McNeill Mullikin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Children of Men is a movie I have wanted to see for a long time. I love the genre, and the plot seemed fascinating. After having seen it, Alfonso Cuáron can sure make a captivating, yet devastating film that is so visceral is feels like you are actually living in this dystopian society.
From the first scene, the story immediately lets audiences know what makes this futuristic setting unique from other dystopian films: No babies have been born in 18 years. Why the human race has become sterile is never revealed, and I think this is a smart aspect of the script because it leaves it up to the audience to make their own interpretation. This inevitably led me spiraling down a rabbit hole about government corruption and the elements of this story that could be applied to our real future.
Additionally, Children of Men is an incredibly tense film, another thing Cuáron is incredibly talented at (i.e. Gravity). As soon as the action kicks into high gear towards the end of the first act, the suspenseful nature of this film never gives viewers a chance to breathe. Because of the stakes at hand (which I won’t spoil if you haven’t seen the movie), you care about Theo and Kee’s safety, and you are constantly rooting for them to survive everything insane obstacle thrown their way.
The sound design, cinematography, editing, and score all enhance the atmosphere of this movie. The long takes and shaky cam enable audiences to feel like they are part of the journey. The sound design during the action set pieces captures the disturbing reality the people in this world face on a daily basis (gunfire, explosions, riots, and war). The music also amplifies the suspense, and even when there is silence, there is a unique distinct feeling of anxiety.
Children of Men is a movie that I should have seen much earlier than now, considering my love and fascinating with this genre. This is a genuinely impressive film on essentially every level, and I highly recommend it if you have not seen this movie. Children of Men is a depressing, disturbing, and bleak film, but there is one hopeful moment in the midst of the darkness that makes the journey worth it.