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Children of Men Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… evil dystopias are always a kick … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    It's a work of art that deserves a space cleared for its angry, nervous beauty.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The performances are crucial, because all of these characters have so completely internalized their world that they make it palpable, and themselves utterly convincing.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Bloated adaptation of P.D. James's thoughtful, compact novel.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    An exhilarating sci-fi action thriller with a powerful social and political message.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    Owen carries the film more in the tradition of a Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda than a Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford. He has to wear flip-flops for part of the time without losing his dignity, and he never reaches for a weapon or guns anyone down. Cuaron and Owen may have created the first believable 21st-century movie hero.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Children of Men reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Gripping, violent look at the future. Adults only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dystopian drama includes such intense violence and other mature elements that you'll probably want to keep kids away (that is, if they're even interested). The film depicts a near-future world in the midst of anarchy, where terrorism is a constant threat. Characters drink, smoke, and use drugs frequently; a pot-dealing character is one of the most endearing in the film. Scenes include scary surprise attacks, drawn-out gunfire and shelling episodes, bloody amputated bodies, burning dead animals, and gory one-on-one combat. Some scenes are filmed in a way that makes viewers feel viscerally connected to the action, including the sense of intense threat and exhilaration. A very realistic and graphic childbirth scene occurs.

  • Families can talk about the movie's vision of the future -- and your own thoughts about what it might be like. Why do so many movies have a bleak vision of the future? Are you optimistic about it? Why or why not? What do you think is the biggest threat to the world's future? How do you balance daily life with thoughts or fears about greater social problems like war or environmental pollution? What do you think happens in the movie's imaginary world after the credits roll? How realistic do you think a scenario like this is?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Set amid extreme violence and social unrest, the film is about hope for the future. The main characters are good, if complex and flawed, people. One main character is a loveable pot-dealer and smoker. Lots of different races and ethnicities involved, some in powerful positions. People viewers think are good sometimes turn out bad.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Absolutely over-the-top realistic graphic violence, including gunfire and shelling, bloody amputated bodies, burning dead animals, and gory one-on-one combat.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Mention of promiscuity. Kee is the anti-virgin birthing the messiah in this twist on a Christmas story. Some brief and minor nudity. Graphic childbirth scene.

  • language false5

    Language: Constant "f--k," "s--t," and everything else you can imagine.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The main character is an alcoholic who drinks and smokes cigarettes constantly. Another main character grows, smokes, and sells marijuana. Cigarettes and alcohol are often in background scenes. Imaginary euthanasia drug called "Quietus" is advertised and probably employed by a major character.