A fairly standard prophetic drama is elevated above an otherwise also-ran status by an interesting concept (no-one has given birth in 18 years) and an outstanding cast (Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Eijofor, Pam Ferris, Danny Huston), as well as Oscar nominated cinematography, an award criminally awarded to Pan’s Labyrinth instead. It is this camerawork, most noticeable in several uncut extended tracking shots involving moving vehicles, gun shots and wounds, crashes, crowd scenes and explosions, that justify its inclusion upon this list, and makes Children of Men a must see, if just for the sheer level of technical accomplishment on display.
Back in 2002, the espionage genre must have felt a little like Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne at the start of this trilogy, floating unconscious in the Mediterranean Sea with a bullet in the back after the abysmal CGI tsunami of Die Another Day and the shallow, clichéd hotchpotch of Mission Impossible 2, although they may have envied Bourne’s lack of memory. Thank the heavens then for the metaphorical fishing vessel of star Damon, director Doug Liman and writer Tony Gilroy for bringing this energetic affair to the screen, both setting up Damon as a bona fide action star and throwing the gauntlet at the feet of Bond and Ethan Hunt to step it up a gear (both of whom willingly accepting the challenge with Casino Royale’s gritty realism and MI3’s intelligent action).
Choose film 7/10