Children of Men (2006)

Set in a 2020s Britain without children, Alfonso Cuaron’s brilliantly shot thriller depicts an all-too-believable dystopia, where everyman Clive Owen must – literally – save the future of humanity.

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Introduction

“This explosively violent future-nightmare thriller... has simply the most extraordinary look of any movie around: a stunningly convincing realisation of a Beirut-ised London in the year 2027.”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 2006

Retaining little from P.D. James’s 1992 source novel other than the title and the basic premise of a 2020s Britain in a world where women are no longer able to bear children, director Alfonso Cuaron’s dystopian political thriller makes effective use of Clive Owen’s trademark world-weariness as Theo, a civil servant who finds himself sucked into resistance to the totalitarian regime when his ex, terrorist leader Julian (Julianne Moore), entrusts him with a vital mission to escort a hunted illegal immigrant to safety. But what really impresses is the terrifyingly everyday vision of a future of internment camps, state-sanctioned euthanasia, terrorism and streetfighting, explored by cinemtographer Emmanuel Lubezki in astonishingly complex long takes, and set to the ethereal religious music of John Tavener.

2006 also saw the release of V for Vendetta, another look at terrorism and totalitarianism in 2020s London, but in a more comic-book style.

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