topfivefilms.com Tuesday 18th January 2022
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Children of Men (15)
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

The last film I saw directed by Alfonso Cuarón was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban, which is probably the best Potter film so far. However, Alfonso didn't want to stay on for the fourth film, presumably because he had other projects he wanted to get stuck in to. I was a bit disappointed to hear that at the time, but having seen his latest work, I am really glad he chose to stick to the projects he is passionate about, because there is no way a Potter film will ever be as good as Children of Men.

Owen, Moore and some god damn terrorists
Owen, Moore and some god damn terrorists

Clive Owen and the ubiquitous Julianne Moore star in a chilling and nervy tale set in 2027. The premise is that between now and then, all the women on the planet have become infertile, and no new babies have been born for eighteen years. In fact, the film opens with the shocking news that Earth's youngest person, Baby Diego (quite the celebrity), has just been killed in a brawl.

Britain has become some kind of Fascist state; illegal immigrants are rounded up, imprisoned and in many cases put in what amounts to concentration camps. The streets of London are rife with terrorism, violence, graffiti and garbage, while the rest of the country seems to have reverted back to leafy green countryside.

It's in this unusual climate that our protagonist, played superbly by Owen, finds himself drawn in to a plot by his ex (Moore). The film is fairly slow-paced and hard to get into until the characters reach Canterbury (where else?) when everything really kicks off and sends the audience on a chilling and gripping, non-stop ride through some truly emotional and terrifying scenes.

I really can't say enough good things about this film – it is very close to flawless. The world imagined by Cuarón is dark and scary, but really not far removed from the world we live in today. The direction is superb, and I was especially impressed by one tracking shot which lasted for literally minutes throughout a battle scene.

All in all, this is an extremely well-rounded film; chilling, dark, compelling, nerve-wracking and it builds to a satisfying and complete conclusion. It's beautifully shot and well written – it really has everything. My only complaint is that it's quite a serious affair that's not entirely enjoyable to watch. It is a must-see, but is also quite draining and not a film I feel the need to revisit any time soon.

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Length: 109 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site: http://www.childrenofmen.net/
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0206634/
Release Date: 22nd September 2006

Top Five Rating: 90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0%90.0% (90.0%)
User Rating: 80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0% (80.0%)

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