Adam Cook’s review:
Although highly regarded by many I'm still not convinced it is appreciated as much as it should be. For me this is one of the finest science fiction films of all time, perhaps not as influential as Metropolis, Blade Runner et al but every bit as brilliant.
It manages to achieve what many sci-fi films do not, it manages to not only deliver a unique dystopic concept but also deliver a rich and moving emotional journey too. Too often genre films have a killer hook but are so wrapped up in making sure the idea is water tight or building a compelling world but forget the human story that makes it relatable, powerful and rewarding. Cuarón and his team (particularly cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki) have created one of the great future worlds of cinema, you live and breathe it every step of the way but it is the characters (Clive Owen giving by far and away his greatest performance) that make you really feel it. I have seen the film ten times or more and the climax still affects me deeply without it ever resorting to cloying sentimentality. It is philosophical without being bogged down by moralising and it is full of bravura moments whilst never losing sight of the story or characters.
Children of Men is one of this century's great cinematic achievements and a film that will truly stand the test of time.