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Children of Men (2006)


Alfonso Cuaron was the director and part of the writing team for this dystopian 2027 film. The entire world is infertile, and the last baby was born more than 18 years prior. As chaos descended over the world, The United Kingdom shut its borders to refugees. Those refugees that made it into the country were rounded up and settled in encampments to preserve the normal way of life for native Britons.

Theo Faron, Clive Owen, works somewhere in the vast bureaucracy of government. He is a former activist who now struggles with alcohol and can’t finish a cigarette to save his life. His world gets flipped upside down when his past catches up to him in the form of Julian, Julianne Moore. The film becomes a hero’s journey full of deception, bribery, and a higher sense of purpose. Michael Caine fills a spiritual leader role as Jasper.

This is the first feature-length film Cuaron directed after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It is dark and gritty in Cuaron’s signature style. Cuaron plays with single-camera shots during some of the tensest films, denying the viewer even the shortest chance to divert their attention. It is not 1917, but it is used effectively when it needs to be. The film has biblical allegory and imagery sprinkled throughout. I am sure I missed some nods, but the most obvious ones are unmissable.

The film was released in 2006 and feels as current as anything. We are right at the midpoint between the film's release and the date, 2027, that it takes place. We know it isn’t exactly predictive because there are still babies being born today. The film allows you to map various messages onto it and back it up with what you take away. Dystopian films require you to be in the right mood to watch them, but if you are in that mood this film is well worth 109 minutes of your time.

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