuk1968See all my reviews

Worthy addition to a very British literary, televisual and cinematic tradition of dystopian and apocalyptic narratives. H.G Wells, John Wyndham, SURVIVORS, 28 DAYS LATER.

These texts are revealing of the times in which they were made. Rather than looking forwards,they re often, at heart, deeply conservative. They frequently express a desire for a world where the centralised, industrial society has broken down entirely, replaced by an agrarian based model comprising small, rural communities. These narratives coincided with the rise in 'alternative ' lifestyles, interest in self sufficiency, organic farming, low technology and a different relationship with the Earth. Nostalgia for a pre Industrial past is more prominent than hope and anticipation of a glorious new future when civilisations been destroyed for a new, better world to emerge.

The grand narratives which we once imagined were going to change and improve the world no longer seem credible. Following the collapse of communism, there's a distrust of ideologies, especially those of the left. Arguably, the left has collapsed in the Western World. Thats the context this film arrives in, one where there seems no meaningfully effective counterbalance to the continued dominance of global capitalism, media saturation and environmental meltdown.

Arguably this film offers some hope but my overall impression is of something a lot bleaker than other apocalypse narratives. Without children there is, literally, no future left. Although emerging from a different context, this film shares with its predecessors a thoroughly revealing indication of the concerns preoccupying the time in which it was made.

Two scenes haunted me. The man in Battersea, isolated with his art collection and the set pieces of the illegal immigrants, rounded up and caged.

The Battersea scene uses its location and choice of Picasso's Gernika painting in the background to make a searing comment on a civilisation which, despite its pretensions to Art and Culture, has managed to engineer its own extinction. A civilisation whose intellectual and cultural elites, instead of challenging the prevailing discourse, isolate themselves, collusive in a form of collective denial.

The illegals scene is composed in such a way as to recreate images from the War on Terror, images which are now iconic. Both scenes link together through use of the painting which is an inspired device. This is definitely a movie to watch and work at. I was also intrigued by the recurring animals, and reminded of Tarkovsky, whose work is consistently loaded with symbolism. The scene at the empty, abandoned school was very reminiscent of the Russian director. Also praiseworthy is the astonishing use of sound, particularly in one of the key scenes when dogs can be heard barking in the distance.

Another haunting image is that of the flowers and wreaths laid very early on, after the youngest person on earth has died. Reminiscent of the mawkishness, sentimentality and mass hysteria of those laying floral tributes to murder victims they never knew, the so called 'Diana effect'. Again, a clear reference to todays world.

This is an outstanding piece of film making, I agree totally with previous reviewers comments, especially regarding the battle scenes, which have an immediacy, bringing to mind COME AND SEE or APOCALYPSE NOW. I ll give the last word to Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian newspapers film critic who called this 'a thinking persons action movie.'


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | UIP [Germany]

Country:

USA | UK | Japan

Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Children of Men See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$76,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$501,003, 31 December 2006

Gross USA:

$35,552,383

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,595,464
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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