Children of Men

Movie review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Children of Men Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Gripping, violent look at the future. Adults only.
  • R
  • 2006
  • 109 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive 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.

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

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

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

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & 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.

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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJim24 January 18, 2019
One of the best films I’ve ever seen. I love the premise, the acting was great, and the ending was incredibly satisfying. I think it’s a must-watch.

I guess th... Continue reading
Adult Written byLulabell September 12, 2018

A pointless display of graphic violence for titillation sake

Much of it didn't make sense. Political messages abound. Message 1. The world sucks. Message 2. Authorities bad. Refugees good. At one point the lead... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byNeon_Fish October 2, 2015

It's ok

I think the movie should be seen by over 15s because I'm 15 and I thought parts where disturbing. There is a lot of violence and drugs and this should not... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCleverJane April 16, 2015

Not much to worry about

Children Of Men is a great movie that takes place in England, in a dystopian future where women have become infertile. One man, Theo Faron, gets taken by the Fi... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in Great Britain in 2027, CHILDREN OF MEN is an intensely violent, dystopian vision of a future in which women are infertile and the world is in the midst of complete social collapse. When one of the last children born on Earth is murdered, his death sets off massive protests and violent conflicts between sectarian groups. Bureaucrat Theo (Clive Owen) is reluctantly drawn in to the fray when his ex-wife, Julian (Julianne Moore) -- head of an underground opposition group -- asks him for help transporting a special passenger out of London. In a chaotic Big-Brother atmosphere, Theo joins the group to help transport a pregnant West African woman named Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey) to The Human Project, an organization operating from a ship offshore. After marauders attack Theo's caravan, the team regroups in a remote farmhouse. Theo soon has to escape again, this time with Kee and a midwife in tow. They relocate to the house of Theo's good friend, Jasper (Michael Caine), who offers them shelter and encouragement in making it to their destination.

Is it any good?

Working from a screenplay he co-wrote (based on P.D. James' novel), director Alfonso Cuarón paints a gritty, paranoid, and occasionally hopeful picture. He draws on modern anxieties about war, terrorism, immigration, race, class, pollution, and technology. The group's struggle to reach the Human Project includes some of the most graphic, gripping, and engrossing filmmaking in recent memory. Cuarón's documentary-style camera work brings the viewer right into the violent action.

Caine's character is a bright spot -- though caring for his catatonic wife in isolation, he remains cheerful and passionate, enjoying food, music, and occasional company with heartfelt glee (helped along, perhaps, by the large quantities of marijuana that he smokes). The movie's abrupt ending, while disorienting at first, offers relief from the film's intensity. Dark, intense and violent, Children of Men is most certainly not for kids -- and even most teens. Pregnant women and new parents also might want to avoid it, due to the focus on threats to children and the intense birth scene.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • 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?

Movie details

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