Children of Men ★★★★½

It's hard to think of a film that balances charm and emotional impact better than Children of Men. In fact, it's hard to think of a sci-fi film with better characterisation and casting. Clive Owen is perfect for the hesitant protagonist/hero, and his narrative arc is built so effectively.

Obviously the long takes and tracking shots have been talked about before, but there's a reason for that: they're staged brilliantly, with every detail thought out and blocked perfectly. It's a gorgeous, stylistic film, with lots of wide shots with impeccable framing (i.e. all the abandoned schoolhouse shots). I loved all the shots in and around Michael Caine's house; props to the production designer and cinematographer.

And last but not least, the editing deserves attention. Few cuts, few inserts. I loved the reaction shots in the Fishes base, loved the audio/visual jarring cuts in Bexhill, loved how the ending was edited.

I don't think I'll be able to find a better film from 2006.